image description

Reservoir Impoundment

A critical step on the path to first power from the Muskrat Falls generating facility was the creation of the reservoir (impoundment). The reservoir is the area upstream of the Muskrat Falls facility – it extends 59km upstream of the facility to Gull Island. With the completion of impoundment in September 2019, we are now maintaining the reservoir level in its normal operating range of 38.5 – 39.0 metres.

As work continues on the installation and commissioning of the turbines and generators in the powerhouse, the river will continue to flow through the Spillway. 

Important Public Safety Information

Your safety is our priority
As a number of hazards exist in and around the reservoir, we advise people to avoid the Muskrat Falls reservoir downstream of the Gull Island site. Conditions in the river and along the banks are constantly changing and can change rapidly.

Please pay attention to safety signage
There are a number of safety hazards near the Muskrat Falls facility. We have placed signs to warn river users of these hazards. It is important for river users to always stay away from the facility as there is a strong water force upstream and downstream of the spillway.

For your safety: 

  • Avoid waterways upstream and downstream of generating facility. Water levels and force can change quickly.
  • Stay away from generating facility structures as there is a strong water force upstream and downstream of the Spillway.
  • Obey all danger and warning signs and stay a safe distance from the safety boom.
  • Be aware of potential hazards, such as trees sticking out of the water, floating logs and sandbars.
  • Stay back from the river’s edge and banks along the reservoir. Slumping and slides can occur as these are regular events on the lower Churchill River. These areas may also slippery.

North Spur Portage Route
The North Spur portage trail is now open.  Please look for signage and directional arrows to guide you safely over the portage trail. 

Monitoring the Performance of Our Facility

The Muskrat Falls generating facility has been built to the highest standards of dam safety and construction and the facility is monitored and constructed to meet Canadian Dam Association Dam Guidelines.

We have a comprehensive Dam Safety Program for Muskrat Falls developed by SNC-Lavalin. Our dam safety monitoring is designed to assess the force/pressure of the water from the reservoir on permanent structures of the Muskrat Falls facility including the South Dam, Powerhouse, Spillway, North Dam, North Spur and three Transition Dams.

Our dam safety team uses a combination of manual and automated processes to frequently monitor the generation facilities to confirm that the structures are performing as designed. Our trained staff frequently walks around the structures inspecting, observing and recording their behaviour. They also travel by helicopter to survey the entire reservoir area. Automated monitoring includes observing and analysing a variety of instruments that measure and record such things as water pressure and seepage, structure movement, water level and temperature. The image below lists the instruments installed for the generation structures and the conditions they monitor.

Throughout impoundment, we issued weekly updates to stakeholders. This included information about water levels and our dam safety monitoring reports. For an overview of our Dam Safety Monitoring Program, please click here.

Dam Safety Monitoring Reports During Impoundment