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What to expect when crews fix water mains in Millersville, Lancaster County, according to officials

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MILLERSVILLE, LANCASTER COUNTY -- A $2.3 million fix for crumbling water mains in part of Lancaster County is starting to take shape. This comes after multiple water boil advisories and temporary water turn offs for part of the Millersville community when those mains broke.

"It started at Easter that we had no water. It shut off because the main broke. It just continued 2-3 times; they'd shut it off or turn it back on," said Annett Hinerdeer, a neighbor in the Quaker Hill section of Millersville.

Neighbors like Hinerdeer remember when more than a dozen water mains broke throughout the community around Easter. Now, she's looking forward to a $2.3 million fix to the water mains that's beginning to take shape.

"I'm just happy they're going to get it done, get it fixed, really," added Hinerdeer.

Rather than remove the aging water mains, crews prepare to reline nearly 3.5 miles of concrete pipes with a solid plastic piping made by a Lancaster based company - RePipe4710.

"There's a 30 percent cost savings involved. It's less disruptive, and it's a lot quicker process than digging and replacing them," said George Gerz, Vice President of RePipe4710.

Gerz says the plastic piping can last between 50 and 100 years and costs less than replacing the existing piping. Originally, fixing the mains was expected to cost between $10-20 million. Now, officials says it will cost $2.3 million, paid for by incremental surcharges in Lancaster water bills, according to Charlotte Katzenmoyer, the director of Lancaster Public Works.

"We have an aging infrastructure. We need more and more capital funds so that incremental surcharge will pay for projects like this," said Katzenmoyer.

About 300 properties will be affected during the repairs according to city officials, almost all in Millersville, where Borough Manager Ed Arnold says water temperatures could be impacted.

"The temporary service will be lines put above ground which are going to be exposed to weather conditions so people utilize their water may notice for example it's hot or warm I should say for a while depending on the weather," said Arnold.

The city has never used relining as a method of fixing the breaks, but officials say it's cheapest, it's long term, and it will disrupt neighbors the least. The project is expected to wrap up in August, 2018.