Description of practice

Intercepting or cut-off drains aim to control soil moisture in fields by bypassing water flow before it enters the field. Cut-off drains in saline areas can divert and remove surface water that would otherwise recharge groundwater. Surface drains should be stabilized with fencing and vegetation cover.

Examples of how to use intercepting drains Further information
(see Note below)

AMP42 01

Gravel curtain drains

Gravel is laid in a ditch (often combined with a perforated pipe) to form a curtain drain that acts like a gutter system removing water from a protected area.


»Precision Excavating

AMP42 02

Seepage interceptor drains

Drains are dug at the bottom of a sloping field to intercept the downhill flow of subsurface water. At these locations water can be pushed to the surface due to the sudden gradient change and differences in soil type.


»Agriculture Victoria

AMP42 03

Cut-off drains

A cut-off drainage ditch is dug by hand hoe with a gradient of 15-50% to facilitate water removal from sloping agricultural land without scouring the soil.


»WOCAT technology 1405
»WOCAT technology 1159

AMP42 04

Anti-salt dike

A retention dike is constructed to avoid the intrusion of saline estuary water into paddy fields during the dry season. The dike is equipped with a sluice that is opened in the wet season so that excess water can flow to the river.


»WOCAT technology 1440

Note: Most of the Further information links are to a full description of the example in the WOCAT database. However sometimes the link may be to similar practices or a research paper. Occasionally the link is to a commercial product in which case it should be understood that this does not imply any endorsement of the product by iSQAPER.

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