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United States Department of Agriculture
Natural Resources Conservation Service

2118 W. Park Court, Champaign, IL 61821
Phone: 217/353-6600 Fax: 217/353-6676 Website:

DATE: March 18, 2013

SUBJECT:  ENG – National Engineering Handbook (NEH), Part 650, Engineering Field Handbook (EFH)

Purpose:  To announce updates of national EFH Chapters 7 & 9, and release new Illinois supplements for these chapters on grassed waterways and diversions.

Expiration Date:  Upon receipt

Explanation: The national EFH has been updated with Chapter 7, Grassed Waterways, and Chapter 9, Diversions. Both of these chapters present the tractive stress design method instead of the previously used velocity design method. For Illinois conditions, the velocity design method has been shown to be equivalent to the tractive stress design method. This notice releases Illinois NRCS supplements enabling continued use of the velocity design method for grassed waterways and diversions.

The Illinois minimum standard waterway design is updated with this notice to include multiple options for waterway size and design vegetal retardance for each Zone in the state.

This notice also includes guidance for use of erosion control blankets with grassed waterways.

All previously existing Illinois supplements to EFH Chapter 7 are withdrawn and replaced with the new supplements released with this notice. The Illinois NRCS Engineering website will be updated with these changes at

Filing Instructions: Holders of hardcopy Illinois Engineering Drawing binders should:
  1. Archive EFH Chapters 7 and 9.
  2. Archive IL EFH supplements 7-42.1 to 7-42.14, 7-45 to 7-46, and 7-48 to 7-50.
  3. Print out the current national EFH chapters 7 and 9, located on the eDirectives website under Handbooks e 210 Engineering e National Engineering Handbook e Part 650:
  4. Print out the attached supplements on green paper and file in the EFH Chapter 7 directly after the EFH page of the same number:
  1. IL EFH supplement IL650.0703 (c), page IL 7-6(1) through IL 7-6(9)
  2. IL EFH supplement IL650.0704(a), pages IL 7-14(1) through IL 7-14(5)
  3. IL EFH supplement IL650.0705(g), page IL 7-22(1)
  4. IL EFH supplement IL650.0903(a), page IL 9-8(1)
  1. Print out the attached table of contents and file at the beginning of the EFH, replacing the existing table of contents.

Questions regarding this submittal should be directed to the Area Engineer.


Ivan Dozier
State Conservationist

DIST: All IL NRCS Employees
All IL SWCD Employees


This attachment requires  Adobe Acrobat Reader to view: 
EFH60SignedIDozier.pdf  [PDF, 128kb]

Chapter 7 - Erosion Control Blanket
3-15-13_Ch7_EFHsupplement_ECB.pdf [PDF, 11kb]

Chapter 7 - Minimum Standard Design
3-15-13_Ch7_EHFsupplement_MinStdDesign.pdf [PDF, 135]

Chapter 7 - Velocity Design Method
3-15-13_Ch7_EFHsupplement_VelocityDesign.pdf [PDF, 1,750kb]

Chapter 9 - Velocity Design Method
3-15-13_Ch9_EFHsupplement_VelocityDesign.pdf [PDF, 11kb]

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