Ditch Repair & Improvement
Ditch Repair & Improvement
What is a Ditch Repair?”
Repairs are not intended to significantly increase hydraulic efficiency or capacity of the ditch. The term "repair," means to restore all or part of a drainage system as nearly as practicable to the same condition as originally constructed and subsequently improved.

Open ditch repairs include minor work such as spraying for weeds and brush, removal of isolated silt deposits, bridge or culvert cleaning, removal of vegetation, debris or other obstructions, fixing isolated side slope damage due to sloughing, fixing damage to culverts and fixing or installing erosion control structures. Repairs may also involve more extensive cleaning of the ditch bottom of silt deposits to bring the grade line and bottom width to originally constructed or subsequently improved conditions. Repairs on tile lines include repair or replacement of underground tile as well as the tile intakes and outlets.

What is a Ditch Improvement?”
An improvement project involves the enlarging, extending, straightening, or deepening of an established, previously constructed system. Generally, an improvement project provides for the upgrading and enhancement of the existing system’s hydraulic capacity and drainage ability. Improvements must go through a hearing process that includes a determination of benefits.
“How do I know if my project is a Repair or an Improvement and what is the process?”

“What is a Re-Determination of Benefits?”
Viewers are appointed when a new system is created to make an initial assessment of benefits. There are also a number of proceedings included within Minnesota Statute 103E that require some action by viewers, but the most common proceeding is a redetermination of benefits. A redetermination of benefits is completed to adjust for any changes that may have taken place on the drainage system, as well as changes in agricultural commodities values and land values. More information on the viewing process and drainage viewers can be found on the Minnesota Drainage Viewers Association website.

Who pays for ditch improvements and repairs?”
Property owners who are benefited by the ditch system are the ones who pay for it. For county ditches, the county pays the contractor and assesses all costs back to the benefited property owners through a special assessment.