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Types of Drainage Systems

Updated April 17, 2017

Drainage systems are vital for ensuring proper agricultural health. These drainage systems prevent soil from getting clogged through excessive water retention or flooding. These drainage systems are fitted with piping networks which lead to disposal or treatment plants.

Surface Drainage

Surface Drainage is one type of drainage system which requires the land owner to smooth the land and cut ditches parallel to one another. These shallow ditches act as drains or furrows that channel the run-off water to main drains. According to soil types and the local water table, some of the water would seep into the land. Surface drainage is essential in flat regions because of the gentle gradients. The surface drains directs the flow of water to rivers or nearby wider channels.

Subsurface Drainage

Subsurface Drainage goes beneath the top covering and drains water from water-clogged soil from the root level. As such, you have to construct deep ditches and install underground piping to drain out the water that poses a risk to proper soil aeration and plant respiration. These subsurface drains require a larger collector drain. You also need a pump to push the water through the drainage lines to rivers and sumps. Sumps are low-lying areas and pits. Land slopes and land forms such as hills or rocks are factors that determine the position and success of the subsurface drainage.

Secondary Drainage

Secondary drainage gives you an advantage by allowing faster and more efficient run-off and disposal. You implement secondary drainage practices by using other types of soils and plants which have higher retention rates and, as a result, lower the water table. For example, using deep-rooted trees, gravel slits and deep concrete drains water will run off more quickly. When fully utilised, these methods enhance effective drainage of water-saturated soils.

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About the Author

Annmicha Blugh has done extensive work for four years in the research and composition of several articles and papers in alignment with diverse themes. Working for Morgan State University "Spokesman" paper has opened the door to journalism and freelance writing. She is qualified with a Bachelor of Arts in English language and literature.