RBR Dam and Lake O&M

PROJECT NAME AND STATE:  Richard B. Russell Dam and Lake, GA

AUTHORIZATION:   Flood Control Act of 1966; Water Resources Development Act of 1986



Allocation for FY 2020


Allocation for FY 2021


Allocation for FY 2022


Supplemental Funds (IIJA) for 2022 $4,502,000

President's Budget for FY 2023


Supplemental Funds (IIJA) for 2023 $1,711,000


LOCATION AND DESCRIPTION:  Richard B. Russell Dam and Lake, completed in 1985, is located on the Savannah River, near Calhoun Falls, SC. The project provides hydropower, flood risk management, recreation, fish and wildlife management, water quality and water supply benefits. The project’s 24,390 acres of land, 26,650 acres of water and 540 miles of shoreline are situated in four counties and two states: Georgia and South Carolina. Richard B. Russell is a Public Law 89-72 project therefore the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and South Carolina Parks, Recreation, and Tourism operate and maintain most of the recreation areas under cost share and lease agreements.   

ACTIVITIES FOR FY2022:  Perform routine O&M for the multi-purpose project. Replace the waterline serving the hydropower plant and the Project Manager’s office. A periodic assessment finding to flush the foundation drains in the dam will be performed. Complete installation of a new power plant roof. Begin the design-build process to replace aged and failing lines for the Richard B. Russell oxygenation system and solicit a contract to replace fish deterrent system lights below the dam. 

ACTIVITIES FOR FY2023Perform routine O&M for the multi-purpose project. Concrete piers on the dam will be inspected to determine levels of reinforcement. Conduct dam safety training. Prepare a routine deformation survey of the dam and upgrade water control manual. Install a fire suppression system in the dam’s emergency generator room. Replace and upgrade piezometers in the dam. Repair 3,400’ of rip-rap in the tailrace of the dam. 

ISSUES AND OTHER INFORMATION:  Richard B. Russell is one of only two major hydropower projects in the Corps with pump-back capabilities and has extensive environmental features adding to operational and maintenance requirements. Two oxygenation systems are required allowing the plant to operate all pump-back units. The Richard B. Russell Power Plant produced 506,432 megawatt hours in FY 2021 and returned $27.8M to the United States Treasury. The project served 670K visitors in FY 2021 resulting in $28M in visitor spending within 30 miles of project. The project supplied 3 communities with water. The project prevented an estimated $77M in cumulative flood damages from 1985 to date.   

ADMINISTRATION POSITION:  Project is consistent with current Administration policy.

ACTION OFFICER:  Michael C. Chirpich                                 31 March 2022