Drainage design considerations

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Resist the temptation to install too many ditches – it can easily end up looking like an artificial river system.

Efficient drainage pattern

  • Plan the most efficient way of intercepting the water, which could be lateral drains along the length of the path, with frequent culverts to disperse the water on the downslope side

  • Pay attention to the outflow from drains and ditches to make sure that you do not create a problem further down on the path or for a neighbouring landowner

You need to give careful consideration to the outfall from ditches into a stream. High water levels in the stream could flow back up the ditch and possibly flood the path. Place the ditch outfall above the highest expected water level of the stream.

Consider including ponds in a ditch system to increase the overall capacity of the drainage system. They can be used to give extra water capacity for high intensity, short duration rain storms. Ponds with shallow and deep water will also provide habitats for flora and fauna, although fluctuating water levels and silt build-up may limit their ecological value. Care needs to be taken to avoid introducing additional hazards, particularly for small children – do not construct steep sided ponds.

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