Q & A

Subsurface water management allow soils to shed excess moisture and warm up faster in the spring allowing for field operations to commence earlier in the season. It will also help fields with intermittent wet spots dry more uniformly.

While the greatest benefits of subsurface water management are realized in wet years, it also promotes deep root development which gives crops better access to soil moisture in dry years. By using a control structure with subsurface water management systems, water can also be held back throughout the growing season to keep moisture available to crops when it is needed most.

Prinsco subsurface water management systems promote greater infiltration rates in the soil. This allows for more water to be pulled down into the soil, decreasing the amount of runoff. Water that is pulled into the soil is released from tile into waterways more slowly than it would be flowing over land. Therefore, the chance for flooding actually decreases. Research has shown that adding subsurface water management increases the base flow by 5-10%, but only after the chance for flooding has dissipated.

There are several factors that affect how you should space between tile lines, including soil type, tile depth, drainage coefficient, and tile diameter. Drainage coefficients determine the rate at which water will be removed from the soil and typically range from 1/8” – 1” per 24 hours. Depending on your soil type, the drainage coefficient you use will determine what spacing you need to maximize the yield and profitability of your system.

First, it is necessary to understand the properties of the soil at the depth your pipe will be installed. A soil test should be performed to determine the soil type and particle size. Heavy soils such as clay or loam will typically require standard perforated pipe, while sandy soils will likely require sock or narrow slot pipe. When deciding between sock versus narrow slot pipe, consider the 25% rule — if soils are less than 25% clay, they probably need sock pipe.

Pipe equipped with integral bell and spigot joints, such as Prinsco’s ECOFLO® 100 or GOLDFLO WT®, must be installed by inserting the spigot into the bell. Pushing the bell onto the spigot increases the likelihood of bedding material being forced into the joint, disrupting the gasket and severely undermining joint performance. Pipe laying should always begin at the outlet with the spigots pointed downgrade.

In order for tile laterals to provide proper subsurface water management, a minimum grade of 0.05 to 0.1% should be maintained. Where the topography does not allow for a gravity flow outlet, pumped outlets can be used. Prinsco’s Ag Catch Basins provide the right storage solution for pumped outlets.

Achieving maximum burial depths is largely dependent on proper installation practices. For burial depths of 8 feet or less, Prinsco recommends a shapedbottom trench. For burial depths of more than 8 feet, a standard trench installation should be used as shown in our Ag Installation Guide. Proper installation positively contributes to the load carrying capacity of the pipe, resulting in greater burial depths.

Contact your local Prinsco representative to discuss maximum burial depths for your installation.

No. Most state drainage laws are clear that water may not be transferred from one watershed to another. Adding water to a watershed can cause increased erosion. For example, increasing water flow in a in a stream can cause an unstable stream bank.