Drainage Assistance


DRAINAGE ASSISTANCE – SWCD staff provide landowners, agencies and residents with professional drainage information on a wide variety of drainage related issues and concerns.  Many of these services are free of charge for residents and landowners throughout Crawford County.  The following is a list of the many ways we provide this assistance.  

  • Ohio Drainage Laws – Ohio drainage laws are based on the “reasonable use”.  Reasonable use can only be determined in a court of law, there are no drainage “police” in Ohio who determine right and wrong on the spot.  We strongly encourage landowners to cooperatively work towards a resolution that is suited to all parties involved whenever possible.  We can assist with potential solutions or suggestions, but it is ultimately up to the parties involved whether to involve the legal system in seeking a resolution.
    •     Consultation – SWCD staff provide onsite drainage assessments to recommend best management practices that improve or maintain drainage and also recommend potential avenues for resolution of drainage issues and disputes. 

· Ohio Drainage Law Information

Ohio Dept. of Agriculture –  https://agri.ohio.gov/divisions/soil-and-water-conservation/resources/ohio_drainage_law


·         Ohio Drainage Law Bulletins

              Drainage – Law   Drain Laws

DGroup Drainage Improvement Procedures

    •     Cooperative Groups

Initiated through the SWCD Board of Supervisors, cooperative group projects are done under the supervision of the local SWCD. The SWCD provides survey, design and construction layout/inspection at no charge. This method requires 100% agreement by all landowners involved.  Who pays and how much is determined by the landowners in the group. Monies are collected prior to construction and placed in a local bank.  Once completed, cooperative projects can be petitioned through the county commissioners to be placed on a maintenance assessment following ORC 6137 procedures.

  •     Conservation Works of Improvement (CWI)

CWI projects (ORC 940.19) are similar to Petition projects under ORC 6131.  Initiated through the SWCD Board of Supervisors via a CWI request from. There is no charge for the development of plans, survey or design. The plans are prepared and presented to the group for consideration by the local Soil and Water District.  The Board of Supervisors of the local Soil and Water District hold the hearings with the group, trying to implement the wishes of the group and make the recommendation to the County Commissioners.  Completed projects are placed on county maintenance program and assessed tax for maintenance under ORC 6137

 ORC # 940.19 https://codes.ohio.gov/ohio-revised-code/section-940.19


·  Ohio Drainage Petition Process

Petition (ORC 6131)projects are done through the County Commissioners and all the survey and designs are completed by the County Engineer’s office. The group is responsible for all costs in plan preparation, survey and design, even if the project is dismissed.

County Maintenance program ditches are maintained according to ORC 6137.  The ditch maintenance program is supervised and completed by the Crawford County Engineer.  Landowners in the project watershed are assessed a tax to fund the maintenance necessary to maintain the drainage project.  Maintenance can include mowing, spraying or removing sediment deposits.  Maintenance assessments are evaluated on a set schedule to ensure proper management funds are available to accomplish necessary tasks.   ORC #6137 https://codes.ohio.gov/ohio-revised-code/chapter-6137

SWCD staff assist landowners with determining the size and location of watersheds on their property.  Many times these requests are the precursor to a drainage improvement or project.  This watershed information can also include the names of landowners in the watershed and the corresponding acres owned in the watershed. 

  •     Site Evaluations

SWCD staff provides residents on-site drainage evaluations of issues or concerns on their property.  We provide information and advice on a multitude of drainage issues and concerns for residents including the following:

·         Contractors List – A list of local contractors and the type of work that they do can be helpful for finding the right individual for the job.   

drainage ditch

field tile installation