2022 Drainage Design Workshop


2022 Workshop 1


2022 Workshop 2


2022 Workshop 3


2022 Workshop 4


2022 Workshop 5


Based on the survey immediately after the 2022 Drainage Design Workshop, 14 out of 20 respondents (70%) said that they plan on changing their operation because of the workshop. In addition, 17 respondents said that they expect to gain an average $16/ac increased income because of the workshop.


Workshop flyer and agenda

flyer and Agenda


The 2022 Michigan Drainage Design Workshop was held on March 8-10, 2022 in partnership with Michigan Land Improvement Contractors Association.

  • Learn about drainage design concepts with hands-on exercises.
  • Learn about installation tips, safety, legal considerations, and maximize profit with a user-friendly Drain Spacing Tool.
  • Learn about controlled drainage design, and its impact on water quality and crop yield.
  • Gain hands-on experience with drainage design software (NEW in 2022).


1- Who should attend?

Intended for farmers, landowners, contractors, technicians, and whoever is interested in learning about drainage concepts and drainage design for crop production and water-quality protection.


2- Why should you attend Michigan's drainage workshop?

We have a NEW design software session on the third day of the 2022 workshop. You will see a demonstration of the user-friendly Drain Spacing Tool to maximize economic return on investment in the drainage system, taught by Ehsan Ghane. You will see a demonstration of Global Mapper software as an aid in drainage design, taught by Will Word. You will see a demonstration of WATERCOURSE Water Management Design Tool as a drainage design software, taught by Nate Cook. You will gain hands-on experience using WM-Subsurface Software for drainage design, taught by Joey Schlatter.


3- What will you learn?

3a- Topics for days one and two include

  • Basics of soils and water movement in soils
  • Drainage principles
  • Economics of drainage
  • Interpreting contour maps
  • Drainage design concepts
  • Demonstration of the Drain Spacing Tool that maximizes profit
  • Contour drainage
  • Estimating system cost
  • Legal considerations of drainage
  • Safety and installation tips
  • Controlled drainage design
  • Controlled drainage impacts on water quality and crop yield,

The drainage design process will include basic design considerations and a step-by-step design procedure.

3b- Topics for day three include

  • Drain Spacing Tool
    • Demonstration of determining the optimum drain spacing that maximizes economic return on investment
  • Which pipe removes water the quickest and which pipe is most cost effective? (knitted-sock, sand-slot, 4-row regular-perf, or 8-row regular-perf)
  • What pipe properties increase drain inflow? (Slot length or width)
  • WATERCOURSE Water Management Design Tool as a design software:
    • Demonstration of designing a drainage system (making contour maps, drawing drainage layout, sizing main, and much more).
  • Global Mapper software as an aid in the design and to view elevation data:
    • Demonstration of downloading DEM data, making contour maps, determining flow pattern, laying out mains, getting main profile, laying out laterals, getting lateral profile, drawing multiple parallel laterals, and exporting plan as a file usable in installation software. This software is an aid in design, so it will require manual design processing such as sizing main that will require more time designing, but it is a cheaper option than other drainage design software's.
  • Trimble WM-Subsurface software as a design tool:
    • Hands-on experience designing the drainage system (layout, grade, sizing main) for conventional drainage and controlled drainage. This software is for those who want to design systems accurately and quickly. This software automatically sizes the main, provides grade smoothing, provides pipe profiles, checks pipe grade as well as providing other useful features that simplifies the design process.