Lake Protection Information

Arial Photograph of the Lake from the Southeast.

Liberty Lake is a 708-acre (1.1 square mile) Mesotrophic lake located approximately 2.5 miles east of the City of Spokane Valley, Washington and 3 miles west of the Idaho border. The City of Liberty Lake rests ¼ mile north-northwest of the lake.

The lake and incorporated area of Liberty Lake is known for its real estate and recreational value; heavily utilized by 80,000 to 100,000 visits per season (EPA, 1982). Recreational activities on the lake include fishing, swimming, boating, water skiing, jet skiing, and of course relaxing. A large percentage of the lake is privately owned with only two public access points for recreation. These include a County Park beach and a WA Department of Fish and Wildlife boat launch. With increasing homebuilding and recreational use, combined with factors such as geology, stormwater runoff, and sensitive marsh areas, Liberty Lake is susceptible to significant degradation.

Since 1973, the Liberty Lake Sewer and Water District has taken many measures to protect the lake and maintain the aesthetic beauty which has brought many residents to the area. As part of these efforts, water quality monitoring efforts dating back as far as 1968 have been conducted by Washington State University. These efforts include involvement in a restoration project, numerous thesis studies, an Alum treatment, a dredging of the lake bottom to remove nutrient rich sediment, and annual lake and watershed monitoring.

Liberty Lake has no natural outlet, but simply a fabricated outlet structure and channel with infiltration basins. The only outlet or disposal for flows from the lake and runoff is through infiltration of permeable rock and soil into the Rathdrum Prairie Aquifer, an aquifer discovered in 1895 that currently supplies drinking water to over 400,000 people in the Spokane area. Not only is lake water quality important to Liberty Lake, but drinking water is also an important commodity to protect. In fact, studies indicate that Liberty Lake donates 11.6 thousand acre-feet of water per year to the aquifer (Washington State University Report, 2001). This fact illustrates that by protecting surface waters, you protect groundwater our primary source of drinking water.

Lake protection activities are important for maintaining a beautiful, healthy lake for everyone to enjoy. For more information regarding Lake Protection, follow the links above or contact Liberty Lake Sewer and Water District.