Bitter Lake Reservoir Improvement Project

Aerial design rendering of preliminary resevoir design looking east.
East view of preliminary new reservoir design

Project description

Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) is building a new drinking water reservoir in the Bitter Lake neighborhood. The new 21-million-gallon Bitter Lake Reservoir will replace the existing reservoir that is reaching the end of its service life. The new reservoir will be partially buried and hold the same amount of water as the old reservoir. More open space will be available for the community to enjoy after the project is complete. Seattle Parks and Recreation plans to turn the additional open space into a park. Park construction will occur after the new reservoir is built.


The reservoir is located on a 13-acre property located southwest of the intersection of Linden Ave N and N 143rd St in North Seattle. About four acres is currently open space, a playground, and a community garden.

What's happening now?

The project team is continuing design work and appreciates the thoughtful survey responses from community members earlier this year. Design plans are being refined based on technical and public input.

Capital projects in the design phase like the Bitter Lake Reservoir Improvement Project progress in phases (30%, 60%, 90%, Final design). We expect to reach the 60% design milestone by the end of 2023.

Community benefits

This project is part of SPU’s regional drinking water system. When construction is complete, the new reservoir will provide protection from sunlight, dirt, leaves, and other debris to help preserve water service and quality for years to come. The project will provide additional open space for the community.

Community engagement

SPU is committed to providing timely information and updates on project activities. Updates may be available in multiple formats: the website, emails, mailings, drop-in sessions, briefings, and public meetings. There will be several opportunities for the public to engage and provide feedback throughout the project. Check back for more information about upcoming opportunities to engage. If you are interested in receiving updates, please subscribe to the project email list.

One Seattle

SPU is collaborating with the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture (ARTS) and Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) on designing the reservoir to include public art and more open space. Engagement efforts between the three agencies will be coordinated and public feedback will be shared amongst each other.


  • Design
  • Permitting
  • Community engagement


  • Construction
  • Community engagement

Public Utilities

Andrew Lee, General Manager and CEO
Address: 700 5th Avenue, Suite 4900, Seattle, WA, 98104
Mailing Address: PO Box 34018, Seattle, WA, 98124-5177
Phone: (206) 684-3000

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Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) is comprised of three major direct-service providing utilities: the Water Utility, the Drainage and Wastewater Utility, and the Solid Waste Utility.