Lake Youngs Reservoir

Lake Youngs Reservoir
Sunrise at Lake Youngs Reservoir with a view of Mt. Rainier

Lake Youngs is a reservoir in unincorporated King County located near Kent and Covington. The reservoir receives drinking water from the Cedar River via the Landsburg diversion dam and provides up to 14,500 acre feet of drinking water storage for residential and commercial use. It is impounded by three embankment dams and continuous perimeter dikes. The dams are regulated and maintained in accordance with dam safety regulations by the Washington State Dam Safety Office.

The Lake Youngs facility is routinely inspected by dedicated SPU crews, SPU engineers, and representatives from the Washington State Dam Safety Office. The facility is monitored with more than 30 instruments, including groundwater observation wells, flumes, weirs, inclinometers and survey monuments.  It is only accessible to SPU staff and authorized visitors.

A dam failure warning system was implemented for the Outlet Dam (one of the three embankment dams on Lake Youngs) at the headwaters of the Little Soos Creek, south of the reservoir. A failure of the dam could cause flooding to residents and businesses along Little Soos Creek, Soos Creek, and the Green River. This failure warning system includes both field instruments to detect potential issues and on-site cameras to verify field conditions. The system is operated and remotely monitored 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Local governments and emergency management agencies have established contingency plans in the unlikely event of a dam failure. These plans specifically address public notification, evacuation, and post-incident recovery efforts. For more information on how you and your family can prepare, respond, and recover from disasters, please visit the King County Office of Emergency Management.

To stay informed about potential hazards and threats that impact your area, sign up for ALERT King County.