Ditches & Water Issues
1. Level a sloping yard. To avoid incoming water, the ground should always slope away from your home in all directions. Locate the high and low points of your home and use extra dirt to slope the yard away from your house. This way, melting snow and rain will flow away from your home and basement, preventing flooding in your home. Work with a professional to make sure vents, basement windows, pipes, drains, and other areas aren’t negatively impacted during the grading process.
2. Choose local plants that prevent flooding in your yard. Indigenous plants can help to prevent soil erosion while also allowing rainwater to drain more efficiently. Plants native to Ohio can help prevent erosion and reduce flooding in your home. These can often be found at local plant nurseries. For more information about plants local to your part of Ohio, click here.
3. Using mulch in the garden can prevent water from flowing toward your home. In garden areas graded away from your home, fill with a few inches of mulch. This will help keep soil in place and hold in rainwater. If mulching near your home, make sure the mulch is at least six inches from your siding to avoid moisture wicking and rotting of your home’s exterior.
4. Planting new grass can reduce the impact of floods. The root structure of grass can help absorb water. It’s important to research what kind of grass would be most effective for your area. Once it grows in, avoid cutting your lawn too short, which weakens the roots and can lead to flooding in your yard, and possibly your home.
5. Learn what to plant in a rain garden. Rain gardens are the perfect solution for curbing erosion and improving water quality. They collect rainwater and water that runs from your gutters and downspouts, creating a runoff, filtering it away from your house. They are often created in shallow, landscaped depressions, which helps to naturally absorb rainwater in the ground.
6. Add drainage areas near driveways. Paved driveways can quickly lead to rainwater runoff, which can increase your home’s risk for flooding. Installing a gravel or spaced paver driveway are two options. For something less expensive, consider adding drainage next to your driveway by way of channel drains, pavers, or other landscaping-based solutions.
7. Learn how to install a rain barrel. Rain barrels, which are placed at the bottom of downspouts to collect the water, are a great way to redirect moisture and protect your home from flooding. As an added bonus, rain barrels allow an eco-friendly way to water your gardens and lawn when it’s dry out. They also decrease pollution runoff into lakes and natural waterways.
Benefits of a Two Stage Ditch
Benefits of a two-stage ditch over the typical agricultural ditch include both improved drainage function and ecological function. The two stage design improves ditch stability by slowing down water flow and reducing the need for maintenance, saving both labor and money. It also has the potential to create and maintain better habitat and water quality conditions for the waters into which our drains flow into such as the Gulf of Mexico or Lake Erie. This is done by minimizing the amount of sediment and nutrients (such as phosphorus & nitrogen) that are transported from ditch to stream to river to sea.
Blanchard River Demonstration (Farm Network) - Two Stage Ditch;
Smith Partners, Water Laws - Employing Two Stage Ditches to Tackle Water Quality and Soil Health;
Purdue Engineering - Two Stage Ditches;
Greenwood City - Two Stage Ditch in Greenwood, IN.