Site Preparation Work to Begin
The New Jersey Water Supply Authority has entered into a contract with the Engineer of Record for the project, Schnabel Engineering. Schnabel is a national leader in engineering with highly specialized experience in analysis, design, and construction support for the rehabilitation of existing structures. As Engineer of Record, Schnabel will be responsible for the design and quality assurance aspects of the project. The design phase of the project is beginning immediately. The Authority anticipates that the major construction work on the project will begin in 2018, with certain parts of the project potentially beginning in 2017.
The Authority previously procured and has retained a separate engineering firm, Gannett Fleming, to act in the capacity of Owner’s Engineer during the project. Gannett Fleming is a global infrastructure firm with more than 100 years of experience in planning, design, technology, and construction management services. Gannett Fleming has been involved with the project since its beginning phases in 2014. In the capacity of Owner’s Engineer, they will oversee design and construction, consult with Authority Engineering Staff, and act as an additional layer of Quality Control / Quality Assurance during the design and construction phases of the project.
Additional details about the project will be posted on this page as they are available.
Note about Round Valley Reservoir Water Levels
The level of Round Valley Reservoir is currently lower than is typical due to drought conditions and the need for use of its water. The significant rainfall deficiencies in New Jersey in 2016 required the Authority to release more water than usual to maintain the required minimum flow rates in the South Branch and Main Stem of the Raritan River, while also providing the amount needed to serve 1.8 million residents of central New Jersey. The summer and fall of 2016 were dry and although precipitation rates increased over the winter, a rainfall deficiency within central New Jersey still exists. It is the Authority’s goal to release as little as possible.
The Authority began pumping operations to add water to Round Valley Reservoir in December 2016. It’s currently anticipated that pumping will be ongoing into June, although the Authority’s ability to pump water into Round Valley is dependent on sufficient water levels in the South Branch of the Raritan River. Water levels in the South Branch are almost entirely dependent on precipitation, so the Authority’s ability to pump is also dependent on precipitation. This pumping will not replenish the reservoir to full capacity in the near future, but will increase the level of the reservoir.
Once the visible work of the Round Valley Reservoir Structures Refurbishment and Resource Preservation Project is underway, it is possible that the water level in the reservoir will be lowered for construction purposes. The point to which Round Valley reservoir needs to be lowered for the project has not yet been determined. That level will eventually be determined by the Engineer of Record. Planning and design work for the project is currently underway and the Authority anticipates the visible construction work on the project to begin in 2018.
If additional lowering of the Reservoir level is required for the project (and not for water supply demand or river passing flow requirements) it will be closely coordinated under the supervision of the NJDEP’s Division of Water Supply and Geoscience as well as the NJDEP’s Bureau of Dam Safety. The NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife, who manages the fishery at the Reservoir and the NJDEP State Park Service, who manages the other recreational aspects, will also be kept informed as to anticipated Reservoir levels.