County finishes Lake Serene bypass ahead of rainy season

Last winter, rising water threatened lakefront properties, nearby street
By Nicholas Johnson | Sep 13, 2017

Snohomish County Public Works has completed a project aimed at keeping water levels in Lake Serene down during the rainy season.

Together with local and regional partners, the county has completed the design, permitting and construction of the final section of an outlet drainage pipe that connects the lake to a county emergency bypass drainage system that was built in March 2017.

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

In January, tensions rose along with water levels as lakefront property owners called on the county to do something about the rising water that was threatening their homes. An existing private drainage system had become almost entirely blocked, also putting Serene Way at risk for flooding.

In February, the county installed an emergency bypass pipe to quell the rising water before embarking on a permanent fix. That emergency fix connected a private outflow to the county’s drainage system downstream. The latest fix bypasses the private outflow, bringing the entire system under county control.

“We’re pleased we were able to secure the five required permits much faster than initially anticipated,” Will Hall, Surface Water Management Utility Director, said. “We also confirmed that the failed outflow pipe on private property is indeed blocked, making this an essential fix for future rainy seasons.”

To celebrate the milestone, the county is hosting a community meeting from 4-6 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 14, at the Lake Serene Boat Launch, 4175 140th St. SW in Lynnwood.

County officials will speak on what to expect in the project’s next phase, which involves replacing degraded infrastructure downstream of Serene Way.

The county is currently working to obtain permits and design the final phase of the project. Construction is scheduled for 2018 and 2019.

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