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Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Paper number  701P0304,  . (doi: 10.13031/2013.15745)
Authors:   A.D. Ward, D. Mecklenburg, G.E. Powell, L.C Brown, A.C. Jayakaran
Keywords:   Drainage Ditch, Design Procedures, Ditch Stability, Fluvial Processes

Collaborated efforts exist to develop a practical procedure that can be used throughout the Midwest to correctly size the fluvial channel and minimum bench widths for stable effective discharge features in agricultural drainage ditches. The fluvial channel design dimensions are determined by measuring the effective discharge features at the project site and making regional curve measurements. Benches are the natural result of fluvial processes in most streams. The bench acts as a floodplain within the ditch to dissipate energy, reduce the erosive potential of high flow volumes, and reduce the shear stress on the bank toe. The construction of two-stage ditches requires capital investment to create a wider surface width and more earth moving. However, it is anticipated that two-stage ditches will be more self-sustaining, will create and maintain better habitat, and will improve water quality. A case study is presented for a recently constructed two-stage ditch in Michigan. An overview is provided of the design procedures that included developing and then using a regional curve for a tri-state (Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio) region. A spreadsheet procedure for evaluating two-stage agricultural ditches has been developed by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and the Ohio State University in cooperation with county, state and federal agencies, faculty at other institutions in Ohio, Illinois and Minnesota, and watershed conservancy groups.

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