A foreword on the reservoir level:

Recently, there have been several inquiries about the water level in the reservoir. As noted in prior project updates, the reservoir’s water level was lowered by 25 feet below normal pool for construction. Water supply demands during 2022 resulted in reservoir levels being lowered an additional 7-8 feet below the construction pool.

The NJ Water Supply Authority is currently pumping to refill the reservoir to the construction pool elevation, with the goal of achieving that level by the start of summer. Pumping began in late February 2023, and since that time, the reservoir’s water level has risen by about 5 feet.

Pumping to refill the reservoir above the construction pool can only commence after all the embankments have been backfilled to their normal elevation.  The Contractor’s current schedule anticipates completion of this work by the end of 2023. Once pumping begins to refill the reservoir above the construction pool, it may take 1-3 years to reach normal pool again. Please note that the ability to pump is dependent upon adequate flow conditions in the river, and as such, pumping schedules may vary.

Information on the Round Valley Reservoir’s water level can be found on the NJ Water Supply Authority’s website through the Operations Report link, which is typically updated Monday to Friday.  Go to the link provided below and click on the Operations Report link.



Construction Activity:

At the end of November 2022, the Contractor entered a winter shutdown, and work from that time to the present has consisted mostly of maintenance and repairs to temporary project controls, including soil erosion and sediment control devices and dewatering measures. It is difficult to properly place and compact earth fill in the winter season because it cannot be placed when it is frozen, or when its moisture content is unsuitable for compaction.  If soil is too moist (the most common issue), it must be conditioned (dried), which is difficult to do during cooler weather.

Now that spring weather is here, the Contractor has begun ramping up their operations, meaning the public may notice a resurgence of construction activity around the reservoir. At the South Dam (dam facing Molasses Hill Rd), the Contractor is picking up where they left off last season with the major earthwork. Current and upcoming work is focused on installing a new filtered drainage system up the slope of the embankment. This includes installing slotted drainpipe and manholes, placing filter sand and stone, and backfilling with earth fill.

At the Dike (dam crossed by CR 629), work is nearly complete aside from minor punch-list items such as planting and maintenance of the embankment’s grass cover.

Restoration work at the North Dam is ongoing and includes paving of access roads as well as installation of turf reinforcement matting (TRM) and geocell.  TRM and geocells are permanent measures intended to stabilize and reinforce various areas of the embankment against erosion.  In the staging and stockpiling areas adjacent to the North Dam, the Contractor is also conducting additional grading and seeding associated with the decommissioning of temporary sediment and erosion control measures.  Last fall, reforestation planting of about 3,000 trees was completed over approximately 8 acres of the North Dam staging area.

Ongoing earthwork at the South Dam

Placement of filter materials (foreground) and earthfill (background) at the South Dam

Work at the Dike is nearly complete aside from punch-list items

Restoration is ongoing at the North Dam, including turf reinforcement matting (TRM) installation

North Dam reforestation area planted last fall