Drainage Contractor

Summer school: Iowa Drainage School 2019

May 22, 2019  By Dr. Kapil Arora

The three-day school includes a combination of hands-on training

Iowa Drainage School has been educating contractors on proper planning and design for over a decade. The school is held annually with the purpose of training stakeholders in subsurface drainage.

From the very beginning, this has been a three-day school with each day including a combination of handson training, lecture and discussion, and problem solving using in-field examples.

A 2016 survey of present and past participants showed the Iowa Drainage School has helped participants increase the scope of their work either with increase in clients, service area, hiring of employees, and/or with the purchase of additional equipment.

As long as the need to upgrade, retrofit, or install new drainage systems exist, Iowa Drainage School continues to educate contractors on the concepts of sub-surface drainage. In 2019, the Iowa Drainage School will be held from Aug. 20-22 at the Borlaug Learning Center in Nashua, Iowa, at the Northeast Research Farm of Iowa State University.


This year, the school will focus on the fundamentals of drainage design, including understanding soils, obtaining an accurate survey with GPS and lasers, and drainage pipe size and spacing design. It will also cover contractor opportunities with water quality practice construction and installation including controlled drainage and water table management, sub-irrigation. Other aspects of the job, such as legal considerations, planning with safety and different installation techniques and equipment, will be explored too.

The core instructor team is comprised of Dr. Matt Helmers, Dr. Kapil Arora, Kristina Tebockhorst, Brian Dougherty, and Dr. Chris Hay. Participant registration is scheduled to open in early June 2019 online at www.aep.iastate.edu/ids.

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