Construction on The York Water Company’s reservoir dam at Lake Williams to begin September

SPRINGFIELD TOWNSHIP, Pa. - The York Water Company is still working on draining Lake Williams to begin construction on their reservoir dam. So far, they've lowered it about 21 feet but they still have more to go.

"We call this a very deliberate process," J.T. Hand, the Chief Operating Officer of The York Water Company, said. "This is a very deliberate, well thought out, complex process."

Here's the gist. The reservoir needs to be drained so work can be done on the dam, that way you can have safe and reliable drinking water. That's it. But Hand's enthusiasm is infectious.

"This is an unbelievably exciting opportunity. Not without its challenges, not without its complexity," Hand said.

Horses, mules, and a lot of manpower. That's what it took in 1912 to build the reservoir. The process was well documented with photos. Fox 43 got a first hand look at what was, 106 years ago.

The reservoir's capacity is about one billion gallons of water. Right now, there's about 300 million gallons left. There's nothing wrong with the dam currently. Work needs to be done just to maintain it's integrity. Plus, dam safety regulations have changed since 1912.

"We're installing a valve on the upstream face of the dam to replace the valve structure which currently exists on the down face stream of the dam," Hand said.

Unfortunately, Mother Nature threw them a curve ball.

"Over 15 inches of precipitation this July and August...set us back just a little bit but we've regained some of the float in our schedule," Hand said.

All of that water is being drained into the Codorous Creek. They're planning on it being all but empty by mid-September. They said construction will last 45 days, then Mother Nature will take care of filling it back up.

Water Street will close on September 4th where it crosses over the dam. It will remain closed until the project is complete. The entire cost of the project is an estimated 7 million dollars.