How do I know my drainage system is clogged?

How do I know my drainage system is clogged?

A clogged drainage system has a lower draining capacity.

The cleaning of drain tubes depents on the following points:

  • weather conditions
  • type of soil
  • structure of the soil
  • type of drainage tube
  • diameter of the drainage tubes
  • condition of the drainage tube
  • the precision the pipes lie in the ground


The following guideline should be executed after a wet period with lots of rainfall, preferably in the autumn.

  1. Look for a drainage tube at the side of the ditch.
  2. Intercept the water that is coming out of the tube.
  3. measure how many seconds (T) it takes until one liter has flowed out.
  4. Fill in the next formula:

formule drainage doorloop

           With the following parameters:

  • = Lengtt of the drain pipes (meters)
  • A = Length between two drainage pipes (meters)
  • T = the time measured(seconden)
  • M = amount of drainage in 24 hours (millimeters)


In grasslands, cornland and arable land this drainage should be 7 millimetres (please note that this is for one-sided drainage pipes). When the drainage is less than 7 millimetres, the position of the drain pipes should be considered. When the position is correct, the drainage system has to be cleaned. Execute this step for multiple drainage pipes to determine an average for one field.

It is recommended to clean drainage systems in wet periods when drain pipes can convey water themselves. For profound agricultural knowledge and advice concerning the use and maintenance of drainage systems, one should consult relevant authorities and/or literature.

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