Reclamation Design Standards

Reclamation Design Standards establish Reclamation technical requirements and processes to enable preparation of designs, documents, and reports necessary to manage, develop, and protect water and related resources in an environmentally and economically sound manner in the interest of the American public.  Reclamation design activities, whether performed by Reclamation or by a non-Reclamation entity, must be performed in accordance with Reclamation design criteria and standards.  Deviations from Reclamation criteria and standards shall be submitted in accordance with Reclamation Manual Directive and Standard, "Design Activities," FAC 03-03.  The use of Reclamation design criteria and standards outside of Reclamation is entirely voluntary. 

Users should integrate sound engineering judgment, applicable national codes and design standards, site-specific technical considerations, and project-specific considerations to ensure suitable designs are produced that protect the public's investment and safety.  Reference to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise does not constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by Reclamation.  Reclamation Design Standards may not be used for advertising or promotional purposes and are not to be construed as an endorsement of any product by Reclamation.

Reclamation Design Standards are currently being updated.  Updated (Final) Reclamation Design Standard chapters may be downloaded below.  Updates to chapters designated as “Not in Progress” have not begun.  Updates to chapters designated as “In Progress” have begun and final versions will be posted below when ready.  If you would like to participate in the public review of draft Reclamation Design Standards chapters, please contact Richard (Dick) LaFond at rlafond@usbr.gov.


Final Reclamation Design Standards

Title, Date Download
Design Standards No. 1:  General Design Standards (September 2009; updated May 2012)  

Chapter 1:  Preparing and Using Design Standards

Chapter 2:  Design Standards Index

(682 KB .pdf File)

Design Standards No. 3:  Water Conveyance Facilities, Fish Facilities, and Roads and Bridges  

Chapter 4:  Tunnels, Shafts, and Caverns (April 2014)

(2.3 MB .pdf File)

Design Standards No. 4:  Electrical Infrastructure – Plants and Switchyards  

Chapter 3:  Plant Machine-Voltage Equipment (December 2015)

(743 KB .pdf File)

Design Standards No. 6:  Hydraulic and Mechanical Equipment  

Chapter 6:  Bulkhead Gates and Stoplogs (January 2018)

Chapter 11:  Heating, Ventilation, and Air-Conditioning Systems (August 2013)

Chapter 12:  Trashracks and Trashrack Cleaning Devices (December 2016)

Chapter 14:  Auxiliary Mechanical Systems (December 2016)

Chapter 16:  Machine Shop Equipment (December 2016)

Chapter 18:  Engine-Generator Sets (August 2017)

(1.5 MB .pdf File)

(1.8 MB .pdf File)

(1.3 MB .pdf File)

(572 KB .pdf File)

(514 KB .pdf File)

(582 KB .pdf File)

Design Standards No. 9:  Buildings and Other Structures  

Chapter 8:  Modification of Existing Buildings (January 2012)

Chapter 13:  Seismic Design (October 2012)

(337 KB .pdf File)

(613 KB .pdf File)

Design Standards No. 12:  Plant Testing  

Chapter 1:  Synchronous Generator, Motor, and Generator/Motor Field Tests (August 2018)

(3.0 MB .pdf File)

Design Standards No. 13:  Embankment Dam  

Chapter 1:  General Design Standards (October 2011)

Chapter 2:  Embankment Design (December 2012)

Chapter 3:  Foundation Surface Treatment (July 2012)

Chapter 4:  Static Stability Analysis (October 2011)

Chapter 5:  Protective Filters (November 2011)

Chapter 6:  Freeboard (September 2012)

Chapter 7:  Riprap Slope Protection (May 2014)

Chapter 8:  Seepage (January 2014)

Chapter 9:  Static Deformation Analysis (November 2011)

Chapter 10:  Embankment Construction (May 2012)

Chapter 11:  Instrumentation and Monitoring (March 2014)

Chapter 12:  Foundation and Earth Materials Investigation (July 2012)

Chapter 13:  Seismic Analysis and Design (May 2015)

Chapter 15:  Foundation Grouting (September 2014)

Chapter 16:  Cutoff Walls (July 2014)

Chapter 17:  Soil-Cement Slope Protection (August 2013)

Chapter 19:  Geotextiles (June 2014)

Chapter 20:  Geomembranes (March 2014)

Chapter 21:  Water Removal and Control:  Dewatering and Unwatering Systems (September 2014)

(2.7 MB .pdf File)

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(737 KB .pdf File)

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(4.3 MB .pdf File)

(4.7 MB .pdf File)

(7.8 MB .pdf File)

(4.1 MB .pdf File)

(8.0 MB .pdf File)

Design Standards No. 14:  Appurtenant Structures for Dams (Spillways and Outlet Works)  

Chapter 1:  Introduction (November 2010; updated October 2011)

Chapter 2:  Hydrologic Considerations (November 2013)

Chapter 3:  General Spillway Design Considerations (August 2014)

(2.2 MB .pdf File)

(3.6 MB .pdf File)

(12.2 MB .pdf File)

In Progress and Not in Progress Reclamation Design Standards

Title Status
Design Standards No. 1:  General Design Standards

Chapter 3, Safety Design Standards

Not Used
Design Standards No. 2:  Concrete Dams

Chapter 1, Introduction

Chapter 2, Design Considerations

Chapter 3, Structural Analysis

Chapter 4, Foundation Investigations, Excavation, Treatment, Grouting, and
Foundation Stability Analysis

In Progress

In Progress

Not in Progress

Not in Progress

Design Standards No. 3:  Water Conveyance Facilities, Fish Facilities, and Roads and Bridges

Chapter 1, Open Channels

Chapter 2, Canal Structures and Canal Automation

Chapter 3, Diversion Dams and Headworks

Chapter 5, Fish Facilities

Chapter 6, Water Measurement

Chapter 7, Cross Drainage

Chapter 8, Pipelines and Pipe Distribution Systems

Chapter 9, Bridges and Roads

Chapter 10, ?

Chapter 11, General Hydraulic Considerations

Chapter 12, General Structural Considerations

Chapter 13, Safety Standards for Water Conveyance and Fish Facilities

In Progress

In Progress

In Progress

Not in Progress

Not in Progress

In Progress

In Progress

Not in Progress

Not Used

Not Used

In Progress

Not in Progress

Design Standards No. 4:  Electrical Infrastructure - Plants and Switchyards

Chapter 1, General Considerations for Power, Pumping, and Pumped-Storage Plants

Chapter 2, Electrical Rotating Machinery

Chapter 4, ?

Chapter 5, Switchyards and Substations

Chapter 6, Powerplant Control and Station Service Equipment

Chapter 7, ?

Chapter 8, ?

Chapter 9, Grounding Methods

Chapter 10, ?

In Progress

In Progress

Not Used

In Progress

In Progress

Not Used

Not Used

Not in Progress

Not Used

Design Standards No. 5:  Field Installation Procedures

Chapter 1, ?

Chapter 2, Electrical Standards for Equipment Installation

Chapter 3, ?

Not Used

In Progress

Not Used

Design Standards No. 6:  Hydraulic and Mechanical Equipment

Chapter 1, Hydraulic Turbines

Chapter 2, Pump-Turbines

Chapter 3, Large Pumps (Monograph 40)

Chapter 4, Steel Pipe

Chapter 5, Gates

Chapter 7, Valves

Chapter 8, Commercial Pumps

Chapter 9, Hydraulic Turbine and Pump-Turbine Governors

Chapter 10, Fish Handling Equipment

Chapter 13, Elevators

Chapter 15, Auxiliary Equipment

Chapter 17, Tanks

Chapter 19, De-icing Systems

In Progress

Not in Progress

Not in Progress

Not in Progress

Not in Progress

Not in Progress

Not in Progress

Not in Progress

Not in Progress

Not in Progress

In Progress

Not in Progress

In Progress

Design Standards No. 7:  Valves, Gates, and Steel Conduits

Design Standards No. 8:  Miscellaneous Mechanical Equipment

Design Standards No. 9:  Buildings and Other Structures

Not Used

Not Used

See Below:

Chapter 1, General Structural Design Procedures and Standards

Chapter 2, Structural Design Data and Criteria

Chapter 3, Concrete Design and Details

Chapter 4, Steel Design and Details

Chapter 5, Architectural Design

Chapter 6, Timber Design Criteria

Chapter 7, Masonry Design Criteria

Chapter 9, Instrumentation and Monitoring

Chapter 10, Plant Structure Type

Chapter 11, Special Structural Materials

Chapter 12, Site Design

Chapter 14, Accessibility Design

Chapter 15, Design for Life Safety

Chapter 16, Security Assessment and Design Criteria for Buildings

Chapter 17, Special Structures

Chapter 18, Sustainable Design

In Progress

Not in Progress

Not in Progress

Not in Progress

Not in Progress

Not in Progress

Not in Progress

Not in Progress

In Progress

Not in Progress

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Not in Progress

Design Standards No. 10:  Transmission Structures

Chapter 1, Steel Design and Details

Chapter 2, Concrete Footings Design

Chapter 3, Oil Spill Containment

Chapter 4, Example Drawings - Steel Substation Structures

Not in Progress

Not in Progress

Not in Progress

Not in Progress

Design Standards No. 11:  ?

Design Standards No. 12:  Plant Testing

Not Used

See Below:

Chapter 1, ASME PTC-18, Performance Test Code for Hydraulic Turbines and Pump-Turbines

Chapter 2, Field Generator, Motor, and Generator/Motor Tests

Chapter 3, NFPA 12 - Carbon Dioxide Fire Extinguishing Systems

Not Used

In Progress

Not Used

Design Standards No. 13:  Embankment Dams

Chapter 14, Decision Analysis

Chapter 18, Drawing Standards

Chapter 22, Seismic Loading

Chapter 23, Chapter Coordination and Reviews

Not Used

Not Used

In Progress

Not in Progress

Design Standards No. 14:  Appurtenant Structures for Dams

Chapter 4, General Outlet Works and Design Considerations

Chapter 5, Hydraulic Considerations for Spillways and Outlet Works

Chapter 6, Structural Considerations for Spillways and Outlet Works

Chapter 7, Mechanical and Electrical Consideration for Spillways and Outlet Works

In Progress

In Progress

Not in Progress

Not in Progress


Last Updated: 10/11/18