American Water subsidiary Pennsylvania American Water has announced plans for a $21 million upgrade and rehabilitation project for the Ceasetown (Pikes Creek) Dam and Reservoir in Jackson and Plymouth townships, Luzerne County.

The construction project, which is slated to begin this month, includes upgrades to improve the 105-year-old dam’s stability to comply with Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) requirements for dam safety.

"Our continued investments in the region’s water infrastructure – starting at our source and continuing through the pipes underground – demonstrate our commitment to ensure reliable water service for our customers," said Jimmy Sheridan, vice president of operations, Pennsylvania American Water. "Our engineers have worked cooperatively with DEP on several other dam rehabilitation projects, and we are incorporating DEP’s experience with our expertise for this major initiative to not only protect our water supply but also ensure the structure meets all safety standards."

The project includes rehabilitating the primary spillway and widening the auxiliary spillway; upgrading drainage systems to safely collect and convey seepage from the dam; increasing dam stability by flattening the downstream face of the dam. Construction crews began prepping the area in late February by clearing trees near the dam. The company expects construction to be completed by the end of 2018.

"The dam upgrades will improve its ability to handle severe weather events by creating additional spillway capacity," said Tyson Clouser, project manager, Pennsylvania American Water. "With these necessary upgrades, the reservoir will continue to be a reliable source of water that our customers can count on for years to come."

Ceasetown Reservoir holds approximately 2.9 billion gallons of water. It was originally constructed in 1911.