Ditches & Water Issues

Two-Stage Ditch

Conservation Practice

Drainage Concerns

The Ohio Drainage Law

"It's just dirty water"

DIRTY water is not healthy for anyone!

Photo Credit: Blanchard River Demonstration

Benefits of a 2-Stage Ditch

Benefits of a two-stage ditch over the typical agricultural ditch include both improved drainage function and ecological function. The 2-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.

Ohio Drainage Laws

Neighborhood drainage issues are becoming a major county issue in populated areas. In our experience, landowners want to involve our agency as an intermediary between neighbors. Our agency does not work with property owners to settle disputes. When neighbors agree to work together, then we can provide recommendations for solutions.

(some questions listed below. For all of them - click on the link)
  1. Is my neighbor permitted to drain water from his property onto mine?

Generally this is allowable as long as the water continues to follow its natural established course of flow and the reasonable use rule applies. This is explained in detail in the Ohio Drainage Laws, found in the Ohio Revised Code, chapters 6131, 6133, 6135 and 6137.

2. My neighbor is building a home and I get more run-off than I did before. What can I do?

It is essential to discuss this problem with either the builder of the home or the future homeowners as soon as the problem is noticed. In some cases, this is a temporary issue until the site is completed and has established vegetation. Drainage issues are much easier to fix during the building phase than after. Also, some cities and villages require a lot grading plan. This can be reviewed by the community and builder to make sure it was followed.

Pollution is a problem for all...

Water pollution is when waste, chemicals, or other particles cause a body of water (i.e. rivers, oceans, lakes) to become harmful to the fish and animals that need the water to survive. Water pollution can disrupt and negatively impact nature's water cycle as well. Sometimes water pollution can occur through natural causes like volcanoes, algae blooms, animal waste, and silt from storms and floods. A lot of water pollution comes from human activity. Some human causes include sewage, pesticides and fertilizers from farms, waste water and chemicals from factories, silt from construction sites, and trash from people littering.

  • EPA - Protecting Water Quality from Agricultural Runoff;

  • For over 1 billion people on the planet, clean water is nearly impossible to get. Dirty, polluted water can make them sick and is especially tough on young children. Some bacteria and pathogens in water can make people so sick they can die.

  • Around 40% of the rivers and lakes in the United States are too polluted for fishing or swimming.

  • The Mississippi River carries around 1.5 million tons of pollution into the Gulf of Mexico each year.

  • Between 5 and 10 million people die each year from water pollution related illnesses.

  • Pollution in the water can reach a point where there isn't enough oxygen in the water for the fish to breathe. The fish can actually suffocate!

  • Sewage can also cause major problems in rivers. Bacteria in the water will use oxygen to break down the sewage. If there is too much sewage, the bacteria could use up so much oxygen that there won't be enough left for the fish.