You Need More Than a Plumber's Helper

by Glen D. Sanders, USBR, Drainage Branch, Billings, MT, USA,
Thos. J. Crooks, USBR, Drainage Branch, Billings, MT, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Development and Management Aspects of Irrigation and Drainage Systems


Maintenance of subsurface drains may be the least understood and most neglected of all maintenance activities carried out by irrigation districts. Few irrigation districts have a maintenance budget for subsurface drains and even fewer have a regularly scheduled program. This is due in part to the out-of-sight, out-of-mind syndrome and in part to a lack of understanding of what could and should be done. The various drainage problems described in this paper lead to inadequate watertable drawdown. The net result of this situation is a decrease in farm productivity and profits, and an increase in farming difficulties. Practical and effective methods of subsurface drain inspection and maintenance have been developed but often are not widely publicized. This paper is based on experience and contains a brief discussion of problems analysis and detection; and maintenance: methods, techniques, and equipment.

Subject Headings: Plumbing | Agriculture | Pipelines | Pipe joints | Subsurface drainage | Budgets | Scheduling | Drawdown (hydrology)

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