Finally, dam construction starts in York County

SPRINGFIELD TOWNSHIP, YORK COUNTY, Pa. -- Long-awaited construction on Lake William's dam in York County has finally started.

Crews drained the lake last July to make some upgrades and improvements on it.

They were supposed to be finished last fall.

The big problem? Rain.

Crews just couldn't get the lake's water levels low enough.

A spokesman for York Water Company says what should've taken just 90 days took months, instead.

If you're really quiet, you'll hear the birds, but that's about it right now at Lake Williams in Springfield Township.

There are no kayakers and certainly no fishermen at the lake that's been around since 1912.

"It's kind of depressing," said Kay. A. Bentzel of Jacobus.

The lake has been pretty much drained for months.

It's not what neighbors, like Bentzel, are used to seeing this time of year.

"Gosh, they'd be out in kayaks and paddle boards by now. It's just... some people are walking the trails with the dogs. It's just kind of... the water is what attracts people," explained Bentzel.

Water is also what delayed construction on the dam.

York Water Company is installing a new valve to keep with the Department of Environmental Protection's Standard, according to spokesman J.T. Hand.

Hand says last November created a wet problem for crews hoping to start the work.

"It had been anticipated we'd finish this project in about 90 days - that was the goal. By Thanksgiving, we'd have this project complete. Unfortunately, the precipitation did not cooperate. We've really had some challenges dealing with the rain this year," explained Hand.

He calls it the wettest November on record, and no way for crews to get started.

A little about Lake Williams: Hand says, when full, it's holds 50 percent of the community's drinking water supply.

It holds about 1 billion — yes — billion pounds of water.

Hand says Lake Redman holds the other half.

"What would you say to those people who are at home, 'I really want to be out there right now! Why are they taking so long?' How would you address that?" asked FOX43's Grace Griffaton.

"Lake Redman is open. Lake Redman is open and how fortunate are we in this community that you have not one, but two reservoirs to recreate... Two!" responded Hand. "And at no cost to the visiting public."

Hand says he is hopeful, but is treading lightly, that work will be done on the dam in 30 days.

Then, he says all the rain in the world is welcome to fill Lake Williams.

In the meantime, people could and have faced hefty fines for trespassing where signs are posted.

People can still visit the lake, picnic and walk the trails.

 

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