Drainage Contractor

A slice of drainage history now available online

October 26, 2018  By Drainage Contractor

Recounts of drainage-related research from the archives of Ohio State University are now available online. Anyone can read about the research conducted at the university to develop the American version of corrugated plastic drain tubing and to develop a laser-beam, or laserplane depth and grade-controlled drain plow for the drain tubing’s rapid and accurate installation.

The Ohio State University-Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering (OSU-FABE) website has been revised and updated to include stories about the cooperative research conducted by the USDA-Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and the department of agricultural engineering.

Subsurface drainage research and equipment development at Ohio State University have made key contributions to a major transition in drainage techniques. Slow, inefficient installation of heavy clay and concrete tile has given way to lightweight, flexible, corrugated plastic drain tubing installed with laser-beam-controlled, high–speed trenchers and drain plows.

In addition to reading about Ohio’s contribution to corrugated plastic tubing for agricultural drainage, other publications include research about rubber tractor tires, laser beam automatic grade-control systems and a fun piece about the slow moving vehicle sign.


Further history on the beginning of modern subsurface tile drainage, research stories and supporting documents are available online at Transforming Drainage. The printed hard copy versions can be accessed in the International Drainage Hall of Fame for current and future research and extension engineers, graduate students, and industry officials involved in drainage research and development. In addition to the access to printed copies, all the documents were saved in PDF format to facilitate sharing (if requested) via CDs, Flash Drives, and/or E-mail attachments, when visiting Ohio State University’s department of food, agricultural and biological engineering. Requests should be directed to Dr. Larry Brown, director of the Overholt Drainage Education and Research Program.

Read more about corrugated plastic tubing at:

Read the beginning of modern subsurface tile drainage at:

Print this page


Stories continue below