In recent months, there have been inquiries about the water level in the reservoir. In accordance with the engineer’s design, the water surface must remain at or below elevation 360 feet for the duration of embankment construction. Currently, the reservoir is about 8 feet below this level, at approximate elevation 352, due to releases for water supply demands this past summer.

The NJWSA intends to begin pumping the reservoir back to elevation 360 in late winter and/or spring 2023. Pumping to refill the reservoir above elevation 360 (full pool is approximately elevation 385) may only begin after embankment construction at the South Dam is substantially complete. Please be advised that pumping schedules may vary, as the ability to pump water is dependent upon river flow conditions.

The Contractor’s current schedule anticipates substantial completion of the project in fall 2023. Work required to reopen County Road 629 is currently underway (Contractor’s target date to reopen the road is Nov. 15, 2022). This includes reinstallation of security fencing, gates, guiderails, and signage, as well as repair of the roadway’s asphalt pavement.

Major earthwork, including placement of drainage material (filter sand & stone) and backfill, is complete at both the North Dam (dam facing Lebanon Borough) and the Dike (dam crossed by CR629). Restoration work is ongoing at these two sites.

At the Dike, current remaining restoration work is comprised of finishing touches and “punch-list” items, such as touching-up grassed areas. At the North Dam, extensive restoration work is ongoing. In recent weeks, workers have reinstalled the rock slope protection on the dam’s upstream side, placed topsoil, grass seed, and erosion control matting, and installed instrumentation. Current and upcoming work includes final grading and paving of access roads, establishing grass in all disturbed areas, and reforestation of areas that were previously cleared to create staging and stockpile locations. About 2,940 trees in total will be planted at the North Dam reforestation area. The table below shows the different species that have been selected:

Round Valley North Dam – Fall 2022 Planting Schedule

Scientific Name Common Name
Acer negundo Box Elder
Betula lenta Sweet Birch
Carya glabra Pignut Hickory
Carya ovata Shagbark Hickory
Carya tomentosa Mockernut Hickory
Juniperus virginiana Eastern Red Cedar
Liriodendron tulipifera Tulip Poplar
Nyssa sylvatica Black Gum
Prunus serotina Black Cherry
Quercus alba White Oak
Quercus montana (prinus) Chestnut Oak
Quercus palustris Pin Oak
Quercus rubra Northern Red Oak
Sassafras albidium Sassafras

Major earthwork at the South Dam (dam facing Molasses Hill Road) is ongoing and will continue for as long as weather conditions permit before any potential winter shutdown. Current work includes placing drainage materials and backfill, setting manholes, and installing drainpipe.

Drill rig for the installation of piezometer wells at the North Dam. Piezometers comprise part of the instrumentation system used to monitor the health of the embankment (taken 9/14/22)

Erosion control matting and emerging grass on the slope of the North Dam (taken 10/25/22)

Workers install high density polyethylene drainage pipe at the South Dam. Sections of pipe are joined together using an electrofusion unit and special fittings (taken 10/14/22)

Earthmoving equipment on the slope of the South Dam (taken 10/21/22)

General view of the Dike (taken 11/01/22)