SHAMOKIN - Aqua Pennsylvania, Inc. (Aqua) announced Friday it has plans to make $17 million of water improvements throughout its Roaring Creek operating division.

Aqua's planned improvements include more than $13 million for main replacements and service lines and $4 million for improvements to treatment facilities and booster pumping stations.

Local projects are:

- The replacement of 4,900 feet of 6-inch cast iron pipe with 8-inch ductile iron pipe in Locust Gap along Main, Church, First, Second, Third and Melrose streets. This project has already started. Final paving is scheduled between August and September.

- The replacement of 3,800 feet of 4-inch cast iron pipe with 8-inch ductile iron pipe in Wilburton, Columbia County, along Amy Avenue and First, Second, Front and Smith streets; expected to start July 7 and end in late August.

- The replacement of 4,200 feet of 6-inch PVC pipe with 8-inch ductile iron pipe in Natalie along State Route 54 and North School, High and Center streets; expected to begin in late January and end by late October 2015.

This year's program comes on the heels of the company's 2013 capital program, which included $16.2 million of similar improvements.

The types of investment the company is making are consistent with those cited by the Environmental Protection Agency, which estimates a 20-year capital investment of $384 billion is needed for public water system repairs and replacement of transmission pipes, storage and treatment equipment, and other projects required to protect public health.

Aqua's Roaring Creek Division provides water service to about 60,000 people throughout its service territory, which spans parts of Adams, Columbia, Cumberland, Juniata, Northumberland, Schuylkill and Snyder counties. Overall, the company serves approximately 1.4 million people in 31 counties throughout Pennsylvania.