Butte Pit Setback Levee Project

A corridor of levees were installed along the lower White River over 50 years ago to keep infrastructure, residents and businesses safe in the Sumner, Bonney Lake, Auburn and Pacific communities. Since that time, the lower White River has risen over 20 feet due to sediment build up.

One of these levees, named after the old Butte gravel pit purchased by Pierce County, has experienced several flooding events resulting in severe damage over the decades. The Butte Pit Levee is extremely important to preventing flooding to commercial businesses and homeowners along Butte Avenue, in the heart of the of Sumner industrial district. Pierce County is working with city governments, tribal partners and community stakeholders to design a new levee to benefit residents, businesses, critical infrastructure, and enhance habitat for the endangered salmon.

The Butte Pit Levee project is dependent on grant funding. Pierce County, in partnership with the City of Sumner, applied for the FEMA Pre-Disaster Mitigation Resilient Infrastructure Funding Program. If successful, FEMA would provide Pierce County with $10 million to design and construct the new levee over the next five years.


Project design: 2019-2022

Project Construction: 2022-2023

Related Projects

Other jurisdictions are working on river-related projects in this area. Pierce County is coordinating with these other agencies on the Butte Pit project.

White River Pacific Levee Project

King County Lower White River Countyline Levee