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Location, spacing and alignment

Drain ditches should be located in a way to provide the most effective drainage and to cause the least interference with irrigation system and farm operations. These serve as outlet for surface runoff frond rainfall, as outlet for excess irrigation water, or as disposal ditches for pipe drains. They may be located parallel to canal embankments to collect seepage water. For controlling water table they may be installed parallel and at regular intervals with the same depth and spacing as pipe drains. Ditches should be normally close to the low point depression. Crossing with irrigation watercourses should be avoided. Grade control and crossing structures should be minimized.

Patterns

Two main types of surface drainage patterns are random and parallel. Each includes lateral ditches that permit water to flow from drainage system to a suitable outlet. The chosen pattern depends upon the soil type and topography of the land.

Random

The random ditch pattern is practiced to slowly permeable soils having depression areas that are too large to be eliminated by land smoothing or grading (Figure 3). Soil from the ditches can be used to fill minor low spots in the field. Field ditches should extend through most of the depressions for complete drainage, and they should follow the natural slope of the land.

Random drain system

Figure 3 : Random drain system.

Field ditches connect the major low spots and remove excess surface water from them. They are generally shallow enough to permit frequent crossing by farm machinery

 
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