Controlled drainage project

Why tile drainage?

There are very few plants or crops that grow well in saturated soils. Just as houseplants are grown in pots with holes in the bottom, our food crops are grown in agricultural soils with drainage. Drainage involves the installation of perforated plastic tubing (tiles) installed 2-3 feet deep which drains the excess soil moisture from the crop root zone and carries it to a safe outlet.

Why controlled drainage?

Underground control gates can regulate the outflow from the tile and the water levels in the soil. Controlled drainage makes more moisture available to crops during times of low precipitation, encourages more water to infiltrate deeper into the ground, allows the soil to serve as a reservoir during heavy rainfall events and reduces the amount of nutrients transported through the tile.

Why contoured tile installation?

Control gates work well on flat ground, but create flooding and excessive pressure if installed on a tile with more than 2 feet of fall. In order to work on a slope, the tile laterals need to be laid underground like steps and at a near flat grade (0.1%), following the contour of the land on a curve.



Tiles installed at 0.1% grade, curving around the lay of the land.

A drainage map of Huronview

Project Partners

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This project was funded by the Canadian Agriculture Partnership, a five-year federal-provincial-territorial initiative.