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Preserve native vegetation around your lake

A strip of natural plants between the lake and buildings, lawns or cleared areas keeps your lake healthy. the wider this "buffer" of native plants, the better for the lake. Natural vegetation:

  • filters sediment and nutrients out of surface runoff
  • provides habitat and food for fish, insects and other wildlife
  • stabilizes banks
  • controls erosion and dissipates floodwaters

A buffer of native plants at water's edge can also discourage waterfowl from taking over your lawn. A lawn right to the shore attracts waterfowl which add nutrients to the lake.

Protect your lake from your septic system

Know your system - where it is and how to maintain it. Have your septic tank checked every other year and pumped when necessary. Conserve water to avoid stressing your septic system, and keep solvents, phosphate detergents, additives and other hazardous materials out of the system.

Consider "green gardening" for your lawn

Keep pesticide, herbicide and fertilizer use to a minimum - or replace your lawn with ground cover or shrubs. Native trees and shrubs require little maintenance and look great.

Locate buildings well back from the shoreline

Build structures in accordance with local regulations. Avoid waterfront structures that require lots of tree clearing, excavating or filling. Again, keep a wide buffer of native vegetation between structures or cleared areas and the lakeside.

Get involved with our Lakes Stewardship Program

Water and Land Resources has a program to provide technical assistance to lakeside residents and others on lake quality and management issues. The Lake Stewardship Program can provide:

  • speakers on lakes and their watersheds
  • training sessions on volunteer monitoring and other topics
  • a newsletter on the status and health of local lakes
  • assists lake groups on grant applications
  • aquatic plant control techniques and survey information

Go to Lakes, Each with a life of its own

For questions about lakes in King County, please contact or call the Water and Land Resources Division front desk at 206-477-4800.