Extension Logo
Extension Logo
University of Minnesota Extension
https://extension.umn.edu

How agricultural drainage works

The growing use of artificial subsurface or tile drainage in Minnesota has sparked much debate about its impact on local hydrology and water quantity and quality. On this webpage, we:

  • Explain how subsurface drainage affects soil water and the water balance.

  • Describe how water balance relates to the crop-soil system and drainage.

  • Address several commonly asked questions about drainage, soil water and hydrology.

Understanding drainage

Agricultural drainage is using surface ditches, subsurface permeable pipes or both to remove standing or excess water from poorly drained lands. 

 | 

Key concepts: How drainage influences the soil’s water balance

 | 

Gary R. Sands, Extension engineer

Reviewed in 2018

Share this page:

© 2018 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer.