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The original item was published from 3/10/2017 10:34:00 AM to 4/11/2017 12:00:02 AM.

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Snohomish County News

Posted on: March 10, 2017

[ARCHIVED] Snohomish County Completes Emergency Bypass Pipe for Lake Serene

Meghan Jordan                         Fay Lim
Communications Specialist II      Communications Supervisor
425-388-3918                           425-388-6413

Snohomish County Completes Emergency Bypass Pipe for Lake Serene
County crews engineered and installed the 537-foot pipe system in 16 days

EVERETT, Wash., March 10, 2017 – An emergency bypass pipe on Lake Serene was completed by Snohomish County Public Works on Friday, March 10, 2017. The project is designed to lower lake levels about one foot below the highest recorded water levels on February 17, 2017. The lake has fallen over six inches in the past few weeks, and the project will lower the lake level about another seven inches. County staff will monitor lake levels and downstream flows throughout the day to ensure that the system is functioning as expected and does not cause downstream drainage problems.

In just 16 days, county crews laid 537 feet of pipe and four catch basins, coordinated the replacement of six water lines and one sewer line, and worked in challenging conditions to complete the work.

“I am proud of the work that has been done. Given the quick turnaround that was needed to respond to this emergency, all of Public Works collaborated on making this successful. In particular, Surface Water Management’s drainage team did a great job quickly pulling together a buildable, effective project, and our Road Maintenance crews worked tirelessly every day for more than two weeks to construct this project,” said Steve Thomsen, Snohomish County Public Works Director.

The cost of the emergency bypass pipe is estimated at $215,000. It was funded by Snohomish County Surface Water Utility fees that are generated by all property owners in the watershed.

"The quick completion of the bypass pipe is a great relief," said Snohomish County Councilmember Stephanie Wright. "I appreciate the work of everyone involved in developing this project to protect both homes and infrastructure."

In early January 2017, the existing private drainage system became almost entirely blocked, water levels in the lake rose, and Serene Way was at risk for flooding. County Executive Dave Somers issued an emergency order on February 13, 2017, and work on the emergency bypass pipe began almost immediately. The pipe is designed to protect Serene Way and other public infrastructure from flooding and provide some relief to lakeside property owners. It connects to an existing downstream drainage system.

“In just over two weeks, we were able to address the flooding emergency and devise a sensible solution to a complex problem,” said Dave Somers, Snohomish County Executive. “We are confident this will protect both public infrastructure and lake residents from the worst flooding. Our crews worked through cold, sleet, snow, and rain to get this done. They deserve our gratitude.”

The Snohomish County Council introduced legislation on February 13, 2017 to approve a permanent fix to the periodic flooding on Lake Serene, since the existing emergency bypass will only relieve the most extreme events. A public hearing is scheduled for March 22, 2017 at 10:30 a.m. to consider the legislation. It will be held in the council chambers in the Administration East Building at 3000 Rockefeller Avenue in Everett. Following the public hearing, Snohomish County Council will vote on a decision.

Lake Serene is located in unincorporated Snohomish County, west of Highway 99 between Mukilteo and Lynnwood. Residents around the lake have been experiencing flooding during winter months or during periods of heavy rainfall.

About Snohomish County Public Works 

The Snohomish County Public Works Department employs approximately 600 staff members that develop and maintain county roads; control and manage surface water quantity, quality, and fish habitats; and oversee the recycling and disposal of solid waste. The department’s main office is located at 3000 Rockefeller Ave., Everett, WA 98201. For more information about Snohomish County Public Works, visit

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