Field drainage: A glossary of terms

Numerous specialist terms are used in field drainage. Discover some of the most used words, alongside a brief definition.

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The process by which the soil density increases due to trafficking or soil working when conditions are unsuitable.

A short length of pipe that allows access over a ditch or watercourse.

Removal of deposited sediment from a drain using a high-pressure water jet.

The moisture content of the soil after excess water has drained away.

A geotextile barrier wrapped around the pipe to prevent particles entering the pipe.

Soil where the aggregates crumble easily into smaller pieces.

Water entering the soil.

The drains installed, usually parallel to each other, to intercept soil water and transport flows to the main drain.

Drains installed to collect the water from several laterals and transport it to a ditch.

Unlined channels formed in a clay subsoil.

Water that has not been diverted from its natural path, artificially increased, or had the run-off flow rate changed, such as by the construction of unauthorised paved areas within the catchment.

Insoluble deposits that form in drains when soluble iron leaches out of the soil, into drainage water, and becomes oxidised. It can also be caused by bacterial growths that secrete iron.

Point at which the main drains, or individual laterals, discharge into a ditch.

Saturated layer above compacted soils.

The process of water moving down through the soil to depth.

A slotted drainage pipe, which is used to collect water from the soil.

Damage to the soil surface, caused by animal hooves.

The collapse of soil aggregates as the soil rapidly uptakes water.

The saturated zone of the soil.