History of the installation :
At the end of the 1870 war, a ministerial decision of 1871 prescribed the study of a new waterway (Vosges canal) which, starting from the Marne au Rhin canal, would go through to the upper part of the Saône.
Several projects for its supply were developed. One foresaw the lifting of the level of the Gérardmer, Longemer and Retournemer lakes by several metres, via the Vologne then the Moselle, to supply the summit reach.
The idea selected was to dam the Avière valley to produce a reservoir fed by a supply channel of 44 kilometres, whose origin is in Remiremont. The final project was presented on 28 November 1876. The reservoir covered an area of 128 hectares and its capacity was 7,073,000 m³.
Work started in 1878 and was completed in 1880. The first filling took place in November 1881, but given that it was performed using only the Avière, the water level rose very slowly.
The main dyke failed on 27 April 1895 (87 deaths) and was re-built in 1930.
Installation characteristics :
Waterway: Vosges canal (ex East canal, south branch)
Reach: Summit reach No. 1
Territorial subdivision: Epinal
Type: Gravity dam
Construction company: Mayoux and Defruides of Epinal
Construction: 1878 to 1884
Filled with water: 1884
Dyke failure: Catastrophe of 27 April 1895 at 5:00 a.m., resulting in 87 deaths.
Reconstruction: 1930 to 1938
Re-filled with water: 1939
Operating volume: from 800,000 to 7,100,000 m3
Area of reservoir: from 1.270 to 1.400 km²
Dyke crest length: 520 m
Dyke height: 23.40 m above foundations
Dyke crest width: 6.00 m
Maximum width at level of natural terrain: 46.00 m
Upstream facing angle: 1/1
Crest altitude: 372.75
Type of rocks and ground: Mottled sandstone
Dam body volume: 221,560 m3 (of which: 66,000 m3 of masonry, 1,960 m3 concrete and 153,600 m3 of rockfill)
X centroid of reservoir = 899,059.3 (Lambert II cartography coordinates)
Y centroid of reservoir = 2,358,839.6 (Lambert II cartography coordinates)