Drainage Contractor

Michigan to open registration for 2023 Drainage Design Workshop

January 9, 2023  By Michigan State University Extension

Do you want to learn about subsurface drainage design for crop production and water-quality protection? Join us March 7-9, 2023, for the 2023 Drainage Design Workshop in East Lansing, Michigan, sponsored by Michigan State University Extension in partnership with Michigan Land Improvement Contractors Association. Learn about subsurface drainage design with hands-on exercises, design tools and drainage industry professionals.

Why should you attend the Drainage Design Workshop?

First, we offer an easy-to-learn educational program from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. that covers the important things you need to know.

Second, we use design tools to offer a modern and simplistic approach to drainage design.

Third, we offer an allocated time for participants to ask design questions of experts for their own property. Bring your topo map.


Fourth, we have a demonstration of drainage design software including Global Mapper software as an aid in design, AGPS machine-control software and WM-Subsurface Software.

What will you learn?

Installing a drainage system in a field.
Drainage installation. Photo by Ehsan Ghane, MSU.

The drainage design process will include basic design considerations and a step-by-step design procedure. Other topics 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 to maximize 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.
  • Which pipe removes water the quickest and which pipe is most cost effective? What pipe properties increase water entry into the pipe?
  • Demonstration of drainage design software.

Who should attend?

This workshop is intended for producers, landowners, drainage contractors, consultants,  Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) soil conservationists, engineers, Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP) technicians, agency technicians, technical service providers, MSU Extension educators and whoever is interested in learning about drainage design concepts for crop production and environmental protection.


Early registration is available by 11:59 p.m. on Feb. 23. Registration price goes up starting Feb. 24. Registration deadline is 11:59 p.m. on March 2. This workshop is limited to 30 participants, and on-site registration will be unavailable on the day of the event.

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