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Construction on Lake Williams: Where do things stand now?

It’s a much different scene than the last time FOX 43 was here. “Which I think was back in August of 2018,” JT Hand, COO of The York Water Com...

It's a much different scene than the last time FOX 43 was here.

"Which I think was back in August of 2018," JT Hand, COO of The York Water Company, said. "We probably stood in the bottom of the Lake. Lake Williams was empty. We were getting ready for phase one of the Lake Williams dam project."

Phase one involved draining the lake, to install an upstream valve on the outlet pipe for the dam. That's done. The lake is now full with 2.4 billion gallons of water in storage, thanks to mother nature. Before The York Water Company can move on to phase two, they have to play the waiting game.

"What we're waiting for is a response from DEP Dam Safety division on reviewing the permit in order to do the actual work in the spillway itself," Hand said.

Phase two involves replacing the spillway, which is where water is released. The only problem is that Lake Williams is full again

"It's both fortunate and unfortunate that the lake is full," Hand said. "Fortunately it's full which means here is plenty of water in storage. Unfortunately, in order to move forward with phase two of the project, we are going to draw Lake Williams back down again. Although, instead of emptying Lake Williams we're only going to draw it down 20 feet."

There's nothing wrong with the dam currently, all of this work is to maintain it's integrity, and keep up with dam safety regulations, which have changed since 1912 when the dam was first built.

The York Water Company said not one person has been without water throughout this entire process. The only impact has been the closure of the Water Street Bridge, which will remain closed, until the project is finished.

Phase two should be completed by June. Phase three, which is the actual armoring of the dam, won't begin until the fall.

The entire project is expected to be complete by the summer of 2021.

The total cost has yet to be determined but so far The York Water Company said it's more than $7 million dollars.