Lake Williams Dam Construction to Start April 4 York, Pennsylvania:

JT Hand, President & CEO of The York Water Company announces that demolition and construction activities on the Company’s Lake Williams Dam are expected to start on or after April 4 and continue through most of 2023. Most of the work in 2022 will consist of demolition of the existing dam with some reconstruction work starting later in the year. Four public meetings have been held about the project in Jacobus and York Township in recent months and the Company has appreciated the public’s engagement and discourse. 

Specifically, this year’s project goals are to remove the existing bridge, dismantle and remove the existing spillway, and abandon the control works adjacent to the dam on the vacated section of Water Street. The current construction schedule has the new dam in service no later than November 30, 2023, which creates a robust construction sequence.

“The project is needed for a number of reasons, most importantly being compliance with current dam design standards,” said Steve Metzler, York Water Company Senior Engineering Project Manager. “The existing earthen dam, built in 1912, does not meet 21st Century engineering design, public safety, and flow capacity standards. An example is the existing spillway, which is used to release water from the reservoir, was built on fill material, as was commonly done during that era. The new spillway will be built on solid rock and incorporate modern engineering design and construction techniques to last for another 100+ years.”

York Water understands that construction will interrupt water recreation and trails around the perimeter of Lake Williams. In partnership with York County Parks, the Company will construct a new 0.25-mile-long interconnecting trail between Trail 2 and Trail 4. The trail is expected to be open after a construction permit from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection is received for the stream crossing. York Water asks visitors to Lake Williams to stay on the trail network and avoid designated construction zones.

In preparation for demolition activities, Lake Williams is now mostly empty of water. York Water recognizes this condition will impact boating and fishing for the next two summer seasons. However, it is imperative that the public stay out of the lakebed and other hazardous areas. Anyone trespassing on these posted private property construction locations can be cited by the York County Department of Parks and Recreation Rangers. The public is reminded that entering the lakebed is both a safety hazard and environmental threat; previous trespassers have required emergency rescue services and caused habitat disruptions of any remaining endangered and sensitive species.

The York Water Company plans to plant evergreen and hardwood seedlings in disturbed areas that were previously timbered for the construction. Harvested trees were reused to make erosion control features and other wood forest products. In addition, a number of the larger hardwood logs were donated to the Horn Farm Center for Agricultural Education for its rebuilding project. The York Water Company impounds, purifies, and distributes water, as well as collects, conveys, and treats wastewater to preserve local water quality. The Company’s operations cover 51 municipalities within York, Adams, and Franklin Counties, Pennsylvania. The Company is regulated by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, or PPUC, in the areas of billing, payment procedures, dispute processing, terminations, service territory, and rate setting. For more information about the dam project, visit:  https://www.yorkwater.com/lake-williams-dam-project/.