You are on page 1of 340


A Water Resources
Technical Publication

A guide to integrating plant,

soil, and water relationships
for drainage of irrigated lands.




Mission: As the Nation’s principal conservation agency, the
Department of the Interior has responsibility for most of our
nationally-owned public lands and natural and cultural resources.
This includes fostering wise use of our land and water resources,
protecting our fish and wildlife, preserving the environmental and
cultural values of our national parks and historical places, and
providing for the enjoyment of life through outdoor recreation.
The Department assesses our energy and mineral resources and
works to assure that their development is in the best interests of
all our people. The Department also promotes the goals of the
Take Pride in America campaign by encouraging stewardship and
citizen responsibility for the public lands and promoting citizen
participation in their care. The Department also has a major
responsibility for American Indian reservation communities and
for people who live in Island Territories under U.S. Administration.

It has been said of world irrigation, “It is a modem science-the scienceof

survival.“A prime ingredientof this scienceis the developmentandmaintenance
of a root zone having a balanceof moisture, air, and salts favorable for plant
growth. Drainage is one of the essentialactivities neededto provide such a
Where man haspracticed irrigation agriculture successfully,he has enlarged
his territory, supportedincreasingpopulations,lived in better health, and made
greatstridesculturally. Where drainagehasbeenoverlookedor neglected,man’s
developmentand his civilization have failed. Lack of adequatedrainage has
probablybeenthe greatestsinglecauseof failure on irrigation projectsthroughout
the world. History has shown repeatedly that excesswater and salt must be
removedfrom soilsfor irrigation to bepermanentlysuccessful.If irrigation is the
scienceof survival of man, it can be addedthat drainageprovidesfor the survival
of irrigation. The fundamental measureof the importance of drainageis the
benefit providedby irrigation itself.
Dminageof irrigated landsby the Bureauof Reclamationbeganshortly after
passageof the ReclamationAct in 1902.However, not until the late 1940’sand
early 1950’sdid engineersin the Bureauof Reclamationbeginpioneeringefforts
to developthe technologyof drainageof irrigated landsinto amodem engineering
This manual contains the engineeringtools and concepts that have proven
useful in planning,constructing,andmaintainingdrainagesystemsfor successful
long term irrigation projects. The manual is not a textbook. Mathematical and
experimental development of the engineering tools has generally not been
included. Indeed,not even all the innovativeways to use the tools are included.
The manualprovidesdrainageengineersa ready referenceand guidefor making
accurateestimatesof drainagerequirements.Design and constructioncriteria, if
followed with reason,will result in reliable drainagesystemsfor irrigated areas.
All the methodsand techniquescoveredin the manualhaveproven to be very
satisfactory through observedfield conditionson irrigated landsthroughout the
world. Somemethodshavea more elegantdevelopmentandbasisin sciencethan
others,but all havebeendesignedto solve practical problemsin the field.
Themanualcontainstechniquesdevelopedover the last 25 yearsby personnel
in the Bureau of Reclamation. Messrs. R. J. Winger, Jr., L. D. Dumm,
J. N. Christopher,W. F. Ryan andG. P. Brunskill havebeenprimary contributors
of the new concepts.

Mathematicaland computer treatmentfor the conceptswere chiefly rendered

by R. E. Glover, W. T. Moody, andR. W. Ribbens;A. J. Cunningham,Jr., made
significant contributions to the second edition revisions. E. J. Carlson and
E. R. Zeigler provided valuableresearch.
Field evaluation and application has been the main responsibility of field
offices and crews. Without their dedicatedefforts, many of the conceptswould
haveremainedlittle more than theoreticalguesswork.Our specialthanksto those
directing theseevaluations: D. A. Barker, K. G. Bateman, M. D. J. Batista,
W. C. Bell, Keith Campbell, C. L. Christensen,D. A. DeBruyn, R. J. Efferts,
R. R. Frogge, J. E. Fuller, H. T. Hardman, P. J. Kennedy, W. A. Lidster,
R. 0. Lunde, C. R. Maki, A. E. Mathison, John Monteith III, P. M. Myers,
G. E. Neff, H. R. Nelson, C. A. Neumann, N. E. Noyes, P. J. Pehrson,
J. A. Pugsley,G. D. Sanders,J. M. Schaack,H. A. Schweers,W. 0. Watson,
R. H. Weimer, andJohn Williford.
Therelationshipsof drainageto landclassificationandproject economicswere
developedthrough the efforts of J. T. Maletic, W. B. Peters,Edmund Barbour,
and their staffs. Major contributions to the overall presentationsin the manual
weremadeby C. R. Maierhofer,W. H. Yarger,R. J. Winger, Jr., J. N. Christopher,
and R. D. Mohr.
We gratefully acknowledgecontributions to the development of drainage
conceptsusedin this manualmadeby personnelof the Soil ConservationService,
AgricultumJ ResearchService, and the many collegesand universities. Occa-
sionalreferencesto proprietarymaterialsor productsin this publicationmust not
be construedin any way as an endorsement,as Reclamation cannot endorse
proprietaryproductsor processesof manufacturersor the servicesof commercial
firms for advertising,publicity, sales,or other purposes.
For this SecondEdition of the DrainageManual, the metric unit system has
beenaddedto the U.S. customaryunit systemto comply with U.S. Government
requirementsand for the benefit of those who prefer working with the metric
system. Personnelof the Drainage/SeepageSection, Ground Water Branch,
Denver Office of the Bureauof Reclamationwere responsiblefor making these
additionsthroughoutthe manualaswell asfor checkingandupdatingall chapters
in the manual.
Preface................................... iii

Section Page
l-l. General ............................ 1
l-2. scope ............................. 2
l-3. History ............................ 4
l-4. Importance .......................... 4
1-5. Benefitsof drainage ..................... 4
l-6. Drainageand environment .................. 7
l-7. Drainagenomenclature ................... 8
(a) Surfacedrainage. .................... 8
(b) Subsurfacedrainage................... 8
(c) Openand pipe drains .................. 8
(d) Deferreddrainage .................... 8
(e) Functionof drains .................... 9
(f) Inverted, relief, or pumpedwells ............ 11


2-l. Introduction ......................... 13
2-2. Topography ......................... 13
2-3. Geology ........................... 1.5
(a) General ......................... 15
(b) Barrier .......................... 17
(c) Aquifers ......................... 17
24. Soil characteristics ...................... 18
(a) Hydraulic conductivity ................. 18
@) Texture ......................... 20
(c) Color. .......................... 22
(d) Structme ......................... 22
(e) Specific yield ...................... 25
(f) Capillary fringe ..................... 26
2-5. Salinity and alkalinity .................... 28
(a) General ......................... 28
(b) Leachingrequirementand salt balance ......... 29
(c) Construction in sodic soils ............... 36
(d) Classification of salineand sodic soils ......... 37

Section Page
2-6. Surfacerunoff . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
(a) Precipitation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
(b) Stormflow . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . , . . . . . . . . 38
(c) Estimating total runoff from soil andcover conditions . 42
(d) Estimating irrigation and deeppercolationschedules . 46
(e) Farmwaste . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53
2-7. Bibliography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58


BELOW A WATER TABLE . . . . . . . . , . . . . . . . . 61
3-1. Objective ........................... 61
3-2. Auger-holetest for hydraulicconductivity ......... 61
(a) Introduction ....................... 61
(b) Equipment ........................ 61
(c) Procedure ........................ 67
(d) Calculations ....................... 70
(e) Limitations ....................... 72
(f) Step testsin layeredsoils ................ 73
3-3. Piezometertest for hydraulic conductivity ......... 75
(a) Introduction ....................... 75
(b) Equipment ........................ 75
(c) Procedure ........................ 75
(d) Calculations ....................... 76
(e) Limitations ....................... 78
34. Pomonawell point method ................. 78
3-5. Singlewell drawdown test for hydraulic conductivity ... 81


ABOVE A WATER TABLE ................. 83

36. Objective ........................... 83

3-7. Shallow well pump-in test for hydraulic conductivity ... 83
(a) Introduction ........................ 83
(b) Equipment, ....................... 83
(c) Procedure ........................ 85
(d) Calculations ....................... 90
(e) Liitations ....................... 95
3-8. Ringpermeametertest .................... 95
(a) Introduction ....................... 95
(b) Equipment. .......................
(c) Procedure, , , , , , , , , , , . , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Section Page
(d) Calculations ....................... 100
(e) Liiitations ....................... 100
3-9. Test pit method ........................ 103
(a) Introduction ....................... 103
(b) Procedure ........................ 103
(c) CalcuIations ....................... 103
3-10. Test for determininginfiltration rate ............. 104


3-l 1. Hydraulic conductivity from undisturbedsoil samples . . . 107
3-12. Hydraulic conductivity from disturbedsoil samples . . . . 108


3-13. Introduction ......................... 108
3-14. Location of observationholes ................ 108
3-15. Installation of observationholes ............... 109
3-16. Casingfor observationholes ................. 110
3-17. Piezometers ......................... 111
3-l 8. Installation of piezometers.................. 111
3-19. Recordsof observationholes ................ 112
3-20. Numbering systemfor observationholes .......... 112
3-21. Measuringdevicesfor depth to water ............ 114
3-22. Pluggedobservationholes .................. 117
3-23. Bibliography ......................... 118


4-l. Scopeof the investigations ................. 121
4-2. Factorsin an investigation .................. 121
4-3. Review of existing data ................... 122
4-4. Field reconnaissance..................... 122
4-5. Subsurfaceinvestigations .................. 123
(a) Log of drainageholes .................. 123
(b) Projectionof in-placehydraulic conductivity data to
similar soil horizons ................... 123
4-6. Identifying the barrier zone ................. 126
4-7. Geologic influence ...................... 126
4-8. Water sourcestudies ..................... 127
(a) General ......................... 127
(b) Precipitation ....................... 127
(c) Irrigation. ........................ 127
(d) Seepage ......................... 127
(e) Hydrostaticpressure .................. 128

Section Page
4-9. Ground-water studies .................... 128
(a) General ......................... 128
(b) Ground-water table contour maps ........... 128
(c) Depth-to-groundwater maps .............. 130
(d) Depth-to-barrier maps .................. 130
(e) Water table profiles ................... 130
(f) Piezometricprofiles ................... 130
(g) Hydrographs ....................... 130
4-10. Ground-water accretionsto drains .............. 132
4-l 1. Outlet conditions ....................... 132
(a) Physicalconstraints ................... 132
(b) Quality requirements .................. 135
4-12. Drainlocation ........................ 135
4-13. Drain numbering .................... 136
4-14. Existing structures ...................... 136
4-15. Economic considerationsof drainageproblems ....... 137
4-16. Drainagefor sprinkler irrigation ............... 140
4-17. Testsfor estimatingdeeppercolationfrom sprinkler
systems ............................ 141
4-l 8. Numerical models ...................... 144
4-19. Bibliography ......................... 144


A. SPACING OF DRAINS . ...... .. ...... .. ... 147
5-1. Introduction ......................... 147
5-2. Transientflow method of drain spacing ........... 147
5-3. Backgroundof the method .................. 148
54. Data required ......................... 148
(a) y,.andH. ........................ 153
(l$yandZ .......................... 153
(c) Hydraulic conductivity, K ................ 153
(d) Specific yield, S ..................... 153
(e) Time,t .......................... 154
(f) Plow depth,D ...................... 154
(g) Drain spacing,L ..................... 154
5-5. Convergence ......................... 154
5-6. Deeppercolationand buildup ................ 158
5-7. Using the data ........................ 161
5-8. Drain abovethe barrier layer ................ 161
5-9. Drain on the barrier layer .................. 166
5-10. Other usesfor transientflow curves ............. 167
5-l 1. Drain spacingusing steady-stateformulas ......... 169
Section Page
5-12. Determining dischargefrom spaceddrains ......... 171
5-13. Design dischargefor collector drains ............ 173

B. INTERCEPTOR DRAINS. .................. 175

5-14. Introduction ......................... 175

5-15. Location of first drain below an unlined canalor lateral . . 175
5-16. Location of first drain on irrigated sloping land ....... 180

C. OPENDRAINS ......................... 188

5-17. Introduction ......................... 188

5-18. Open channelflow ...................... 188
5-19. Drain velocities ....................... 190
5-20. Depth of drain ........................ 193
5-21. Drain section ......................... 193
5-22. Drain banks. ......................... 194
5-23. Tributary drain intersections ................. 194
5-24. Surfaceinlets ......................... 194
5-25. Transition sections ...................... 194
5-26. Design capacities....................... 194
5-27. Structures. .......................... 199
(a) Inlets. .......................... 199
(b) Drops and chutes .................... 200
(c) crossings ........................ 200
5-28. Natural channels ....................... 200
5-29. Stageconstruction ...................... 203

D. PIPE DRAINS .......................... 203

5-30. Introduction ......................... 203

5-31. Pipefordrains ........................ 203
5-32. Pipe specifications ...................... 204
5-33. Collectors. .......................... 205
5-34. Depth of pipe drains ..................... 205
5-35. Grade and alignment ..................... 212
5-36. Envelopematerial ...................... 212
5-37. Determining hydraulic conductivity of envelopematerial . 214
(a) Equipment ........................ 214
(b) Procedure ........................ 217
(c) Calculations ....................... 218
5-38. Gap width, length of pipe sections,and hydraulic
conductivity of envelope................... 218
5-39. Stability of apipe drain bed ................. 223
5-40. Laying pipe drains ...................... 224

Section Page
5-4 1.Inspectingand testing pipe drains .............. 225
542. Backfilling pipe drain trench. ................ 225
543. Manholes ........................... 226
544. Surfaceinlets ......................... 227
545. Outlet structures ....................... 227
5-46. Strengthof drainpipe ..................... 229
(a) General ......................... 229
(b) Rigid pipe ........................ 229
(c) Plasticpipe ....................... 234
5-47. Sizeof pipe .......................... 237
548. Capacity of pipe drains .................... 238
5-49. Design of a drainagesump andpumping plant ....... 238

E. SPECIAL DRAIN TYPES .................. 245

5-50. Introduction ......................... 245

5-5 1. Relief wells .......................... 246
5-52. Pumpedwells ........................ 246
5-53. Inverted or rechargewells and infiltration galleries ..... 246


5-54. Introduction ......................... 247
5-55. Investigation procedure ................... 247
5-56. Moisture holding capacityin the root zone ......... 251
5-57. Annual irrigation schedule.................. 251
5-58. Irrigation deliveriesand deeppercolationfrom irrigation. . 253
5-59. Other water sourcescausinghigh water table conditions . . 254
(a) Deep percolationfrom adjacentareas ......... 255
(b) Deep percolationfrom farm ditches .......... 257
5-60. Determinationof barrier zone ................ 258
5-61. Depth of drains ........................ 258
5-62. Drain spacingdeterminationsand drain locations ...... 258
5-63. Bibliography ......................... 262


6-l. Introduction ......................... 265
6-2. Buried pipe drainagesystems ................ 265
(a) Pipedrain outlets .................... 265
(b) Manholesor sandtraps ................. 266
(c) Generalmaintenanceof pipe drains .......... 266
6-3. Open drainagesystem .................... 267
6-4. Wastewaterdisposalponds ................. 268

Section Page
6-5. Drainageobservationwells . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 269
6-4. Policy and basicrequirements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 269
6-7. Bibliography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . , . . . . . . . . . 269


7-l. Return flow analysisusing the transientflow concept . . . 271
7-2. Two-layer aquifers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 294
7-3. Moody’s nonlinearsolutions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 294
7-4. Agricultural DrainagePlanningProgram(ADPP) . . . . . 294
7-5. Bibliography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 300

APPENDIX. InternationalSystem(SI Metric)/US Customary

ConversionTables . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 303
Figure Pllge
l-l Farm conditionsbefore, during, and after drain
construction ........................ 3
l-2 Effects of shallow water table depthson plant roots .... 6
l-3 Types of drams ........................ 10
2-l Conventionalsymbolsfor drainagemaps .......... 16
2-2 Soil triangle of the basicsoil textural classes ........ 21
2-3 Types of soil structure .................... 22
2-4 Curve showing generalrelationshipbetweenspecific yield
and hydraulic conductivity ................ 27
2-5 Salt tolerancefor field, vegetable,and forage crops .... 31
2-6 Curves for estimatingleachingreqdrement and
minimum infiltration rate ................. 32
2-7 Rainfall intensity map .................... 40
2-g Nomographfor estimatingtime of flood concentration ... 41
2-9 Chart for determiningthe one-fifth andfour-fifths powers
of numbers ......................... 43
2-10 Curve numbersfor determiningsurfacerunoff ....... 44
2-l 1 Direct runoffbasedoncurvenumberand rainfall. ..... 45
2-12 Curves for estimating infiltration basedon precipitation . . 47
2-13 Typical canaland lateral capacitycurve for units lessthan
400 hectares(1,000 acres) ................. 56
2-14 Typical canaland lateral capacitycurve for units greater
than4OOhectares(1,OOOacres).............. 57
3-l Typesof handsoil augers .................. 63
3-2 Equipmentsetupfor the auger-holeor piezometertest ... 65
3-3 Equipmentfor auger-holetest ................ 66
3-4 Data and computationsheeton auger-holetest for
hydraulic conductivity ................... 69
3-5 Valuesof C when barrier is below bottom of hole during
auger-holetest ....................... 71
3-6 Valuesof C when barrier is at bottom of hole during
auger-holetest ....................... 72
3-7 Dam and computationsheeton steptest for hydraulic
conductivity ........................ 74
3-S Data and computationsheeton piezometertest for
hydraulic conductivity ................... 77

.. .

Figure Page
3-9 Chart for determiningA-function on piezometertest for
hydraulic conductivity when there is upward pressurein
the test zone . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79
3-10 Samplecalculationfor piezometertest with upward
pressurein the test zone . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80
3-l 1 Determination of hydraulic conductivity by pumping from
a uniform or confined stratum . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82
3-12 Equipmentsetupfor a shallow well pump-m test . . . . . . 84
3-13 Typical constant-levelfloat valve usedin hydraulic
conductivity tests . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 86
3-14 Typical filter tank andfilter material . . . . . . . . . . . . 87
3-15a Nomographfor estimatingthe minimum and maximum
volume of water to be dischargedduring a pump-in
hydraulic conductivity test (metric units) . . . . . . . . . 88
3-15b Nomogmphfor estimatingthe minimum andmaximum
volume of water to be dischargedduring a pump-in
hydraulic conductivity test (U.S. customaryunits) . . . . 89
3-16 Data and computationsheeton shallow well pump-in test
for hydraulic conductivity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90
3-17a Nomographfor determininghydraulic conductivity from
shallow well pump-in test data for condition I
(metric units). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91
3-17b Nomogmph for determininghydraulic conductivity from
shallow well pump-in test data for condition I
(U.S. customaryunits) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 92
3-l 8a Nomogmphfor determininghydraulic conductivity from
shallow well pump-in test data for condition II
(metric units) . . . . . . , . . . . . . . . . . . . , , . . . 93
3-18b Nomographfor determininghydraulic conductivity from
shallow well pump-in test data for condition II
(U.S. customaryunits) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . , 94
3-19 Equipmentsetupfor the ring permeameterhydraulic
conductivity test . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 97
3-20a Data and computationsheeton ring permeametertest for
hydraulic conductivity (metric units) . . . . . . . . . . . 101
3-20b Data and computationsheeton ring permeametertest for
hydraulic conductivity (U.S. customaryunits) . . . . . . 102
3-21 Data and computationsheeton test pit method for
hydraulic conductivity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 105
3-22 Dam sheetfor determininginfiltration rate . . . . . . . . . 107
3-23 Coordinatesystemfor numberingobservationholes . . . . 113
3-24 USGS township-rangewellnumbering system . . . . . . . 115
3-25 Devicesfor measuringdepthto water in wells . . . . . . . 116

Figure Page
4-l Typical ground-waterprofiles ................ 124
4-2 Samplelogofadrainagehole ................ 125
4-3 Typical ground-watertable contours ............ 129
4-4 Typical depth-to-groundwater map ............. 131
4-5 Typical hydrogmphsof water table elevations ....... 133
4-6 Additional plotted data on an actualproject hydrograph . . 134
4-7 Crop production responseto a fluctuating water table ... 139
4-8 Typical sprinkler irrigation pattern .............. 142
4-9 Typical pivot sprinkler irrigation pattern .......... 143
5-l Comparisonbetweencomputedand measureddrain
spacings .......................... 149
5-2 Comparisonbetweencomputedand measuredwater table
heightsabovedrains .................... 150
5-3 Ground-waterhydrographs ................. 151
54 Curves showing relationshipof parametersneededfor drain
spacingcalculationsusing the transient-flow theory ... 152
5-5a Curves for determiningHooghoudt’sconvergence
correction (metric units) .................. 156
5-5b Curves for determiningHooghoudt’sconvergence
correction (U.S. customaryunits) ............. 156
5da Expandedcurves for determiningHooghoudt’s
convergencecorrection (metric units) ........... 157
5-6b Expandedcurves for determiningHooghoudt’s
convergencecorrection (U.S. customaryunits) ...... 157
5-7 Curve for estimatinginfiltrated rainfall ........... 160
5-8 Water table fluctuation chart for exampleproblem ..... 166
5-9 Measurementsneededfor estimatinglocation of first drain
belowanunlinedcanalorlateral ............. 176
5-10 Water table profiles on sloping barriersfor
0.05 I iKsz IO.25 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 180
5-l 1 Water table profiles on slopingbarriers for
0.25 I &- I 1.25 . . . . . . . . . . . , . . . . . . . 181
5-12 Water table profile on slopingbarrier for
-=0.76.. ...................... 182
5-13 Water table profile under steadystateconditionswith and
without drains ....................... 185
5-14 Typical plan andprofile of an opendrain .......... #89
5-15 Typical dram and collecting ditch sections ......... 195
5-16 Typical culverts and drain inlets ............... 197
5-17 Joint designfor rigid pipe drains ............... 201
Figure Page
5-18 Typical tubing andjoint sectionsfor corrugatedplastic
pipe drains . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 202
5-19 Rate of installationof drainsby dram depthfor three
different typesof trenchingmachines . . . . . . . . . . . 207
5-20a Cost relationshipsby drain depth for drams installedwith
a high-speedtrencher(metric units) . . . . . . . . . . . . 209
5-20b Cost relationshipsby drain depth for drams installedwith
a high-speedtrencher (U.S. customaryunits) . . . . . . . 209
5-21 Cost relationshipsby drain depth for three different
trenchers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 210
5-22 Cost effects by dram depthas a result of reducingexcavation
and pipe costsby one-half for a conventionaltrencher . . 211
5-23a Excavationamountsfor varioustrench widths and depths
and lOO-millimetergravel envelopevolume for various
pipe sizes(metric units) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 215
5-23b Excavationamountsfor varioustrench widths and depths
and4-inch gravel envelopevolume for various pipe
sizes(U.S. customaryunits) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 216
5-24 Plow enteringa spaceddrain from a gravel envelopefor
concreteor clay pipe . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 217
5-25 Plow enteringa spaceddrain from a gravel envelopefor
plastic pipe . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 220
5-26 Typical manholedesignfor a closeddrain . . . . . . . . . 228
5-27 Loadson concreteor clay pipe per linear meter (foot) for
various backfill materials . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 230
5-28 Chart and nomogmphfor estimatingbackfill load on rigid
pipe in trenches . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 231
5-29 Loadcoefticients for computing weight of backfill . . . . . 235
5-30 Backfill loadson pipe in a 450-millimeter (18-inch) wide
trench . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 236
5-3 la Plow in drainsof various diameterbasedon slope
(metric units). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 239
5-3 1b Plow in drainsof various diameterbasedon slope
(U.S. customaryunits) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 240
5-32 Plan and profile of a typical closeddram . . . . . . . . . . 241
5-33 Hydraulic propertiesof drainpipe . . . . . . , . . . . . . . 242
5-34 Typical arrangementof an automaticdrainagerelift
pumping plant . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 245
5-35 Layout;surface topography,and irrigation facilities of the
samplefarm . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 248
5-36 Water table conditions of the samplefarm . . . . . . . . . 249
5-37 Samplefarm gridsystem and locationof test sites . . . . . 250
5-38 Typical soil profiles of samplefann subareas. . . . . . . . 250

Figure Page
5-39 In-placehydraulic conductivity datafor samplefarm . . . . 252
5-40 North-south profile on E-line of samplefarm . . . . . . . . 256
5-41 Subareasof the samplefarm having similar drainage
conditions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 259
542 Location of pipe drainson the samplefarm . . . . . , . . . 261
7-l Irrigation schedulefor the example5-year crop rotation
program . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 273
7-2 Water table fluctuation for eachcrop in the example
5-year crop rotation program . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 280
7-3 Fluctuationsin dischargerate producedfrom a crop of
alfalfa . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 281
7-4 Dischargeratesfor eachcrop in the example5-year crop
rotation program , . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 282
7-5 Area dischargecurve . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 283
7-6 Water movementin two-layer aquifers . . . . . . . . . . . 295
7-7 Dimensionlesscurvesof maximum water-tableheight, y,
versustime, t, for parallel drainsat various distances
abovean impermeablebarrier . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 296
7-8 Dimensionlesscurvesof rate of discharge,q, versus
time, t, for parallel drains at various distancesabovean
impermeablebarrier . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 297
7-9 Dimensionlesscurvesof volume of water removed, V,
versustime, t, for parallel drainsat variousdistances
abovean impermeablebarrier . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 298
Table Page
2-l Conversionfactors for varioushydraulic conductivity
unit.s . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
2-2 Particle size classification . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
2-3 Weighteddrainagebasinfactors for determining C . . . . . 39
2Aa Irrigation and deeppercolationschedulefor alfalfa
(metric units) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51
2-4b Irrigation and deeppercolationschedulefor alfalfa
(U.S. customaryunits) . . . . . , . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52
2-5a Irrigation and deeppercolationschedulefor alfalfa
including rainfall (metric units) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54
2-5b Irrigation and deeppercolationschedulefor alfalfa
including rainfall (U.S. customaryunits) . . . . . . . . . 55
5-l Approximate deeppercolationfrom surfaceirrigation
(percentof net input) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 159
5-2a Computationof water table fluctuation in meterswith
drain abovethe barrier layer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 163
5-2b Computationof water table fluctuation in feet with
drain abovethe barrier layer. . , . . . . . . . . . . . . . 163
5-3a Computationof water table fluctuation in meterswith
drain abovethe barrier layer usingD’ as correctedby
Hooghoudt . . . . . . . . . . ., . . . . . . . . . . . . . 165
5-3b Computation of water table fluctuation in feet with drain
abovethe barrier layer using D' as correctedby
Hooghoudt . . . . . . . . . . ,, . . . . . . . . . . . . . 165
5-4a Computation of water table fluctuation in meters with
drain on the barrier layer . . . ,, . . . . . . . . . . . . . 166
5Ab Computation of water table fluctuation in feet with drain
on the barrier layer . . . . . . . ,, . . . . . . . . . . . . . 167
5-5 Area dischargefactors . . . . . . ,, . . . . . . . . . . . . . 174
5-6a Cross-sectionalareaand hydraulic radius for small
V-shapedditches(metric units) ,. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 191
5-6b Cross-sectionalareaand hydraulic radius for small
V-shapedditches(U.S. customaryunits) . . . . . . . . . 192
5-7 Cost relationshipsfor drains installedwith high-speed
equipment . . . . . . . . . . . ,, . . . . . . . . . . . . . 208
5-8 Gradationrelationshipbetweenbasematerial and
diametersof gradedenvelopematerial . . . . . . . . . . 214


Table Page
5-9a Allowable crushingstrengthin kilograms per linear meter
for rigid pipe drains in a gravel envelope(metric units) . 232
5-9b Allowable crushingstrengthin poundsper linear foot for
rigid pipe drainsin a gravel envelope(U.S. customary
units)............................ 233
5-10 Samplepipe-sizingcomputation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 238
5-l 1 Computationsshowing selectionof barrier layer . . . . . . 260
7-la Drain spacingcomputationswith convergencecorrection
includedfor the example5-yearcrop rotation program
(metric units). . . . . , . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 276
7-lb Drain spacingcomputationswith convergencecorrection
includedfor the example5-year crop rotation program
(U.S. customaryunits) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 278
7-2a Dischargecomputationsfor the example5-year crop
rotation program (metric units) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 285
7-2b Dischargecomputationsfor the example5-year crop
rotation program (U.S. customaryunits) . . . . . . . . . 289
7-3 Monthly distribution of dischargefrom 1510hectares
(3,730 acres) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 293
74 Rechargeby crop. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 293

Index . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 315
((Chapter I


l-l. General.-A prime requirementfor successfullyirrigated agriculture is

the developmentand maintenanceof a soil zone in which the moisture-oxygen-
saltbalanceis favorablefor plant growth. Plantsrequireboth moistureandoxygen
to live. When a salinewater table rises and remainsin the root zone longer than
about 48 hours, resulting in an abnormally high saline moisture condition,
agricultural production is usually seriouslyaffected.
The presenceof oxygen in the intersticesof the soil1 in the root zone is as
necessaryas water for both seed germination and plant growth The oxygen
content of soil is governedby the rate of diffusion of oxygen through the soil
pores. Also, the oxygen content is markedly affected by the moisture content of
a soil. Soilswith initially low moisturecontentnormally haverelatively openpore
structuresbetweensoil particles,allowing oxygen to freely permeatethrough the
interstices.As the moisture contentincreases,water displacesthe air in the pores,
thusforcing the air upward andinto the atmosphere.Once the oxygen is expelled,
the oxygen content recovery rate is extremely slow in a soil that is in transition ’
from a moist or wet state to a drier state. This slow recovery is causedby the
inherently slow rate of diffusion of gasesthrough suchsoils andthe phenomenon
of capillary stresseswhich develop in soils when the water content does not
completely fill the voids. The proper balancebetweensoil moisture and oxygen
is maintainedto a considerableextent by adequatedrainage.
A simplebut comprehensivedefinition of adequatedrainageis the removal of
excesswater and saltfrom the soil at arate which will permit normalplant growth
Adequatedrainagealsomay be defined as the amount of drainagenecessaryfor
successfulmaintenanceand perpetuationof agriculture. This definition doesnot,
however, necessarilyimply completeandperfect drainage.Suchis generallynot
feasible becausethe cost of preventing occasionaldamageto crops may not be
justified solelyby the amountof the damage.The aspectof economicjustification
must then be reconciled.The prime objective of a drainageproject should be to

1 Thetenn”mil”in thistechnicalmanualis loosely usedto denotethatpartoftheEarth’~mantleabovebedrock

ad includes the materials defined by the. soil scientist as soil, subsoil, and substrata.


designand construct a drainagesystemwhich hasoptimum integrationof soils,

crops, irrigation, and drainage.
Drainage can be either natural or artificial. Most lands have some natural
surfaceand subsurfacedrainage.When natural drainageis inadequateto handle
the water reaching the land by either natural or artificial means,manmadeor
so-called ‘artificial” drainageis required. Artificial drainagethus tills the gap
between that provided by nature and the establishedneed. Artificial drainage
usually supplementsexistingnaturalsystems.For example,natural watercourses
can be deepenedor, where no suitable ones exist, new watercoursescan be
constructed. Almost every physical aspectand condition of lands, as well as
man’s potentialagriculturaluseof them, will affect theultimate drainagerequire-
ment. In humid areaswhere salt movement into the root zone is not a problem,
shallow, closely spaceddrainsprovide a rapid lowering of the water table in the
spring, permitting earlier preparation of seedbedsand earlier planting. In arid
irrigated areas,the water table is usually lowest in the spring and starts rising as
a resultof the snowmelt,springrains, andearly irrigations. This rising water table
canbe saline,and if allowed to permeateinto the root zone,will affect both seed
germinationandplant growth. Drains in arid areasmust be designeddeepenough
and spacedclosely enoughto provide sufficient headmidway betweendrainsto
move the ground water to the drains without allowing the ground water to rise
into the root zoneat any time during the growing season.Capillary rise of salty
groundwater into the root zoneduring the growing seasonusuallydoesnot occur
under good irrigation practices. Regulated irrigations and the resulting deep
percolation am frequent enoughto keep the root zone soils leachedof salt and
also provide sufficient moisture content to preventappreciableupward capillary
Figure l-l shows the land use and conditions of a farm areabefore, during,
andafter drain construction.The top photographon figure l-l showsthe effects
of seepageand salinity on an irrigated area prior to any drainageconstruction.
The dark areason this photographare waterloggedsoils and the patchy growth
areasare a result of salinity. The middle photographwas taken of the samearea
soonafter drain construction.The herringbonepattern of the drainlinesis clearly
visible. The bottom photograph was taken of the same area 2 years after the
drainagesystem was completed.The land has beencompletely reclaimed with
little evidenceof the former problems.
l-2. Scope.-This technicalmanual:

l Reviews the methodsand techniquesused in solving various phasesof

l Suggestspertinent datarequired,
l Tells where and how to obtain the data; and
l Details how to record, present,analyze,and apply thesedata.

Before drain construction. 10-27-66. P222-D- 77008.

During drain construction. 3-19-69. P222-D- 77009.

After drain construction. 10-1- 71. P222-D- 77010.

Figure 1-1.-Farm conditions before, during, and after drain construction.


Problemsof forecastingdrainagerequirementsare discussedand suggestions

on drainagedesigncriteria andconstructionstandardsarepresented.This manual
is not intendedfor useasa theoreticaltextbook on drainagebut, rather, is directed
toward field applicationof engineeringknowledge on the subject. The manual
does not provide a step-by-step approach which will solve every drainage
problem becausegood judgment, as well as proper procedure,must be usedin
the solution of drainageproblems.An attempt is made to developguidelinesfor
usein exercisingsuchjudgment.
l-3. History.-Drains were constructedand drainageengineering’wasprac-
ticed long before man’s recordedhistory, as evidencedby archeologicalfinds.
Some ancient systems were simple, some were elaborate,but very few were
entirely successful,andpractically nonehavesurvivedto the presenttune. Man’s
drainageproblemshavebeenattributed partly to his neglectof drainagesystems
andpartly to his lack of understandingof all the physicaland technicalproblems
involved. Man’s basicknowledgeand understandingof soil physicsandhydrau-
lics are now being applied to drainageproblems, and drainageengineeringis
rapidly emergingfrom the “build it here and seehow it works” stage.Drainage
engineeringis not, however,an exactscienceandprobablyneverwill be,because
it remainslargely a matter of experience,common sense,andjudgment.
14. Importance.-The importanceof drainageto the irrigation economyof
a project, State, or Nation too often has been underestimated.The history of
irrigation, aspracticed in the United Statesand the world, universallypoints out
the inescapableconclusionthat successfulirrigation requiresadequatedrainage.
Only on irrigated landswith the ram combinationof adequatenatural surfaceand
subsurfacedrainagewill excesssurfacewater and deeppercolation from irriga-
tion drain natumlly from the land rapidly enoughto prevent the rise of ground
water to critical levels. Where natural dminage is inadequateand artificial
drainage cannot be economically provided, the land cannot be permanently
irrigated.Landshaving original water tables5 to 30 meters(20 to 100feet) below
the ground surface, and seeminglyfavorable natural drainageconditions, have
eventually developedexcessivelyhigh water tables,leadingto waterlogging or
Man’s knowledge and desires are paradoxical. Few deny that drainage is
essential,yet many wishfully hopeto get along without it. Canaland distribution
systems are essential also, but here the similarity ends. Without these latter
feahues,irrigatedagriculturecannotexist, but irrigated agriculture+of a sort and
for a time-can exist without drainage.Symptomsof high ground water and salt
may not develop for some time after the beginning of irrigation, and soil
deteriorationmay take placebefore the needfor drainageis recognized.
1-S. Benefits of Draiiage .-Judgments of the benefits of man’s acts are
always highly subjective. Consequently,some items listed in this section as
benefitsof drainageareheldin disdainby thosehiving different valueconcepts,
In this manual,the subjectof benefitswill be appro~hedfrom the viewpoint
of embliihing and maimthing permanentagriculture Conditionsdirealy

promoting the health and welfare of crops and of the people growing those
crops will be consideredbeneficial Some of the benefits obviously could be
construed as detrimental to other aspectsof our ecology-a thought which
drainagespecialistsshouldconstantlykeep in mind.
Soil is a porous medium consisting of liquid, gaseous,and solid materials
which provide the cropswith essentialwater, oxygen,andnutrients. Unlessboth
the supply of water and oxygen can be maintained,the nutrient intake by crops
is reduced.Drainageis essentialto maintain the supplyof oxygen. Other factors
associatedwith drainageand plant growth are soil temperature,trafficability,
resistanceto diseaseand root growth, and chemical and biological conditions
favorableto crop growth.
Drainageplays an important part in all of the above factors. Saturatedsoils
directly impede the intake of water and nutrients and curtail root growth Poor
drainagediscouragesthe growth of aerobicbacteriawhich are neededto provide
nitrogen for crops.In saturatedsoil, lack of oxygenpreventsformation of usable
forms of nitrogen and sulfur. In addition,toxic organicand inorganiccompounds
developin saturatedsoils.
Subsurfacedrainagepromotesconditionsthat maintain soil structure,traffica-
bility, and workability. Theseconditions exist particularly in fine-textured soils
containing swelling clays. Efficient farm operationsrequire well-drained soils
throughout the season.Poorly drainedsoils adverselyaffect preparing,planting,
cultivating, irrigating, and harvestingoperations.
Saturatedsoils require as much as three times more heat to raise the soil
tempemture 1 ‘C, and they areusually 4 to 8 “C (7 to 14 “F) cooler than similar
well-drainedsoils.Drainagepromotesearly warming of soilsin the springwhich,
in turn, promotesbiological and chemicalactivity in the soilsthat is important to
seedgerminationand plant growth. Well-drained soils canbe plantedfrom 2 to
3 weeksearlierthan similar saturatedsoils, which is important in areaswith short
growing seasonsand where early harvestsbring higher prices.
Most plant root systemswill not penetratedeeplyinto a water table. In anarea
with a high water table, the mot system will be shallow andmore susceptibleto
disease.Cold, wet soils seemto encouragethe activities of many diseaseorgan-
isms that attack weak seedlings.In a drainedsoil, the plant roots can penetrate
more deeply,thus enlargingthe supply of plant food which producesa healthier,
more vigorous growth. Figure l-2 shows the effects of shallow water tableson
plant roots.
Proper control of salinity and alkalinity can be accomplishedonly in well-
drainedsoils.Leachingwater must beableto passthroughthe soil profile to move
excesssaltsout of the root zone.This movementcannotoccurunlessfree drainage
exists. Conversely, a high water table creates a condition wherein capillarity
moves saltsinto the mot zoneand depositsthem there.

. .. ,


Figure 1-2.-Effects of shallow water table depths on plant roots. These 1-year-old alfalfa plants
were grown in different areas over depths to water table of: (left to right) 0.6 meter (2 feet).
0.3 meter (1 foot). and 0.1 meter (4 inches). The most vigorous growth generally occun whm
the water table i" at least 1 meter below the ground surface. P801-D- 77011.

Some of the less tangible benefits resulting from good drainage are:

.The reduction or elimination of mosquito and other insect breeding

.Control of botulism;
.Improvement of farmlands by elimination of boggy and weed-breeding
.Impro,rement of public and private roads by elimination of soft spots
which results in lower road maintenance costs; and
.A finn, dry land surface to support harvesting machinery .

In summary,the benefitsof adequatedrainageare:

l A longer growing season;

l Increasedsoil tilth;
l Early and more vigorousplant growth,
l Larger yields;
l A wider selectionof crops;
l Decreasedcost of production:
l Vector and weed control; and
l Dry, fm land surfaces.

1-6. Drainage and Environment.-Multipurpose projects require analysis

of benefits andcosts from a wide rangeof factors other than agriculture.Unfor-
tunately, many gains and lossesto certain aspectsof the environment have not
been quantified in any generally acceptedterms. DolIars and cents dominate
economicanalysesbecauseactual costsof systemconstructioncanbe estimated
with theseterms. However, the net value of eliminating or altering an aspectof
the environmentandreplacingit withanother is currently basedon the individual
values of the people involved. Some irrigators tend to look at wildlife habitat
on their land as a troublesomeweed patch, while the wildlife specialist sees
cleanfarms asbarrenwastelandwhen evaluatedas part of the ecology.More and
more, drainageengineersmust considerall valuesin planning,constructing,and
operatingprojects. They must shamthe responsibilitywith all other disciplines,
including soils, geology, ecology, cultural resources,and economics,for identi-
fying the effects of their work on the environment.
Somebenefitsthat cannotbequantifiedin termsof moneycanoften berealized
for little or no cost. For example,fisherieshavenaturally establishedthemselves
in most large drainage systems.With little mom than an awarenessof what
constitutesa favorablefish habitat, the systemspossiblycouldhavebeenplanned
to develop even better fisheries for little additional cost. All drains require
maintenance,however, and the possibility of cleaningthem with certain chemi-
cals, suchas sulfur dioxide or coppersulfate, shouldbe a prime considerationin
planninga drainagesystemfor multiuse.
Establishingwildlife habitats may create insect control problems. Bacteria,
viruses,and other pathogensmay breedin the habitat,and diseasesproducedby
them may find their way to neighboringcommunities through carriers such as
mosquitoesor domesticandwild animalsusingthe habitat.The benefitsandcosts
associatedwith maintaining or eliminating such breeding grounds must be
weighedalongwith all otherbenefitsandcosts.Considerationof wildlife habitats
must include contactswith local healthofficers.
Water quality has always been a concern of drainageengineers.State and
national water quality criteria for surface waters are being upgradedand more
preciselydefined.Thesecriteria identify total salt load as a concern,and regula-
tions limit allowable quantities of potentially toxic trace elements. These

regulationsrequirethat the drain systemdesignerknow the quality and constitu-

ent compositionof the drainagesystemeffluent. The applicablequality standards
must be met and the required dischargepermits obtained before disposal of
drainwaterto surfacewaters can takeplace.In someareas,treatmentof drainage
waters before final disposalmay be required.
A wide variety of considerationscould be enumerated,but little in the way of
practical guidelinescould be offered. The drainageengineersimply must main-
tain constantawarenessof water and land resourceusesother than agricultuml.
Plans must integrate as many positive effects as are practical with the basic
objective, and yet the planner must anticipate and remain aware of negative
effects upon the environmentwhich must be consideredin the overall objective.
l-7. Drainage Nomenclature.-Drainage nomenclatureis complexand has
beendevelopedfrom conditions suchas the sourceof water to be moved, when
and where the drains are to be built, and their function. Dmins may be either
surface or subsurface, open or pipe, constructed concurrently with project
developmentor deferred. They sometimesconsist of wells (recharge,relief, or
pumped)and may fall within variousfunctional classifications:
(a) Surface Drainage.-Surface drainageis the removal of water from the
surfaceof the land. Situationswhich may producethe needfor surfacedrainage
includeexcessprecipitation, water appliedin irrigation, lossesfrom conveyance
channelsand storagefacilities, or water which hasseepedfrom ground water at
a higher elevation.Control of surfacewater is normally accomplishedby provid-
ing channelsto facilitate removal.
(b) Subsurface Drainage.-Subsurface drainageis the removal or control of
groundwater and the removal or control of salts,using water as the vehicle.
Situations which may produce the need for subsurface drainage include
percolation from precipitation or irrigation: leakage from canals, drains, or
surface water bodies at higher elevations; or leakage from artesian aquifers.
Generally, any drain or well which is designedto control or lower the ground
water is consideredsubsurfacedrainage.
(c) Open and Pipe Drains.-Open drainsare channelswith an exposedwater
surface. Pipe drains are buried pipe regardless of material, size, or shape.
Generally, all of the nomenclaturefor other types of drains may be applied to
either openor pipe drains.Drain sizeandpurpose,physicalcondition of the soils,
topography,requireddrain spacing,and annualoperationandmaintenancecosts
largely dictate whether drainsare to be open or pipe.
(d) Deferred Drainage.-Deferred drainageis that which is provided after
project works have beenconstructedand the irrigation hasbegun. The deferral
of construction of such drains usually is necessarybecauseof the difficulty of
locating and designingthem accurately before the lands are irrigated and the
drainageproblem becomesevident. The term “deferred drainage”is more often
applied to subsurfacedrainagebecausethe need for surface dmins which are
constructedasa part of the initial project works is generallymore evident.Bureau
of Reclamationpolicy requiresthe inclusion of deferreddrainagein the project

plan and cost estimate.Only an estimatecan be madeas to when theseexpendi-

tureswill be requited.Experiencewith pastprojectsshowsthat about 50 percent
of thesedramsam installedduring the fust 15yearsof project operation.Dminage
installationsareessentiallycompleteafter 30 yearsunlessmajor changesin water
(e) Function ofDrains.-The nomenclatureused for technical aspectsof
drainageand as usedhereinis basedon the function of the drain. The five types
of drainsare designated: relief, interceptor, collector, suboutlet,and outlet, see
figure 1-3.Relief andinterceptordrainshavethe principal function of controlling
ground-waterlevels.They form theupstreamportion of the landdrainagesystem,
andthe distinction betweenthem is basedon the slopeof the ground-waterbody
they control. Both relief andinterceptordramsmay be constructedas eitheropen
or pipe drains.They are designedasopendminswhen they arerequiredto receive
irrigation surfacewaste andexcessprecipitation from adjacentfields.
(1) Relief drains are used to effect a lowering of ground water over
relatively large flat areaswhere percolation from precipitation or irrigation
servesas the water source,and where gradientsof both the water table and
subsurfacestrata do not permit sufficient lateral movement of the ground
(2) Interceptor drains areusedto cut off or intercept groundwater which
is moving downslopefrom somesource.
(3) Collector drains receive water from subsurfacerelief or interceptor
drainsandfrom farm surfacedrainscarryingirrigation surfacewasteandstorm
runoff. Becausecollector drains control ground water as well as receiveflow
from tributary subsurfacedrams,they must be designedwith a normal water
surfaceat or below the depthwhich will provide effective subsurfacedrainage
in adjacentor tributary areas.They may be either openor pipe dramsdepend-
ing on the volume of water to be handled,the availablegradient,and whether
their tributariesare open or pipe drains.
(4) Suboutletdrainshave the principal function of conveyingwater from
cdlector drains to the outlet drain. In general,they are locatedin topographic
lows suchasdraws andcreeksbut canalsobe constructeddrains.Thesedrains
receive inflows from a number of collector drains and canal and lateral
wasteways.Suboutletdramsresemblecollector drainsin function, exceptthey
usually arenot requited to serveas subsurfacedmins in the control of ground
water to prescribedelevations.They may be locatedentirely within the project
areaor they can be the outlet for landsnot includedin the project. On figure
1-3, the suboutletdrainsare shownas the principal creeksof the project ama.
(5) Outlet drams convey collected water away from the drained area or
project. The outlet drain is usually a natural channelin the topographiclow
for the areato be drained,but where a natural channeldoesnot exist, one can
be constructed.Figure 1-3 shows the outlet drain as a river traversing the
centralportion of the project atea.







Figure I-3.-Types of drains. 103-D-1617.


v) Inverted, Relief, or Pumped Wells.-These specialinstallationsmay be

usedto disposeof surfacewater, to control ground-water levels,or to relieve
hydraulic pressureswhere local physical conditionscan be adaptedfor their
use. An explanationof their use and limitations is discussedin chapter V,
((Chapter II


2-l. Introductiou-Selection of the optimum drainageplan and the design

andconstructionof adequateand successfuldrainagefacilities dependupon the
reliability and adequacyof the basic drainagedata. The data requirementsfor a
particular drainageproblem vary with the type of problem and the degreeof
importanceof the investigationsor report beingprepared.Thebasicdatamust be
sufficiently representativeto permit selectionof a gooddrainageplan from which
a functionally sound dminage system can be designedand constructed.Cost
estimatesmust bemadewhich arereasonablyaccuratefor the purposesintended.
Inadequateor unreliabledataintroduce seriousrisks in determiningthe drainage
requirementsand cost estimates.
The basic data must provide a knowledge of: (1) capacity of the soils to
transmit water; (2) amount, source,movement, and chemical characteristicsof
the water!that must be transmitted; and (3) availablehydraulic gradients,both
natural a&l those inducedby man. Sufficient data must be gatheredto estimate
the effects of the drainageplan on both the social andeconomicenvironment.
2-2. Topography.-Topography, which is of prime importancein drainage,
influencesthe generalplan that must be madeand, for most areas,the location of
the outlet, suboutlet,and collector drains.Even before reachingthe planningand
designing stagesof drainage, the importance of topographic features can be
recognized.Topographycan mean the difference between the need for little or
no artificial drainagefacilities and extensivedrainagefacilities. Where surface
slopesare sufficient, excessprecipitation, irrigation water, and canalwaste will
flow rapidly from the area.Suchrapidremovalof excesssurfacewater diminishes
percolation to the ground-water table. Favorabletopographymay provide ade-
quatesurfacedrainageand reducethe needfor artificial subsurfacedrainage.
Topographicmaps are essentialin any detaileddrainageinvestigation.These
mapsshow landslopes,lengthof slope,locationanddirection of naturaldrainage,
potential outlets, and other specialconditionswhich affect drainage.In addition,
the maps often reveal clues to the type of drainageneededand, to a degree,its
practicability. The scaleof the mapsto be useddependsupon the size of the area
being studiedand the purposesof the investigation.For a reconnaissancestudy/,
a scaleof 1 inch equals4,000 feet (1:48,000) is usually adequate,but maps with

other scalesmay be used.For smaherareasor for a more detailedstudy, a scale

of 1 inch equals2,000 feet (1:24,000) would be advantageous.Detailed studies
of specialproblem areasand the location and designof the constructeddrainage
system require a scale of 1 inch equals400 feet (1:4,800). Topographic maps
shouldhavecontour intervalsconsistentwith the scaleused,the sizeof the area
surveyed,and the purposeof the map. For preliminary study of large areaswith
considerabletopographicrelief, aZmeter or 5foot contourinterval is satisfactory
provided the natural drainagepattern is adequatelyshown. A l-meter or 2-foot
interval is usually sufficient for the actual drainagelayout, but for large, nearly
level areas, a 0.3-meter (l-foot) interval is required. In addition to relief and
natural features, topographicmaps should show the location of springs, seeps,
wells, andcultural featuressuchasroads,railmads,culverts,pipeandutility lines,
structures,and land subdivisionlines.
In many instances,topographicmaps have beenpreparedfor a proposedor
existing irrigated or cultivated area,either specifically for the purposeof laying
out the irrigation system or for other related purposes.The Soil Conservation
Service, Bureau of Reclamation, and other Federal and State agenciesare the
most probablesourcesfor suchmaps. The U.S. GeologicalSurvey and the U.S.
Coast and Geodetic Survey are usually the best sourcesof generaltopographic
maps. More detailedinformation about publishedgeologicmaps for individual
Statesis given in the series of geologic map indexesavailable from the U.S.
Geological Survey. Even though the availablemaps may be inadequatefor the
study being made, they may contain usable information which may reduce
significantly the additionalsurveyingrequired.If adequatetopographicmapsare
not available,a field surveywill have to be made.
Aerial photographsare useful in drainagestudies. They supplementtopo-
graphic maps in presentingan overall picture of natural and artificial drainage
ways andparticularly of outlet conditions.Additionally, they will often revealthe
existenceand location of drainageproblems, such as seepyareasand saline or
alkalinedeposits,andmay provide cluesto the sourceof excesswater. The U.S.
Departmentof Agriculture agencies,such as the Soil ConservationServiceand
Forest Service,and local county agricultural agenciesmay have information on
the existenceof aerialphotographsof anarea.In addition, the Stateengineerand
the Statewaterboard,or their equivalents,may haveknowledgeof the availability
of mapsor photographs.
Most aerial photographsare of the general-purposepanchromatictype. For
small areas,greater use can be made of thesephotographswhen a 2-film filter
combination is used. Comparative interpretation of infrared and panchromatic
photography,using proper film-filter combinations,yields information on high
ground-waterareasandalso indicates,by contrastingtonedareasor patterns,the
presenceof solublesaltsin the root zone.For a more completediscussionon the
useof aerialphotographs,see Manual of Photogrammetty (American Societyof
Photogrammetry, 1980).

Drainagemapsaredevelopedfrom information takenfrom topographicmaps,

aerial photographs,land classificationmaps, county road maps, and ownership
maps.Addedto the existing featuresare drainagedesignfeaturessuchas type of
proposed or existing drainage systems, observation well locations, depth to
barrier, depth to ground-water table, and water table contours. Conventional
symbolsfor drainagemaps are shown on figure 2-1.
2-3. Geology.-(u) General.-An understandingof geologicalprocessesis
helpful in appraising and analyzing the occurrence and solution of drainage
problems.In someareas,the in-placesoil material hasbeendepositedas a result
of volcanic eruption. Fine ash material is spreadover the land surface in the
vicinity of the volcanoto depthsthat sometimesreachmany feet. The soil in these
areasis fine grained and has adequatehydraulic conductivity near the surface,
but becomeslesspermeablewith depth.Near the volcano’scone, the tine ashis
usually underlainby volcanic cinderswhich have very good drainageand stable
In other areas,the soil depositionresultsfrom glacial action. The texturesof
thesesoils,which arecalledglacialtill, vary from clay andfme-grainedrock flour
to coarsegravelsand cobbles.The shapeof the grains and the gradation of the
formation area result of the natureandlocationof the parentmaterialfrom which
they were derivedand the glacial phenomenaassociatedwith transportationand
deposition.Undisturbedglacial till is usually denseand hasa very low hydraulic
conductivity rate, while till that has beendisturbedor reworked is more friable
and usua.llyhas sufficient hydraulic conductivity to be economically drained.
Formations of glacial lakes, and deposition of eskers, moraines, kames, and
similar forms are examplesof glacial action.
Residual soils formed from disintegrationof the underlying parent material
are found in many areas.The characteristicsof thesesoils are influencedby the
type of parentmaterial, weatheringprocesses,and the reworking action by wind
and water. The parent rock material may have beenof igneous,sedimentary,or
Probably the most widespreadsoil material in irrigated lands is alluvial in
character.Thesewater-depositedmaterialsrangein texture from clays to gravels
and in all possiblecombinationsthereof. They consist of outwash from moun-
tains, streams,river and lake deposits,and similar formations which result from
variousgeologicprocesses.As rivers aggmdeanddegradeover the years,asthey
meander and entrench themselves,and as mountain streams flow out on the
plains, the shapeof the land surface is changed.The presenttopography is the
result of these processesover thousandsof years. Most alluvial profiles have
adequatehydraulic conductivity for economicallyfeasibledrainagesystems.
Lacustrine depositsconsist of materials that have settledout of quiet waters
of lakes and are usually recognizableby their flat surfacessurroundedby high
ground. Soils can vary from clays to coarse sandsin these deposits, and the
continuity andstructureusuallyvary throughoutthe lakebed.Most lacustrinesoils
canbe economicallydrained.










< /- (Solid contouir con
-+,-+* PROPOSED OPEN SURFACE DRAIN be used when surface
contour doe’s not ow?or
...+.-...- NATURAL DRAIN on some drownq.)






0 n TEST PIT q ID El1


All wells, holes, and test pits should hove ldentiflcotlon number








c_---- --__- ---_


\--e-----------J I

The depths for each interval should be shown on all mops.

Figure Z-L-Conventional symbols for drainage maps. 40-D-5063.


Another material which is found in many areasis the eolianor wind-deposited

soil. Thesesoil depositsare fme graineddue to the limited ability of the wind to
carry large grains.Two principal classesof soils formed in this mannerare loess
and sanddunes,the depositsof which have beenfound to considerabledepths.
These soils have adequatedrainagecharacteristicsfor economically feasible
Becausesoilsam the resultsof complicatedgeologicprocesses,therearemany
more geologic soil types than mentioned above. Wide varieties of geologic
situationshave important bearingson drainageinvestigationsand determination
of drainageneeds.Therefore, in the interestof accuracy,time, and the designof
aneffective drainagesystem,anevaluationof the geologicsituationby a qualified
geologistis desirable.
Positivelandform recognitioncan assistthe engineerin determiningthe types
of field investigationsneededto solve a drainageproblem. Recognition of the
landform also plays an important part in evaluating the drainability of lands
intended for irrigation development.As an example, the permeability charac-
teristics found at the toe of an alluvial fan may vary greatly from thosefound in
its middle or upper reaches.Likewise, an ancient river channelterrace would
exhibit different geohydrauliccharacteristicsfrom a recent flood plain area.
(b) Barrier.-The barrier is a stratum or layer that restricts the movementof
water. Geology is often a key in determining the barrier-also known as the
barrier stratum, barrier layer, or barrier zone. These terms are often used in
drainageengineeringand are related to the relative hydraulic characteristicsof
Since strata in irrigated areas are found in a generally horizontal attitude
relative to the ground surface,the barrier zone is usually consideredas a barrier
to the vertical movementof water. This is not exclusivelythe condition,however,
becausein areasof unconformity or folding of geologicstrata, a vertical barrier
may alsorestrict the horizontal movement of water.
When water percolatingdownward under the force of gravity reachesthe top
of a barrier zone, a saturatedcondition develops,resulting in differential pres-
sums. Most of the water moves laterally above the barrier zone. Therefore, in
ground-waterhydraulics, the barrier zone limits the depth of material available
for the movement of groundwater.
This depth-of-flow zone,togetherwith the material’s hydraulic conductivity,
greatly influences drainagerequirementsfor a given area. A typical drainage
investigationrequires a great deal of effort to identify the barrier zone and its
depthbelow the ground surface.This depth-to-barrier damis used to determine
the depth-of-flow zoneavailableto a drainagesystem.
(c) Aquifers.-Geologic identification of artesianaquifersmay be important
when evaluating drainagerequirementsand drainagesystem performance. An
artesianaquifer that is under sufficient pressureto causethe piezometric water
surfaceto rise to or near the land surfacewill contributeto the drainageproblem.
Whenthis happens,the artesianwater, aswell asdeeppercolationfrom irrigation

and precipitation, must be handled by drainage. This increasesthe drainage

requirementsto a quantity suchthat drainageusually is uneconomical.
2-4. Soil CbaracteristicscOf primary concernwhen evaluatingsubsurface
drainagerequirementsis determiningthecapabilityof the soil (previouslydefined
to includesoil, subsoil, substrata,and in somesituationsthe underlying consoli-
datedformation) to transmit water both laterally and vertically. The capabilityof
the soil to transmit water is a function of the hydraulic conductivity, effective
depth of the saturatedzone, and the hydraulic gradient. All of the soil charac-
teristics of density, porosity, panicle size, grain distribution, texture, structure,
chemicalproperties, and water-holding capacity affect the movement of water
through soil, as doesthe chemical composition of the water itself. However, of
all the characteristicsthat affect this movement, the one which integrates the
combinedeffects for a particular water anda particular soil-and the one which
is basic in the solution of drainageproblems-is the hydraulic conductivity or
coefficient of permeabilityas it is known by most engineers.Studiesto establish
a relationship between hydmulic conductivity and one or more of the readily
determinedsoil propertieshaveproven to be difficult. In areaswhere soils were
derivedfrom the samesource,depositedin the samemanner,affectedby the same
climatic conditions, and, in general,havesimilar chemicaland physical charac-
teristics, a relationshipbetweenhydraulic conductivity and thesepropertiescan
be determined.By using this relationship,the numberof hydraulic conductivity
tests can be reducedby assigningcorrelatedhydraulic conductivities to similar
(a) Hydraulic Conduclivity,The facility with which water moves in a soil
is a measurableproperty of the soil called hydraulic conductivity. An under-
standingof anda meansof determiningthis property is essentialto understanding
and correcting most subsurfacedrainageproblems. Hydraulic conductivity has
beendefinedin variousways. As usedherein,it refers to movementof a particular
water in a particular soil underspecifiedconditions.It is expressedasthe constant
K in Darcy’s Law: K = T , where v is velocity of flow and i is the hydraulic

(1) Dimensions.-Physical dimensionsfor hydraulic conductivity depend

on those used to express the velocity. For laboratory-type testing cubic
centimetersper squarecentimeterper secondis commonlyused:however, this
results in extremely small numbers.For field applicationscubic meters per
squaremeter per day resultsin more reasonablesizenumbers.Theseunits are
commonly shortenedto centimetersper secondand meters per day and are
referred to as rates. In the U.S. customary system,cubic feet per squarefoot
per day (feet per day) and cubic inchesper squareinch per hour (inchesper
hour) are commonly used. Cubic feet per squarefoot per year is also used.
Table2-l presentsconversionfactors for varioushydraulic conductivity units.

(2) Weighted average hydraulic conductivity.-This refinement on hy-

draulic conductivity is often usedin the determinationof subsurfacedrainage
requirements,and is simply the weighted averagehydraulic conductivity of
all soils between the maximum allowable water table height and the barrier.
The value is obtainedby averagingthe results from in-place hydraulic con-
duetivity tests at different locationsin the areato be drained.

Table 2-l .-Conversion factors.

(1) The $d2 raulic conductivity of a soil has been determined to be 15.2 gal/ft’/d. To convert to
m /m /d-Find value of 1 in Col. @and move horizontally to value form3/m2/d in Cal. 8.
Multiply 15.2 by value in Cot. 8 (0.0407) = 0.619 m3/mz/d.
(2) The hydraulic conductivity of a soil has been determined to be0.00393 cm3/cm2/s. To convert
toft3/ft2/d-Findvalue of 1 in Col. @andmovehorizontally tovalueforft3/ft2/d in Col. 0.
Multiply 0.00393 by value in Col. @ (2,834.6) = 11.14 ft3/ft2/d.

The weighted hydraulic conductivity for lateral movement through soils

may be obtainedby the following method:

D,K,+D,K,+ . . . . . . . +D,K,,
thicknessof fust, second,. . . . . . ., and nth. soil strata,
hydraulic conductivity of first, second,. . . . . . ., andnth.
soil strata, and
D = total thicknessof soil profile tested.

The weighted hydraulic conductivity for the vertical componentmay be

D1 D2 4
jfy+z+.. . . . . .+Kn

Soils are usually heterogeneousand anisotropic(having unequalphysical

properties along different axes). This results in nonuniform field conditions
for obtaininghydraulic conductivitiesover an areaof appreciablesize. High-
degreeprecisionin hydraulic conductivity valuesis therefore not obtainable;
however, every effort should be made to get the best accuracy possible.
Proceduresfor the various methodson obtaininghydraulic conductivitiesare
discussedin chapterIII.
(b) Texture.The term “texture” relatesto the proportion of the varioussixes
of particlesin a soil sample.Texture is important in subsurfacedrainagebecause
it is a soil characteristicwhich has a generalrelationshipwith hydraulic conduc-
tivity and water retention. In general, the coarse-texturedsoils have higher
hydraulicconductivities and lower water retention than fine-textured soils. Tex-
ture is readily measurableby performing a gradationanalysisto separatethe size
groups.The particle sizeclassificationshown in table 2-2 was developedby the
U.S. Departmentof Agriculture. This table is usedby the Bureauof Reclamation
in land classification and drainagework becauseit relates to the agricultural
properties of the soil and allows better correlation with hydraulic conductivity
than do the Casagrandeor Unified Soil Classificationsystems.
Table 2-2.-Particle size classification.
Mated Diameter
Stones Greater than 250 millimeters (mm)
Cobbles 250 to 80 mm
Come gmvel 80 to 12.5 mm
Fine gravel 12.5 mm
Very coarse sand 2.0 to 1.0 mm
Coarse sand 1.0 to 0.5 mm
Medium sand 0.5 to 0.25 mm
Fine sand 0.25 to 0.10 mm
Very fine sand 0.10 to 0.05 mm
Silt 0.05 to 0.002 mm
Clay Less than 0.002 mm

Textural classesam arbitrary groupingsbasedon the relativeproportion of the

various-sizeparticlesin the soil mass.The soil texture triangle,figure 2-2, is used
to convert quantitativedatafrom detailedgradationanalysesof the separatesless
than 2 millimeters in diameter to textural classnames of soils. Textural class
namesof materiallarger than 2 millimeters in diameteram asshownin table2-2.


SAND (5) 85 O m
LOAMY SAND (LS) 70 to 90 0 to 20 0 to 15
SANDY LOAM 43 to 65 0 to 50 0 to 20
LOAM ?LY 23 to 52 26 to 50 7 to 27
SILT LOAM '(SIL) 0 to 50 so to 100 0 to 27
SANDY CLAY LOAM 4s to 90 0 to 26 20 to 35
CLAY LOAM 'KY 20 to 4s IS ta 53 27to 40
SILTY CLAY LOAM (SiCLI 0 to 20 40 to 73 27 to 40
SANDY CLAY 45 to 65 0 to 20 3s to 5s
SILT 0 to 20 6oto loo 0 to 12
SILTY CLAY 0 to20 40 to 60 40 to 60
CLAY 0 to* 0 to 40 40to MO
yi.t.r. U.S. Stondord
/ imrtrr SiQvQ numbars m!!L
0.05 to 0. IO 300 to 140 VQr fine Sand (VFSI 20 to SO
0.10 to 0.25 I40 to 60 r inQ sand (FS) 50 to 90 VQr$::~lly (!6r&
0.25 to 0.50 60 to 35 MQdiUm sand (Sl
0.50 to I, 00 35 to 16 COO~SQ sand icss1
I.00 to 2.00 16 to IO VQry COOrSQ sand (VCsS)
fh36Q sand: ZS%'Or morQ VCSS ond IQSS than 50% of ony othQr 9rOdQ of sand.
: 25s or mora VCsS. CsS. ond 5. and IQSS than 50% of F or VFS.
Fina sand : So!4 or more FS and IQSS than 21% of VCsS. CSS. and S and less than
50% Of VFS.
Veryfincsmd: So% or more VFS.

Figure 22.Soil triangle of the basic soiltextural classes. 103-D-1618.


(c) Color.Xolor is an important soil characteristicthat permits quick and

easyidentification andcomparisonof soils.Initself, color hasno direct influence
on the hydraulic conductivity, but when combined with texture and structure,
color helpsidentify similar soils.Resultsof hydraulic conductivity testscanthen
be projectedfor thesesimilar soils.
Soil color canbest be describedby comparisonwith the Munsell color chips
for hue, value, and chroma. The hue indicatesthe color’s relation to red, yellow,
green, blue, and purple; the value indicatesthe shadefrom white to black; and
the chroma indicatesits departurefrom a neutral of the samelightness.
Nearly every soil profilehas manyhorizonsdiffering in color. A singlehorizon
may be of one color, mottled, or marked with spots or streaks of other colors.
Certain combinationsof mottled colors are indicative of poor hydraulic conduc-
tivity. However, some mottled patterns occur that am not associatedwith poor
drainage,especiallyin parentmaterials that are not completelyweathered.
A complete discussionon the origin of different soil colors can be found in
Agriculture Handbook No. 18, Soil SurveyManual (U.S. Dept. of Agriculture,
(d) Structure.Coil structureis a characteristicthat is very useful in evaluat-
ing and correlating the hydraulic conductivities of soils with similar textures.
Structure refers to the aggregation of primary soil particles into compound
particleswhich are separatedfrom adjoiningaggregatesby surfacesof weakness,
seefigure 2-3. The size,shape,andarrangementof the aggregatesandthe shape




Figure 2-3.-Types of soil structure. 103-D-1619.


andsize of the pore spacesgive the soil its structure.The shapeand arrangement
of the aggregatesaredesignatedasthe typeof soil structure; sizeof the aggregates
is termed class of soil structure; and the degreeof distinctness(weak, moderate,
or strong) is termed grade of soil structure. The principal types of soil structure
with which the drainageengineerwill be working and the classesand gradesof
eachtype are describedbelow.
(1) Ha@.--In this type of structure, the aggregatesam arrangedin hori-
zontalsheets.The hydraulic conductivity rate varieswith the classof structure
andis usuallyat its highestfor mediumplaty material. The classesof this type
of structure are:

Structure class Plate thickness, millimeters

Very thin platy Lessthan 1.0
Thin platy 1.0 to 2.0
Medium platy 2.0 to 5.0
Thick platy 5.0 to 10.0
Very thick platy Greaterthan 10

Platy material is usually very durableand consideredto be of strong grade.

(2) Prismatic or columnar.-These structure types are usually found in the
upperhorizonsof a soil profile. In thesetypes,the aggregatesform prisms that
have longer vertical than horizontal axes. The prism shapecan be approxi-
mately square, pentagonal, or hexagonal. The aggregates may break
horizontally along secondarycleavageplanesinto blocky or very thick plates,
but eventhesebroken sectionswill haverelatively well definedvertical faces.
In prismatic structure, the aggregatesform flat-toppedprisms, while in colum-
nar structure they form round-topped,biscuit-type prisms.
Thesetypes of structureare associatedwith solonetzsoils. They appearto
have a good angular to subangularblocky structure when dry, but swell
togetherwhen wet, which results in a very low hydraulic conductivity in both
the vertical and horizontal directions.
The classesof thesestructure types are:

Structure class Macroprism width, millimeters

Very fine prismatic or columnar Less than 10.0
Fine prismatic or columnar 10.0to 20.0
Medium prismatic or columnar 20.0 to 50.0
Coarseprismatic or columnar 50.0 to 100.0
Very coarseprismatic or columnar Greater than 100.0

Prismaticandcolumnarstructuresam consideredto bestrong gradesof soil


(3) Angular blocky.-When the term, blocky, is used alone as a type of

shwhuq it means angular blocky if the aggregatesare in dense blocks
bounded by planes intersecting at relatively sharp angles. A soil with this
struchue usually has good hydraulic conductivity in both horizontal and
vertical directions, and the rate is influencedby both the classand grade.For
example,very coarse,angular blocky clay-loam soils with strong structural
grade(which usually meansvery distinct cleavageplanesbetweenpedsl) can
havein-placehydraulic conductivitiesashigh as 30 metersper day (about 50
inchesper hour). At the other extreme, very fine, angularblocky clay-loam
soils with a weak structural gradecan have in-placehydraulic conductivities
lessthan 0.3 meter per day (about0.5 inch per hour). The classesam:

Structure class Block dimension on any side, millimeters

Very fme, angularblocky Less than 5.0
Fine, angularblocky 5.0 to 10.0
Medium, angularblocky 10.0 to 20.0
Coarse,angularblocky 20.0 to 50.0
Very coarse,angularblocky Greater than 50.0

The gradeis weak if the disturbedsoil material breaks into a mixture of a

few completepeds,many broken peds,andmuch unaggregatedmaterial. The
gradeis moderateif the disturbedsoil materialbreaksdown into many distinct
completepeds,somebrokenpeds,andlittle unaggregatedmaterial. The grade
is strong if the disturbedsoil material consistsmostly of completepeds,few
broken peds,and little or no unaggregatedmaterial.
(4) Subangular blocky.-In this type of structure, the aggregatesare in
denseblocks having mixed rounded and plane faces with vertices mostly
rounded. As far as hydraulic conductivity is concerned,there appearsto be
little difference between the angular and subangularblocky structure. The
classesam describedas subangularblocky but have the samedescriptionand
sizesas the blocky structure.The gradeshave the samedesignationas blocky
(5) Granular.-The granulartypeof structureis formed of uniformly sized
relatively nonporousaggregates,spheroidalor polyhedralin shape,andhaving
plane or cured surfaceswhich have slight or no conformity with the facesof
the surroundingaggregates.Soilswith this type of structureusuallyhavegood
hydraulic conductivitiesboth vertically and horizontally. The hydraulic con-
ductivity rate dependsupon the classand grade; the medium granular class
hasthe higher in-place hydraulic conductivity. The classesare:

1 Aped can be defined as an individual natural soil aggregate, and should not be confused with a fragment,
which is caused by ntpture acms nabml surfaces of weakness.

Structure class Aggregatethicknesson any side,millimeters

Very fme granular Lessthan 1.0
Fine granular 1.0 to 2.0
Medium granular 2.0 to 5.0
Coarsegranular 5.0 to 10.0
Very coarsegranular Greaterthan 10.0

The gradecan vary from weak to strong, but is usually more on the strong
sidewith eachped appearingas a single-grainedstructure.
(6) Crumb.-This type of structure is the sameas granularexcept aggre-
gates appearvery porous. It has good hydraulic conductivity rates in both
vertical andhorizontal directions,with the ratesdependenton classandgrade.
Classesare the sameas for granularexceptthere areno coarseor very coarse
crumb structures.A crumb-type structurecan be of weak, medium, or strong
(7) Massive.-Structure type is massivewhenthe soil is coherentandthere
is no observableaggregationor definite orderly arrangementof natural lines
of weakness.A soil with massive structure has neither class nor grade and
negligiblehydraulic conductivity.
(8) Single gruin.-Single-grain structure is a noncoherentsoil with no
observableaggregation,suchas sand.Usually, soil with single-gminstructure
has good vertical and horizontal hydraulic conductivity. A single-gmin soil
hasneither structural classnor grade.
(9) Structureless.-This is not a recognizedsoil structure but in drainage
engineeringservesto identify in-placesandymaterials.A very fine sandyloam
identified as being structurelessmeansthere is no observablestructure but it
hasnoneof theunsatisfactorydrainagecharacteristicsassociatedwithmassive
structu~. A structu&ess sandysoil can,andusuallydoes,havegoodhydraulic
conductivity rates.
(e) Specific Yie2d;Specific yield may be defined as the volume of water
releasedfrom a known volume of saturatedsoil under the force of gravity andthe
inherent soil tensions.It is expressedas a percentageof the total volume of

vohune of water dramed x 1oo

Specific yield, S =
total volume of saturatedsoil

The optimum percentof specific yield in the l- to 3-meter (4- to lo-foot) zone
shouldbe about 6 to 10percent.A soil in this percentrangewouldhave sufficient
aeration,hydraulic conductivity, and water-holdingprdpertiesfor optimum crop
growth. When the specific yield is lessthan 3 percent,drainagebecomesdifficult
and expensive.For specific yields greater than 16 to 18 percent, aeration and
hydraulic conductivity are good, but the soil moisture-holdingcapacity is low.

Specific yield values can be determinedusing undisturbedsoil samplesof

known volume or by field tests. To obtain reliable data, undisturbedsamples
shouldbe carefully packedin an airtight containeras soonas they are taken to
prevent them from drying out and cracking. They shouldalsobe suspendedin a
shockproofbox when being transportedfrom the samplingsite to the laboratory
to preventthem from cracking or beingdisturbedby vibration or suddenimpact.
Tensiontablesand pressurecookers capableof holding constanttensionsfrom
0 to 160 centimetersof water are required in the laboratory. Tensiontables are
easierto usefor soilscontaininglittle or no swelling clays.For soils that are high
in swelling clays,the pressurecookermust be usedto preventexcessivecracking.
In field tests, mercury manometersam required at eachtexture changefrom
0 to 3 meters (0 to 10 feet) to determinewhen the tensionhas stabilizedso that
fti moisture samplescanbetakento comparewith the initial saturatedmoisture
content.Resultsfrom yearsof field testing a variety of westernsoilsindicatethat
inherentsoil tensionstend to stabilize within the rangeof 30 to 150centimeters
of water in a free-draining soil. The stabilized tension will vary with texture,
organicmatter, and depth.
Both labomtory and field determinationsof specific yield are expensiveand
time consuming.Also, a large number of tests must be conductedto obtain the
averagespecific yield for the areato be drained.Conductingonly oneor two tests
per areato be drained could result in erroneousdata being usedin determining
the drainagerequirements.Many field offices are not equippedto conduct these
testsand, becauseall drainagerequirementsam baseduponhydraulic conductiv-
ity, a correlation study was made between specific yield and undisturbed or
in-placehydraulic conductivity.
As a result of this study, a curve showing specific yield versus hydraulic
conductivity wasprepared,figure 24. The curveis basedon approximately2,000
laboratory tests on undisturbed samplesof all types of soils. Data used in the
developmentof this curve also include approximately 100 in-place hydraulic
conductivity tests versuslaboratory specific yield dataon undisturbedcoresthat
were taken from the same test holes and zones as the laboratory tests. Both
specific yield and hydraulic conductivity determinationswere made on each
undisturbed sample, and the results are within 10 percent of best obtainable
values.A value for specific yield within 10 percentis consideredwell within the
limits of accuracyfor all the other factors which must be evaluatedin drainage
work. Therefore,when the hydraulic conductivity is known, the useof figure 2-4
to obtain valuesfor specific yield is recommended.
The specificyield value usedin drainagecalculationsshouldrelate only to the
volume of soil that is unwateredby the drain. The hydraulic conductivity value
for enteringthe curve on figure 24 shouldbe the a?eragevaluefor the saturated
profile abovethe drains.
v) Capillary Fringe.-The soil zonejust abovethe water table is not at field
capacity as assumedin the dram-spacingcomputations.This zone, sometimes
defmed as the capillary fringe, varies in thicknessaccording to the soil texture
Hydraulic Conductivity - Inches per Hour (inlhr)

0.2 0.3 0.4 0.6 0.8 1 2 3 4 5 678 lo 20 30 40 60 so loo



1 I I I1111 I I III I lllll I I III I lllll I IJ

0.3 0.4 0.6 0.8 1 2 3 4 5 678 10 20 30 40 60 aofoo 200 300

Hydraulic Conductivity - Centimeters per Hour kmlhrl

Figure 2-4.-Curve showing general relationship between specific yield and hydraulic conductivity. 103-D-693.

and varies in moisture content from nearly saturated to field capacity. The
thicknessof this zoneis usually small and shouldnot be confusedwith the total
height to which capillary water will rise in a dry soil. From a practical standpoint,
the capillary fringe canbe ignored when determining the unsaturatedroot zone
depth.With a well-designedsubsurfacedrainagesystem,the capillary fringe will
extendinto and remain in the root zoneonly a short time toward the end of the
irrigation season,and production shouldnot be measurablyaffected.
The questionmay ariseasto what effect the capillary fringe hason the buildup
anddrawdown of the water tableascalculatedin the drain-spacingcomputations.
Field studies show that water tables fluctuate between drains as predicted by
transient flow drain-spacingcomputations.The capillary fringe fluctuates with
and parallel to the water table, except with a lag in time, and hasno measurable
effect on the dischargefrom the dram Experimentsusinga small tank filled with
sandhaveshownthat the capillary fringe affects or influencesthe dischargewhen
the depth of saturatedflow is of the sameorder of magnitudeas the thicknessof
the capillary fringe. However, field studiesfor shallowdrains,spacedfrom 10to
40 meters (30 to 120 feet) and placedon a barrier, indicate the capillary fringe
contributesno measurablewater to the discharge.Thesestudiesfurther indicate
that when the water table midway between drains drops to approximately
0.15meter (0.5 foot) abovethe pipe drain invert, the dischargedropsto zeroeven
though the capillary fringe canbe at least0.15 meter (0.5 foot) abovethe water
table.Basedon the abovefindings, the capillary fringe is not usedin determining
the drainagerequirementsor in the designof the system. Also, there is no easy,
reliable method for measuringthis parameterin the field.
2-5. Salinity and Alkalinity.--(a) Gene&-Many factors contributeto the
development of saline soil conditions. However, most soils become saline
through consumptiveuseof capillary ground water andirrigation water contain-
ing salts. Salt concentrationsin soil vary widely both vertically and horizontally
dependingon suchconditionsasvariationsin texture,plant growth, andhydraulic
conductivity. This variation showsup strikingly as patchy growths of vegetation
in salinesoils. The extent of salinizationis governedby the rate of evapotranspi-
ration of salinewater and the counteractionof leachingwater from precipitation
and irrigation. Although salts affect plant growth in many ways, the three most
important effects are:

(1) Salts causea reduction in the rate and amount of water that can be
witMmwn from the soil by plant roots becauseof increasedosmotic pressure.
Plant growth is retarded almost linearly with increasesin osmotic pressure
(Hayward andWadleigh, 1949).
(2) Common salts such as sodium,bicarbonate,and chloride are toxic to
some plants when present in higher than normal concentrations.The toxic
effect is usually critical during the germinationperiod in the 50- or 80-milli-
meter surfacesoil zone.

(3) Certain salts, sodium being the best known, when present in high
concentrations,canaffect the physicalcondition of the soil. Soils with excess
sodiumtend to puddle,have poor structure,and developpoor infiltration and
hydraulic conductivity rates. Before thesesoils can be farmed successfully;
the salt must be changedchemically by replacingthe excessivesodium with
calcium andinstalling a drainagesystemto facilitate leachingout the replaced

Soil struchne dependson the attraction between clay particles in the soil.
Calcium, magnesium,and aluminum cationsate strongly attracted to clay parti-
cles. Soils containing thesecations generallyform stable soil structures.These
cations must be present in waters used to reclaim soils containing sodium and
potassiumcations (alkalinesoils).
Low saltconcentrationsdominatedby sodiumcationscausedispersionof clay
particlesin soils. If sodium is leachedwithout replacingit with calcium, magne-
sium, or aluminum, the soil remainsdispersedafter leaching.This destroyssoil
structmeand affects the hydraulic conductivity. In somecases,the clay particles
will move downward and form imperviouslayers in the soil profile.
(b) LeachingRequirementand Salt Balance.-For soils in arid regions and
when there is a presenceof salt in the irrigation water, leachingis required to
maintain a favorable salt balancein the root zone. This requiresthat an equal or
greateramount of salt must be leachedfrom the soil by the drainagewater than
is introducedi to the soil by irrigation water. It further requiresthat the drainage
systemdesignxl nsider the removal of the leachingwater from the substrata.In
most cases,the deeppercolation inherent with standardirrigation practiceswill
maintaina favorablesaltbalanceandanacceptableconcentrationin the soil-water
solutionin the root zone.Water resourceagencystudiesof recentlocal irrigation
practicesshouldbe consideredin determiningexpecteddeeppercolation.Should
investigationsshow that the leachingrequirement is in excessof the leaching
obtainedwith deep percolation associatedwith normal irrigation practices, the
drainagesystemrequirementsandcosts shouldbe increasedaccordingly.
The continuing leachingrequirementis not the sameas the initial leaching
requirement.The permanentdeepdrainagesystemfor irrigated landscannotbe
economicallydesigned,from a drain-spacingstandpoint,to take careof the initial
leachingrequirement.Usually, multilevel drainscouldbe usedwith the shallower
drains installed between the permanent deeperdrains. The shallow drains are
installed using minimum size pipe and at minimum cost becausethey will no
longer function after the initial leaching has been accomplished.In practical
application, the drains am usually designedto satisfy the long-term leaching
requirement and the soils will reach acceptablesalinity levels after only a few
irrigation seasons.
The leaching requirement may be defined as the percentageof infiltrated
irrigation water and precipitation that must passthrough the root zoneto control

salts at a specifiedlevel. For planning purposes,the leachingrequirementmay

be determinedfrom the equation:

- x 100 (1)
LR = EC&
-bx 100 (2)

LR = leachingrequirementin percent,
ECi, = electrical conductivity of irrigation water including effective
precipitation in millimhos per centimeter (mmho/cm),
E&w = electrical conductivity of drainagewater in mmho/cm,
DdW = depthof drainagewater in meters,and
Di, = depthof irrigation water inmeters includingeffective precipitation.

The value for EC& is determinedfrom the relative salt toleranceof the least
salt-tolerantcrop to be grown in the area.Figum 2-5 showsthe salt tolerancefor
field, vegetable,and forage crops.Except for somespecialtycrops, a 25-percent
yield reduction for the leastsalt-tolerantprincipal crop can be used.
To illustrate the processfor estimatingthe leachingrequirement,assumethat
the principal crops for an areaarealfalfa (EC x 107= 5 , sugarbeets(EC x 103=
13), and potatoes (EC x 103= 4). The valuesin parenthesesindicate electrical
conductivities in mmho/cm at 25 “C associatedwith 25-percentreductions in
yields.The readershouldnote that soil water is diluted to near saturationextract
concentrationjust before entering the dram. The salt content of the irrigation
water may be expressedin milligrams per liter (mg/L), which can be converted
with reasonableaccuracyto mmho/cm by dividing the parts per million by 640.

Given: Total salts in irrigation water = 1000mg/L. Least salt-tolerant crop is
potatoes,with an electrical conductivity of the saturatedextract not to
exceed4 mmholcm at 25 “C.

EC. x l& = (1*ooo‘@O) x 100= 39 percent

m=EC,, 4

Figure 2-6 can be used to quickly estimate the leaching requirement and
minimum infiltration rate neededto obtain proper leachingunder normal irriga-
tion practices.



EC% IO’ 0 2 4 6 6 IO 12 14 16 I6 20 22
TOMATO ‘m Indicates no yield

BROCCOLI g2 reduction
POTATO -Jm Indicates IO percent
CORN yield reduction
SWEET POTATO Indicates 25 percent
BELL PEPPER Indicates 50 percent
ONION yield reduction
FORAGE CROPS 0 ? 4 6 I? lfi
a. & RED
EC*= : Electrical conductivity in millimhos per centimeter at 25OC

Figure 2-5.Salt tolerance for field, vegetable, and forage crops. 103-D- 1626.
01 ;F1
02 3
oc J
ua S‘I 0'1 S'O
(moq lad saq3ut)
(I/b’-“) hJ32t’M a3llddt’ JO NOllWkllN33N03

The total infiltration (INF) from an irrigation applicationis the sum of the total
readily availablemoisture (TRAIvI) and the deeppercolation (DP). TRAM is
explainedin greaterdetail in settion 2-6(d).


Sincethe deeppercolationis theproduct of the leachingrequirement(LR) and

the infiltration, then:


m, LR expressedas a decimal fraction.

In the previous example, if the TRAM in the root zone is 80 millimeters, the
infiltration would be:

- = 131 millimeters

and the deeppercolationfor salt balancewould be:

DP=INF-TRAM= 131-80=51 millimeters

A numberof refinementscanbe consideredwhencalculatingleachingrequire-

ments, but the majority of thesecan generally be left out without significantly
affecting theresults.The most significantexclusionsfrom the precedingexample
are leaching efficiency of soil types and removal of salt in harvestedplants.
Sample calculations considering leaching efficiencies are not included here
becauseof the lack of information available on this refinement. For more
information on this subject,seeBouwer, 1969.
Significant saltreductionin the soil by removal of all mature cropsandresidue
from the la& is feasibleonly for crops with a largeamount of foliage. Sugarcane
is usedin the following exampleto determinethe volume of saltremovedby this

Sugarcanecan toleratethe salinity associatedwith electricalconductivities
of about 1 mmho/cm. Assuming an averageconductivity of 0.24 mmho/cm
for the irrigation and rainwater enteringthe soil, the leachingrequirementis:

L&&2!1 o x 100= 24 percentusing equation(1).


For a consumptiveuseof 80 millimeters betweenirrigations, the total infiltra-

tion will be:

INF=&= 10.5millimeters (rounded).

Therefore,deeppercolationper irrigation = 105 - 80 = 25 millimeters.

The 24 percent leaching requirement is higher than necessary,however,
becauseit doesnot accountfor salts removed with crop removal. To adjust the
leaching requirement for these salts, the following factors must be known or
(1) Total yield of sugarcane(gmenweight) = 165metric tons per hectare.
(2) Net yield of sugarcane(greenweight) = 60 percentof the total yield =
99 metric tons per hectare.
(3) Waste (greenweight) = 165 - 99 = 66 metric tons per hectare.
(4) Dry weight of caneis about 40 percentof the greenweight: therefore,
there am 40 metric tons per hectareof millable caneand 26 metric tons per
hectareof waste.
(5) Mineral content (total salts).
Analysesof caneresidueshow:
Millable cane= 2.2 to 4 percentof dry weight.
Leavesandunusablestalk = 8.1 to 12.1percent.
(6) Silicate(SiOJ content of ash.
Millable cane= 40 percentof ash.
Leavesand unusablestalks= 58 percentof ash.
Using the above values:
Total mineral content of millable cane= (0.022)(40) = 0.880 metric ton per
Total mineral contentlessSi02, = (0.022)(1- 0.40)(40) = 0.528metric ton per
Total mineral content of waste = (0.081)(26) = 2.106 metric tons per hectare.
Total mineral contentof wastelessSiOz,= (0.08l)( 1 - 0.58)(26) = 0.885metric
ton per hectare.
Total salt removedat harvest= 0.528 + 0.885 = 1.41metric tons.
Caneis harvestedthree times every 4 years, so the annualsalt removal is:
Salt removed = (3/4)( 1.41) = 1.06metric tonsper hectareper year.

To adjust the leachingrequirements,the following approachcan be used:

Known or calculated:
E&W = 1 mmho/cm = 640 mg/L.
GW = 0.0006399 mez3 ton = Amount of salt in
drain water.
EC& = 0.39 mmholcm = 250 mgL.
G+ = = Amount of salt in

EC, 0.023 mmho/cm = 15 mg/L = Measure of salt

concentrationin rainwater.
CW 0.0000147 meEs ton 0.02 fg = Amount of salt in
rainwater. ( 1

DC, = 8839 & (2.9 acre feet per acre) = Consumptiveuse

of irrigation water.
QW = 6096& (2.0 acre feet per acre)= Depth of effective
Tc = 1.0984115heTL%z,( o’49 s)

For salt balance:

salt out = salt in
&,,Ddw + T, = C$, + C,,,.D,


D = (0.0002501)(8839)+ (0.0000147)(6096)- 1.0984115

dw (0.0006399- 0.0002501)
=3083.2&= 0.308 m (1.01 acre-ft per acre)

Using equation(2):
x 100
3083 (100)
LR=(8839+3083)+165 =17*1percent'

The leachingrequirementwas reducedfrom 24 to 17percentby taking into

accountthe saltsremovedby crop removal.
Maintenance of a favorable salt balance is a continuous requirement for
sustainedagricultural production.However, some soils have such high concen-
trations of salts prior to irrigation that an initial leaching is required before
agriculturalproductioncanbegin.To bepractical,the drainagefacilities provided
shouldnot provide morecapacitythanthe landwill requirefor normal saltbalance
under irrigation after the initial leaching.This limitationmeans that during initial
leaching,the water table will rise higher than the normal designlevel between
High exchangeablesodiumcancausesoil particlesto deflocculate.Normally,
the hydraulic conductivity of soil materials decreaseswith an increasein ex-
changeablesodium and dminagerequirementsincreaseaccordingly. There are
exceptionsto this generalstatement,but the drainagerequirementshouldbebased
on the in-placehydraulic conductivity without regard to the chemicalconditions
in the soil that causethis hydraulic conductivity, providing the in-place testing
proceduresand computationsare correct.The substratahydraulic conductivity of
adequatelydrained land is not expected to decreasebut can improve if the
irrigation water and soil in the root zoneare satisfactoryfor irrigated agriculture.
(c) Construction in So&c Soils.Codic soils am generally unstable and,
therefore, difficult to work with using ordinary drain construction methods.
Unstable material may prevent an open drain from being excavatedto grade
becausethe sides continually cave in. Staged construction may be used to
overcomethis conditioneventhough considerabletime may be requiredto bring
the drain to grade. It is particularly difficult to maintain line and gradein sodic
soils for pipe drains, and close inspection is required to assurean acceptable
installation.One possiblesolutionis to place stabilizinggravel in the trenchuntil
it will support the pipe. In somecases,a specializedtrenchingmachinemay be
required. The above condition is not exclusively a sodium problem, since it
sometimesoccurs in a saturatedfine sandor silt, but it is intensifiedif excessive
sodiumis present.
Another problem is that excavation of sodic soils usually causesthem to
puddle which further decreasesthe hydraulic conductivity. There are instances
when the water standsover a pipe drain as a result of this condition.Every effort
should be made to avoid this problem if possible or to reduce the effects of
puddling if the problem is unavoidable.Again, the use of specializedtrenching
machinesand placementof the gravel envelopein direct contact with excavated
surfaceswill minimize this problem.

For bestdrainage,sodicsoils shouldbe unwatered,usuallyby well points, and

the drains installedin the dry state.However, many times the sodium condition
occursin localizedareasrather than coveringthe entire field. In this event,it may
be possibleto locate the drain at the edgeof the sodicarearather than crossing
it. The location of the drain will dependon topography,the location of the sodic
areawithin the field, hydraulic conductivity of soilsadjacentto the area,protec-
tion required in the field, and other related factors; The drain may be located
upslopeto interceptgroundwater beforeit reachesthe sodicareaanddeepenough
to provide somedrainagefor the areaitself. If it is necessaryto crossa sodicama,
the soil shouldbedisturbedaslittle aspossible,andthe trenchshouldbe backfilled
to normal ground surface with a permeablegravel to minimize the puddling
(d) Classification of Saline and Sodic Soils.-The following tabulationgives
the chemical limits generally acceptablefor classification of saline and sodic
soils.Theselimits are of interestto the drainageengineersincethey may indicate
potential construction problems. Problemsin drainageassociatedwith salinity
and alkalinity usually differ widely with the type of clay mineral content. The
actual excavation conditions must be correlated with chemical and physical
properties of the soil to provide a basis for conclusionsregarding proper ap-
proachesto drainageand drain construction.

soil EC x 103 percentage(ESP) p&I

Saline >4 Cl5 <8.5

Saline-sodic >4 >15 k8.5
Nonsaline-sodic <4 >15 8.5 to 10

2-6. Surface Runoff.-Surface flow must be consideredin dminageanalysis

becausethis water must be carried away from agricultural lands.Sinceall water
moves toward the topographic low points, both surface and subsurfacewaters
normahy flow in the samedisposalchannel.Designconsiderationsmust include
the total capacityof both sources.
Surface flow originates from precipitation and from irrigation waste, and
estimates of these flows are usually available to the drainage engineer from
project hydrologists or irrigation district records. When such estimatesare not
available,the following simplified methodscanbeusedto obtaindesigne timates
for theseflows. B
(a) Precipitation.-Precipitation recordsseldomhaveto becollectedor com-
piled primarily for drainageinvestigations.Usually, they will be availablefrom
the project hydrologist or from local rain gaugestations,but if not, precipitation
data can be obtainedfrom recordsof the National Weather Service.

(b) Sturmj7mv.4hmflow dependson topography,soils, vegetativecover,

land use, and the climatic characteristicsof the area. Surfacedrains shouldbe
designedto handleflows from 5- to 15year storm frequencies.Where relatively
expensivestmcturesare involved or where damageto the structuresmay dictate
the needfor a more conservativedesign,the 25year storm frequency shouldbe
used. As the consequencesof inadequatechannelcapacity usually am not too
severe,refinement of capacityestimatesis not warranted.
Many formulas and analytical methods are available for estimating storm
runoff. The most practical way of estimating surface drainagerequirementsfor
storm runoff is by studying existing channelsand culverts. Flood capacity or
degreeof protectionusedfor farm andcounty roadsandirrigation lateralsis about
the sameasfor surfacedrains.If existing facilities are not adequatefor a 5-year
storm, they will show signsof flooding.
While there are too few existing culverts or drainage channelsto permit
comparison,sometype of analyticalmethodmust be used.The McMath formula
(Urquhart, 1959) gives results which are consideredfairly reliable for planning

McMath formula: Q = CB VA V (3)

Q= flood dischargein cubic feet per second,
C= coefficient representingthe basincharacteristics,
i = rate of rainfall in inchesper hour for the tune of concentrationand
s = slopeof main channelin units per 1,000units betweenthe farthest
contributing point and the point of concentration,and
A = areaof basinin acres.

Valuesof C will range from 0.20 for low runoff conditions to 0.75 for high
runoff conditions, dependingprincipally on vegetation, soils, and topography.
The C value increasesas the vegetativecover becomesless dense,as the soil
becomesheavier, and as the slopeof the ground increases.Of thesethree basic
factors, vegetationand soil have the greatereffect on C. A singlecharacteristic,
such as a rock surface,may determinethe value of C. Usually, no one charac-
teristic will predominate,andall threefactors must be consideredbeforeselecting
a value for C. Arbitrarily weighing their relative importance,with vegetationat
40 percent, soils 40 percent, and topographyat 20 percent, will allow selection
of appropriatefactors for each,which canthen beaddedtogetherto obtaina value
for C. Table2-3 showsdrainagebasinfactors for determining C.

Table 2-3,Weighted drainage basin factors for determining C.

conditions Vegetation Soils Topography
LOW 0.08 (well grassed) 0.08 (sandy) 0.04 (flat)
Moderate .12 (good coverage) .12 (light) .06 (gently sloping)
Average .16 (good to fair) .16 (medium) .08 (sloping to hilly)
High .22 (fairto sparse) .22 (heavy) .ll (hilly to steep)
Extreme .30 (sparse to bare) .30 (heavy to rock) .15 (steep)

Example:For a flat areawith heavy soils and good vegetativecover, C = 0.04 +

0.22 + 0.12 = 0.38.
The intensity anddurationof storm rainfall vary widely in the WesternUnited
States.Significant quantitiesof data am availableand elaboratemethods have
beendevelopedfor very refined runoff studies.However, estimatingstorm runoff
for a fann surfacedrainagestudy doesnot require suchrefined procedures.The
National Weather Servicehas preparedrainfall intensity-frequencydata which
can be used to advantage(U.S. Dept. of Commerce, 1961).Figure 2-7, which
was taken from this reference, shows a 5-year, l-hour rainfall intensity map.
Variations due to topographic influencesin mountainousregions are reflected
only in a general sense on this map. For a more detailed consideration of
topography in the 17 Western States,seereference(U.S. Dept. of Commerce,
For small areas,where the storm is assumedto cover the whole contributing
area,maximum runoff occurswhen flow from the farthestpart of the areareaches
the lower end. This is called the time of concentrationfor the particular area,and
the rainfall intensity correspondingto this period of time is used for runoff
estimates.The time of concentrationfor a particular areadependsprincipally on
the length and slope of its main channel. Time of flood concentrationcan be
estimatedwith sufficient accuracyusing the nomogmphshown on figure 2-S.
The procedurefor estimatingflood mnoff from a small areais as follows:
(1) Find the valueof C for physicalconditionsof the ama from table 2-3.
(2) Estimate the time of concentrationfrom figure 2-g.
(3) Selecta value for 5-year, l-hour rainfall from figure 2-8 for the area
under study.
(4) Convert 5-year, l-hour rainfall value to 5year, any-hour depthby one
of the following equations:
For time of concentrationof 1 hour or greater,


For time of concentrationlessthan 1 hour.

y = 0.80 b
Figure 2-‘I.-Rainfall intensity map. 103-D-1621.

8 s is 22 Iu UI s 8 s?a G g
II 1111 I1lll, 1 I IllI IllI, II111 I I Id I1111 I Ill1 11 1111 I Ill/

UI- ul 9
s E 8
s Q s 8 Q - MILES
Iu 0 P
I I lllll lllll I III11
ru ul G g 8 g 8
Figure 2-K-Nomograph for estimating time of flood concentration. 103-D-692.

Y = Syear, any-hourrainfall depthin millimeters,

b = 5-year, l-hour rainfall depthin millimeters, and
x = requiredrainfall duration (time of concentration)in hours.
X must be greaterthan 1 hour.
(5) Convert the y valuefound in (4) aboveto the requiredfrequency:

Factor by which
Frequency,years to multiply y
10 1.2
15 1.3
25 1.4
(6) The rate of rainfall, i, is: i = Y
(7) Solvefor the estimatedflood runoff, Q, using equation(3).
Figure 2-9 gives the one-fifth and four-fifths powers of numbers neededin
this equation.
The McMath methoddiscussedin the foregoingparagraphsgives satisfactory
resultswhen estimatingstorm runoff in the planningstagesof a drainageproject.
(c) Estimating Total RunoffjFom Soil and Cover Conditions.-The following
method has beenadaptedfrom proceduresdevelopedby the Soil Conservation
Service (SCS) and is adequatefor reconnaissanceand feasibility studies.For
design,themore detailedproceduresin the SCSNationalEngineeringHandbook,
Section4,1972,shouldbereferredto. Theirproceduresarebasedonobservations
of runoff from watershedsup to approximately800 hectares(2,000acres)in size.
This manualpresentsa highly simplified approachfor estimatingrunoff and
shouldbe usedwith judgment. The primary needfor field datain this method is
to obtain a measureof infiltration rates. Basicinfiltration rateslargely determine
the runoff from a storm and the curve numberson figure 2-10. Infiltration rates
and curve numbers are affected by conditions on the watershed-primarily by
landuse andmoisture contentin the first foot of soil (antecedentmoisture) at the
time of a storm. Figure 2-10 accountsfor theseimportant factors.
Figure 2-10 can be usedknowing only the soil texturesin the top foot of soil
or the SCShydrologic soil group. However, the engineermust exercisecareful
judgment to estimatehydrologic conditionson the watershedandenter the figure
accordingly. After the curve number has been determined,figure 2-l 1 can be
usedto fmd the direct runoff.
The methodof using figures 2-10 and2-l 1 is best explainedby the following

(1) Ama of watershedis 400 hectares(approximately 1,000acres).

“,,,,, , , , , I I Y)
II II I I il\l I I +\I I I\I




1 L
8 I I I
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 55 60 65 70 75 60 65 90 95 100

Figure 24O.-Curve numbers for determining surface runoff. 103-D-1623.

5 e \I\ \I\ \
n x \ y \ y \ ,p,\
s11313wllllyY NI(b)UONntl133tlla

(2) Soil in top foot of the profile is a coarseloamy sandwith 50 millimeters

(2 inches)per hour infiltration rate.
(3) The watershedis usedfor pasture.
(4) At the time of a 75millimeter (3-inch) storm, the soil is at field


Enter figure 2-10 at the given infiltration rate of 50 millimeters (2 inches)

per hour (point 1) and read down the chart to the curve for land useof pasture
(point 2). Readacrossthe chart to the curve for soil at field capacity(point 3).
Then read down to the bottom edgeof the chart to obtain the curve number
(CN) which is 70 (point 4).
Using a CiV of 70 and the measuredprecipitation of 75 millimeters (3
inches),the direct runoff from the storm canbe read from figure 2-l 1. In this
example,the runoff is 18millimeters (0.71 inch) per hectare.For the 400-hec-
tam (1,000~acre)watershed,total runoff would be 72 000 cubic meters (about
54 acre-feet).
This method can be applied to large basins with varying soils, crops, and
antecedentmoisture conditions. The distribution of the various conditionsmust
be known to estimatethe weightedaverageand total runoff from a basin
Moisture in the top foot of a soil profile can be estimated adequatelyby
irrigation schedulingtechniquesexplainedin subsection2-6(d).
Figure 2-12 canbe usedto determinethe amount of rainfall that infihrates the
ground surface from a storm. The curve number neededfor using this figure is
determinedas in the previous examplefor direct runoff.
(d) Estimating Irrigation and Deep Percolation Schedules.-To adequately
analyzea drainageproblem in an irrigatedarea,the engineermust havea working
knowledgeof plant, soil, and moisture relationships.The ability to estimatethe
timing of irrigations andestimateroot zonemoisture levelsover a period of time
is essential The methodsdiscussedin this sectionhave been successfulIyused
in Bureauof Reclamationwork sincethe 1950’s.
Moisture-holding capacity is the physicalproperty of the soil that determines
the maximum amount of water held in the root zoneunder free-drainagecondi-
tions. However, only a portion of this capacity can be usedby plants, and this
portion is called the availablemoisture (AM). This available moisture is the
amount of water held in the soil betweenfield capacityandthe wilting point and
is usually expressedin millimeters per meter (inchesper foot) of soil.
The total availablemoisture (TAM) in a root zone is not readily availableto
plantsbecauseof root distribution andthe patternof water usefrom the root zone.
‘Ihe water that is readily available in a given root zone is called total readily
availablemoisture (TRAM). This is the amountof water availablefor rapid plant
growth. It is a physical characteristicof a given soil profile limited in depth to a
specific crop root zone and moisture extraction pattern. With good irrigation
NOllVlldl33Ud 93LWllIdNI
4 !\.! ! ! ! ! I0
UlOH tiCid St1313WllllW
NOllVl.ldl33tld (131VWlldNI

practice and normal root development,the moisture extraction pattern will be

about 40 percent for the fitst quarter of the crop root zone, 30 percent for the
secondquarter, 20 percent for the third quarter, and 10 percent for the fourth
quarter. A water table near the bottom of the normal root zone may alter the
moisture extraction pattern which, in turn, may alter the deep percolation and
drainagerequirements.Unlessadditionalinformation is availableon root growth
and moisture extraction near a water table, the above extraction pattern can be
The crop root zonevarieswith different crops,rangingfrom 0.6 meter (2 feet)
for the shallow-rootedcrops such as potatoesand vegetables,to 1.8 meters (6
feet) for peach, walnut, and avocadotrees. For most irrigated crops, a 0.9 or
1.2-meter(3- or 4-foot) toot zonecan be usedfor computing the TRAM.
When the availablemoisture in the critical quarter is completely exhausted,
theplant will beunableto extract sufficient moisturefrom the remainingquarters
to maintain rapid crop growth. For most irrigatedcrops, thecritical quartershould
not be permitted to use more than about 75 percent of the availablemoisture
betweenirrigations. Somepotato growers recommendthis percentagebe held to
50 percentor less.
The first quarter will be the critical one for most soil profiles becauseof its
high (40 percent)extractionrate. However, the critical quartermay changewhere
fmer textured soils are underlainby loamy sandsor sandsin the secondor third
quarter. The following examplesshow the procedurefor determining TRAM in
two different soil profiles of known texture and availablemoisture:
Example 1:

Soil profile
&arter Texture millimeters ( inches) millimeters (inches)

First CL 63.50 (2.5) (63.50 x 0.75)/0.40 = 119.06(4.69)

Second CL, 50.80 (2.0) (50.80 x 0.75)/0.30 = 127.00(5.00)
Third SiL 55.88 (2.2) (55.88 x 0.75)/0.20 = 209.55 (8.15)
Fourth S 25.40 (1 .O) (25.40 x 0.75)/0.10 = 190.50(7.50)

The ftrst quarter has the lowest TRAM so it is the critical quarter. When
the daily consumptiveuse is a maximum of 6.35 millimeters (0.25 inch) per
day, an irrigation would be requiredabout every 18 daysfor continuedrapid
plant growth. Using 18 days, the moistureusedwould be 18 x 6.35 = 114.30
millimeters insteadof 119.06millimeters, and the irrigation scheduleshould
be developedusing the 114.30millimeters.

Example 2:

Soil profile
Quarter Texture millimeters (inches) millimeters (inches)

First CL 63.50 (2.5) (63.50 x 0.75)/0.40= 119.06(4.69)

Second CL 50.80 (2.0) (50.80 x 0.75)/0.30= 127.00(5.00)
Third S 25.40 (1.0) (25.40 x 0.75)/0.20 = 95.25 (3.75)
Fourth SiL 55.88 (2.2) (55.88 x 0.75)/0.10= 419.10 (16.50)

In this example,the third quarter is the critical one becauseit hasa TRAM
of only 95.25millimeters (3.75 inches).When the daily consumptiveuseis a
maximum of 6.35millimeters (0.25 inch) per day, anirrigation will berequired
every 15 daysfor rapid plant growth.

Local farm organizationssometimesrecommendthat the total availablemois-

ture (TAM) be depletedby only a certain percent betweenirrigations. If so, the
75-percentfactor in the previous examplesshouldbe adjusted.The TAM is the
sum of the AM valuesfor eachquarter of the root zoneexpressedin millimeters
or inches.
For example,anassociationof local potatogrowersmight recommendthat the
root zone should not be depletedof more than 35 to 40 percent of the TAM
betweenirrigationsIn example1, there would be 195.58millimeters (7.7 inches)
of TAM in the root zone. If 40 percent of this amount were used between
irrigations, the TRAM would be 195.58x 0.40 = 78.23 millimeters (3.08 inches),
andan irrigation would berequiredevery 12days.Assumingthe normalmoisture
extractionpattern, the first quarterwould supply78.74 x 0.40 = 3 1.50millimeters
(1.2 inches),the secondquarter 78.74 x 0.30 = 23.62 millimeters (0.9 inch), the
third quarter78.74 x 0.20 = 15.75millimeters (0.6 inch), and the fourth quarter
78.74 x 0.10 = 7.87 (0.3 inch).
If the recommendationhad been that the available moisture in the critical
quartershouldnot be depletedmore than about50 percent,the result would have
been about the same as in the above recommendation.In example 1, the first
quarterwas the critical quarter, so:

(63.50 x 0.50)/0.40 = 79.38 millimeters (3.12 inches)TRAM

This is approximately the sameas the 78.23 millimeters (3.08 inches) com-
puted using TAM, so the depletion limits could havebeenrecommendedeither
Available moisture estimatesmay be availablefrom previoussoil classifica-
tion studiesmadein the area.Also, agricultural bulletinspublishedby Federalor
State agenciesor local colleges and universities often have this information.

Available moisture may be measuredby the methodsdescribedin Reclamation

Instructions Series510, Land ClassificationTechniquesand Standards.
Annual irrigation schedulesfor any areawill vary from year to year because
of variations in crops, acreages,rainfall, solar radiation, and time of planting.
Once the total readily availablemoisture, root zonedepth, and crops have been
selectedfor study, the schedulingprocess is a simple bookkeepingexercise.
Normally, the schedulecan be basedon the TRAM of the entire root zone;
however, there are occasionswhen the moisture content in eachquarter of the
root zone will be of interest to the engineer.For these occasions,the same
techniquesthat follow can be used, but the proceduremust be applied to each
quarterof the root zone.
Usually the effects of rainfall canbe ignored when annualprecipitationis less
than 254 millimeters (10 inches). In areaswith significant rainfall, the amount
that infiltrates the soil surfacecan be estimatedfrom figure 5-7 in chapterV or
using the techniquesoutlined in section2-6(c).
Theconsumptiveuseof water by plantscanbe estimatedmany different ways.
In someareas,measureddata<areavailablethroughcolleges,extensionagents,or
Governmentagencies.In drainagedesign, the Bhaney-Criddlemethod provides
reasonableestimatesof irrigation timing (Blaney and Criddle, 1962). Monthly
consumptiveuse valuesshouldbe determinedand daily usevaluesestimatedby
simply dividing the montNy useby the numberof growing daysin the month. A
more refined estimate using the Blaney-Criddlemethod is to estimate the con-
sumptiveusefor various crop growth stagesfrom planting time through harvest
(U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, 1967).
For the calculationsthat follow, assumethat the crop of interestis alfalfa and
that the growing seasonbeginson May 14 and ends on September21. Also,
assumethe areahasnegligiblerainfall, The monthly anddaily consumptiveuses
Sample consumptive use values for alfalfa, in millimeters (inches)

May June July August September Total

Monthly 61.21 138.93 157.48 139.95 72.64 570.21
(2.4 1) (5.47) (6.20) (5.51) (2.86) (22.45)
Daily 3.81 4.57 5.08 4.57 3.56
(0.15) (0.18) (0.20) (0.18) (0.14)

From the previous example 1 for estimating the TRAM, the moisture used
betweenirrigations was 119.13millimeters (4.69 inches). The total amount of
water that infiltrates the soil surface upon each irrigation will be equal to the
TRAM plus any water that deeppercolatesbecauseof inefficienciesand leaching
requirements(see sets. 2-5,4-16,4-17, and fig. 2-6 in sec. 2-5). The drains
must be designedfor the greaterof the two estimatesfor deeppercolatingwater:
(1) leachingrequirement, or (2) normal deeppercolationfrom irrigation
Table 2-4a.-Irrigation and deep percolation schedule for alfalfa (metric units).

Time Daily Consumptive use Remaining Total Ending Deep

period, consumptive for period, -l-RAM, Infiltraction, moisture, -l-RAM, percolation,
Date days use, millimeters millimeters millimeten millimeters millimeten millimeters millimeters

5-14 3.81 0 Snowmelt’ 157.23 119.13 ‘38.10

5-3 1 17 3.81 64.71 54.36 0 54.36 54.36 -
6-11 311 4.57 50.29 4.06 157.48 161.54 119.13 42.42
6-30 19 4.51 86.87 32.26 0 32.26 32.26 - z
7-6 6 5.08 30.48 1.78 157.48 159.26 119.13 40.13 %I
l-29 23 5.08 116.84 2.29 157.48 159.76 119.13 40.64
7-3 1 2 5.08 10.16 108.97 0 108.97 108.97 - =
8-23 23 4.51 105.16 3.81 157.48 161.29 119.13 42.16 I
8-3 1 8 4.51 36.58 82.55 0 82.55 82.55 -
9-21 21 3.56 74.68 1.87 0 7.81 7.87 - 0

787.15 203.45 z
’ Assumed 1%.34 millimeters of snowmelt of which 20 percent runs off.
* Assumed.
3 Rounded down to a whole day.
Table 24b.-Zrrigation and deep percolation schedule for al&a&a (U.S. customary units). w
Time Daily Consumptive use Remaining hlfihtiOll, Total Ending hP
pel+4 consumptive for period, J-RAM, inches moisture, TRAM, percolation,
Date days use, inches inches inches inches inches inches

5-14 - 0.15 - 0 Snowmelt’ 6.19 4.69 1.50

5-3 1 17 .15 2.55 2.14 0 2.14 2.14 -
6-11 311 .18 1.98 0.16 6.20 6.36 4.69 1.67
6-30 19 .18 3.42 1.27 0 1.27 I.27
7-6 6 .20 1.20 0.07 6.20 6.27 4.69 1.58
7-29 23 .20 4.60 0.09 6.20 6.29 4.69 1.60 2
7-3 1 2 .20 0.40 4.29 0 4.29 4.29 Ei
8-23 23 .18 4.14 0.15 6.20 6.35 4.69 1.66 2
8-31 8 .18 1.44 3.25 0 3.25 3.25 1
9-21 21 .14 2.94 0.31 0 0.31 0.31 -
30.99 8.0

t Assumed 7.73 in&es of snowmelt of which 20 percent mns off.

2 Assumed.
3 Rounded down to a whole day.

inefficiency. In this example,assumethat the overall farm efficiency is 60 percent

and about20 percentof the delivery runs off as surfacewaste.Then:

Farm delivery = 119.13/0.60 = 198.55millimeters (7.8 inches)per irriga-

Runoff = 0.20 (198.55) = 39.71millimeters (1.6 inches)
Infiltration = 198.55- 39.71 = 158.84millimeters (6.2 inches)
Deep percolation = 158.84- 119.13= 39.71 millimeters (1.5 inches)per irriga-
The processfor calculatingthe irrigation scheduleis shown in table 2-4.
Table 2-4 shows a convenientform for keepingrecords.of soil moisture and
deeppercolation. In calculating the schedule,fractions of a day are truncated
when determiningdaysof moisture left in the soil.
In areaswhere rainfall must be considered,the infiltrated rainfall is simply
addedto the bookkeepingas shown in the following example:
Assumea typical rainfall pattern in the areaas follows and that the infiltrated
rainfall hasbeenestimatedusingfigure 5-7. Proceduresoutlinedin section2-6(c)
could alsobe usedto estimateinfiltrated rainfaIl.

Measured and infiltrated rainfall pattern for sample problem

Measured Infiltrated
Date millimeters (inches) millimeters (inches)

5-20 13.46(0.53) 12.70(0.50)

5-30 11.68(0.46) 10.92(0.43)
6-12 6.35 (0.25) 5.08 (0.20)
6-22 29.46 (1.16) 25.40 (1.00)

Table 2-5 shows how this rainfall pattern would affect the results shown in
table 2-4.
Section5-5 of this manualshowsan exampleof how ground-waterbuildup is
determined from deep percolation and how an irrigation scheduleis used in
(e) Farm Waste.Farm-surface waste from irrigation varies with many fac-
tors, including soil texture, type of irrigation system, land slope, length of
irrigation run, andirrigation efficiency. With goodmanagement,it is possibleto
irrigate without any wastewaterleavingthe irrigated area,but irrigation without
surface waste is the exceptionrather than the rule. A deepsandy soil with flat
slopesand short runs is the most easilymanagedcondition for having negligible
wastewater, whereasa fine-textured soil on steepslopeswith long runs is very
difficult to managewithout having waste.In practice,a drainagesystemmust be
designedwith an allowancefor farm waste unlessprior irrigation operationsin
the areahaveclearly shown this allowanceto be unnecessary.
Table 2-Sa-Irrigation and deep percolation schedule for alfalfa including rainfall (metric units).

Time Daily Consumptive use Remaining Total Ending Deep

period, consumptive for period, TR‘M Wilttraction, moisture, TRAM, percolation,
Date diiys use, millimeters millimeters millimeters millimeters millimeters millimeters millimeters

5-14 - 3.81 0 Snowmelt 157.23 119.13 38.10

5-20 6 3.81 22.86 96.27 12.70 108.97 108.97
5-30 10 3.81 38.10 70.87 10.92 81.79 81.79
5-3 1 1 3.81 3.81 77.98 0 77.98 77.98
6-12 12 4.57 54.86 23.11 5.08 2x19 28.16 -
6-18 6 4.57 27.43 0.76 157.48 158.24 119.13 39.12
6-22 4 4.57 18.29 108.84 25.40 126.23 119.13 7.11
6-30 8 4.57 36.58 82.55 0 82.55 82.55
7-16 16 5.08 81.28 1.27 157.48 158.75 119.13 39.62
7-3 1 15 5.08 76.20 42.93 0 42.93 42.93
8-9 9 4.57 41.15 1.78 157.48 159.26 119.13 40.13
8-3 1 22 4.57 100.58 18.54 0 18.54 18.54 -
9-5 5 3.56 17.78 0.76 157.48 158.24 119.13 39.12
9-21 16 3.56 56.90 62.23 62.23 62.23
Table 2-5b.-Irrigation and deep percolation schedule for aIfalfa including rainfall (U.S. customary units).

Time Daily Consumptive use Remaining Total Ending Deep

period, consumptive for period, -l-RAM, Infiltraction, moisture, TlQW percolation,
Date days use, inches inches inches inches inches inches inches

5-14 0.15 0 Snowmelt 6.19 4.69 1.50

5-20 6 .15 0.90 3.79 0.50 4.29 4.29 -
5-30 10 .15 1.50 2.19 0.43 3.22 3.22 -
5-3 1 1 .15 0.15 3.07 0 3.07 3.07 -
6-12 12 .18 2.16 0.91 0.20 1.11 1.11
6-18 6 .18 1.08 0.03 6.20 6.23 4.69 1.54
6-22 4 .18 0.72 3.91 1.00 4.97 4.69 0.28
6-30 8 .I8 1.44 3.25 0 3.25 3.25
I-16 16 .20 3.20 0.05 6.20 6.25 4.69 1.56
7-3 1 15 .20 3.00 1.69 0 1.69 1.69 -
8-9 9 .I8 1.62 0.07 6.20 6.27 4.69 1.58
8-31 22 .18 3.96 0.73 0 0.73 0.73
9-5 5 .14 0.70 0.03 6.20 6.23 4.69 1.54
9-21 16 .I4 2.24 2.45 0 2.45 2.45 -
31.12 8.0
CubicFeet per Second(ft %I
0 5 10 15 20 25.-
0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7O
CubicMetersper Second(m3/s)

Cubic Feet per Second (ft3/s)


0 1 2 3 4 5 6

Cubic Meters per Second (m31s)

Figure 2-14.-Typical canal and lateral capacity cuweforunits greaterthan 4OOhe~ta1ts

(l,ooo acres). 103-D-649.

Farm wastemay amountto asmuch as 50 percentof the water appliedto any

farm unit. The total amountof farm wastethat must be carriedat a particular time
at any one point in a drain dependson the amountthat is wastedfrom any single
farm unit andon the numberof farm units that arebeingirrigated at the sametime
aboveany designpoint. The number of farm units that canbe irrigated simulta-
neously is consideredin the designof the project irrigation system. The same
criteria shouldbeusedto determineanallowancefor farm waste.Canalandlateral
capacitycurvessimilar to thoseshownon figures 2-13 and 2-14 canbe prepared
for eachparticular situationfrom the criteria. Thesecurvesare basedon the soil,
climate, cropping pattern, and similar factors for the particular project and take
into considerationthe rotation of irrigation water amongfarm units. Thesesame
factors can be used in establishingfarm waste capacity in drains unlessbetter
information, suchasactualmeasurementsof farm wasteon anoperatingproject,
is available.
For any point on the drain, a topographicmap on which the irrigated land and
the drain arelocatedwill pennit determinationof the total irrigated acreagewhose
farm wastemust passthroughthat point on the drain. The lateralcapacityfor that
acreagecan then be taken from a curve similar to the one shown on figure 2-13
or 2-14. By applying a factor to that capacity,a factor which will vary somewhat
with project characteristics,the drain capacity allowancefor farm waste can be
obtained.For most irrigation projects, this factor rangesfrom 15 to 25 percent.
For example,assumethat the topographicmap showsthere are 350 irrigable
hectares(approximately865 irrigable acres)which slopetoward the point on the
drain in question.From figure 2-13, a lateral capacity of 0.60 cubic meter (21
cubic feet) per secondis found for 350 hectares(800 acres).The drain capacity
for farm ‘waste would then be 15 percent of this value, or 0.09 cubic meter
(approximately3.2 cubic feet) per secondat that point on the drain
S7. Bibliography.-
American Societyof Photogrammetry,1960,Manual ofPhotographic fnfer-
Blaney,H. F., andW. D. Griddle,December1962,“Determining Consumptive
Use and Irrigation Water Requirements,”USDA Technical Bulletin No.
Bouwer, H., March 1969, “Salt Balance,Irrigation Efficiency, and Drainage
Design,” Proceedingsof the ASCE,Journal ofthe Irrigation andDrainage
Division, vol. 95, No. 141,pp. 153-170.
Bureau of Reclamation, 1962-1971, “Use of Water on Federal Irrigation
Projects,” Seriesof Reports.
Bureauof Reclamation, 1973,Design of SmallDams, secondedition, p. 117.
Fireman,M., 1944,“PermeabilityMeasurementson Disturbed Soil Samples,”
Soil Science , vol. 58, pp. 337-353.
Hayward, H. E., andC. H. Wadleigh,1949,“PlantGrowthon SalineandAlkali
Soils,” Advances in Agronomy, ~011, pp. l-38.
Stateof Israel, Ministry of Agriculture, Water Commissioner’sOffice, May
1964,“Salinity SurveyProgressReport for 1963,” Tel Aviv, p. 37.

Shockley,D. R., February 1955, “Capacity of Soil to Hold Moisture,” Agri-

cultural Engineering, vol. 36, pp. 109-l 12.
Soil ScienceSociety of America, February 1973, “Glossary of Soil Science
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, August 1951, “Soil Color,” Soil Survey Manual,
HandbookNo. 18, p. 189.
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, February 1954, “Diagnosis and Improvement of
Salineand AIkaIi Soils,” Agriculture HandbookNo. 60.
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Soil ConversationService,April 1967, “Irrigation
Water Requirements,”TechnicalReleaseNo. 21.
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Soil ConservationService,August 1972,“Section
4, Hydrology,” National Engineering Handbook.
U.S. Dept. of Commerce,National Oceanicand AtmosphericAdministration,
National Weather Service, 1973, “Precipitation-FrequencyAtlas of the
WesternUnited States,”NOAA Atlas 2,11 volumes.
U.S. Dept. of Commerce,Weather Bureau,May 1961, Rainfall Frequency
Atlas of the United States,”TechnicalPaperNo. 40.
Urquhart, L. C., C.E., (Ed.-in-Chief), 1959, Civil Engineering Handbook,
McGraw-Hill, fourth edition, chapter9, p. 11.
((Chapter III


A. In-Place Hydraulic Conductivity Tests Below a Water Table

3-l. Objective.-A mnnber of tests for determining the in-place hydraulic
conductivity below a water table havebeendeveloped.Two tests that have been
found to be the most adaptableusethe auger-holeandpiezometertestprocedures.
Both proceduresmeasurethe rate of changeof the water level in a hole or the
difference of water-level elevationwith time. Any procedurethat can accurately
measurewater-level changewith time is satisfactory.
For aquifers, the well pumping method is used to determine the hydraulic
conductivity and transmissivityof gravelsand gravelly materialsbelow a water
table where the coarse materials interfere with conduction preparations for
auger-holetest. Test proceduresand data analysesfor the classicwell pumping
method are describedin the Bureau of Reclamation’s Ground Water Manual
(1977). The well pumping method, an expensivetest both in time andmaterials,
is usedmainly for determiningthe suitability of anareato be drainedby pumping
rather than by horizontal drams.
3-2. Auger-Hole Test for Hydraulic Conductivity.-(u) Introduction.-
The auger-holetestmeasurestheaveragehorizontalhydraulic conductivity of the
soil profile from the static water table to thebottom of the hole. This test canbe
run in the presenceof a barrier either at or below the bottom of the hole.
This manual describesthe equipment,pmedures, and calculationsused in
making this test. The developmentof the analytical detailsof the auger-holetest
are given in a paperby MaaslandandHaskew (19%).
(b) Equipment.-Equipment requirementsfor the auger-holetestare flexible,
but the following items havebeenusedsuccessfully:

(1) An 80-millimeter (nominal3-inch) diameterauger with three 1.5-meter

(S-foot) extensionhandlesand a 1lo-millimeter (nominal $-inch) diameter
auger.-An 80millimeterdiameter augeris usedinitially for the auger-hole
test. In the finer textured soils, the pressurerequired for the initial augering
causesa thin, densesealto form on the sidesof the hole. This sealis hard to
removeeven with a hole scratcher.


However, reaming the 8Omillimeter hole with a 1lo-millimeter-diameter

augerapplieslesspressureto the sidesof the hole andthe resultingsealis very
thin and easierto remove. The removalof this thin sealis essentialto
reliable data from the test. Three 1.5meter extensionhandlesfor the augers
areusually sufficient for most test holes.
The Durango- and Or&a&type augersare suitablefor most soils, but the
Dutch-type augeris preferable for someof the high clay and cohesivesoils.
Samplesfrom the Durango-typeaugeram lessdisturbedthan thosefrom the
other two types, thus permitting a more reliable evaluationof soil structure.
Figure 3-l showsphotographsof the different types of soil augersgenerally
usedin drainageinvestigations.
(2) Equipment used to record changes in water table elevation.-Two
typesof equipmenthavebeenused to record the recovery of the water table.
The first type consistsof a data logger with a preprogrammedlogarithmic
sampling schedule connected to a pressure transducer. The second type
consistsof a recorder board, recording tape, and float apparatus.The data
logger setupcan record recovery datapoints beginningat time zero, which is
impossibleto do usingthe float andrecorderboard.This capability allows the
test to be conductedin materialswith higherhydraulic conductivity ratesthan
canbe donewith a float apparatus.Thehigh initial costsof a dataloggerwould
be difficult to justify if only a limited number of auger-holetests are to be
Water table recovery data collected on a data logger can be downloaded
directly to a computer.A spreadsheetcanthen besetup to computetest results.
(3) Recorder board, recording tape, and float apparatus.-This equip-
ment is preferableto manualmeasuringequipmentsuchasan electric sounder
becauseit is less expensive, easier to construct, simpler to operate, and
provides a permanentrecord. The board commonly used is 50 millimeters
(2 inches) thick by 100 millimeters (4 inches) wide by 250 millimeter
(10 inches)long. A notch 65 millimeters (2-l/2 inches)long andwide enough
to hold a nylon roller is made 25 millimeters (1 inch) from one end and
15millimeters (l/2 inch) from a side.A nylon roller, which canbe taken from
a regular chair caster,is installedin the notch and fastenedin place. A pointer
is fasteneddirectly over the roller to act asa referencepoint during the test. A
50millimeter (2-inch) diameter recessis drilled near the roller to hold the
stopwatchand is located so that the operator can observethe stopwatch and
mark on the recordingtapewithout looking up from the stopwatch.A threaded
metal plate for attachinga tripod is attachedto the undersideof the board on
the oppositeend from the roller and stopwatch.
The float should be less than 75 millimeters (3 inches) in diameter an+
weightedat the bottom. It shouldalsobe sufficiently buoyant andcounterbal-
ancedto prevent any lag in the rise of the float as the water table rises in the
hole. A counterweight that weighs slightly lessthan the float is usedto keep
the float string tight. The float shouldhavesloping shouldersso it will be less

likely to catch on pebblesor roots on the sidesof the openhole or on thejoints

and perforationsin the casing.
Recorder tapes are made from IS-meter @-foot) graph paper strips cut
20 millimeters (3/4 inch) wide and backedwith strappingtape. Paperstaplesare
fastenedat both endsso the strip canbe connectedto the float andcounterweight.
Figure 3-2 showsa schematicof the equipmentset up for the auger-holetest.
(4) Tripod.-Any rigidly constructedtripod can be used. Planetabletri-
pods furnish a rigid support and allow fast setting up and leveling of the
(5) Measuring rod or tape.-A measuringrod canbe made,or a tapewith
a weight on the bottom can be used.
(6) Hole scratcher.-A hole scratchercan be madein a numberof ways.
The easiestmethod usesa woodencylinder, 85 millimeters (3-l/2 inches)in
diameter by 75 millimeters (3 inches) long, with small nails protruding as
necessaryfor the augerbeingused.The headsof the nails, after they havebeen
driven into the cylinder,‘amcut off to createsharpedgeswhich will breakthe
seal around the periphery of the hole. A 13millimeter (l/2-inch) coupler
attachedto the woodencylinder allows the scratcherto usethe sameextension
handlesas the augers.A more efficient hole scratchercan be made from a
85millimeter (3-l/2-inch) outside-diameterblack iron pipe cut 125millime-
ters (5 inches)long. A 13millimeter (l/2-inch) coupling is then welded to a
85millimeter (3-l/2-inch) diameter by 7millimeter (l/4-inch) thick plate
which, in turn, is weldedto oneend of the pipe. Holes 3 millimeters (l/8 inch)
in diameterarc then drilled into the pipe in a staggeredpattern.Concretenails
are then inserted through each drilled hole from the inside of the pipe. The
length of the nails used dependson the diameter of the auger to be used. A
woodenblock, 80 millimeters (3-l/4 inches)in diameterand 125millimeters
(5 inches) long, is then placed inside the pipe to hold the nails in place. The
block canbe heldin position by drilling a few holesat the pipeendsfor holding
screws.As different auger-holediametersare required,longer or shorternails
canbe placedin the scratcher.A typical hole scratcheris shown on figure 3-3.
(7) Bailer or pump.-A bailer can be made from a l-meter length of
!%I-millimeter(nominal 3-l/2-inch) diameter,thin-walled conduit with a rub-
ber or metal foot valve at one endanda handleat the other end.Bailers longer
than 1 meter are difficult to insert and remove from the augerhole. The hole
in the foot valve shouldbe large enoughto allow water to enter as rapidly as
possible.The bailer shouldbe weighted at the bottom to increaseits ability to
submerge.Present-dayrequirementsfor water quality samplinghave made
many types of commercial bailers available.They are manufacturedfrom a
variety of materialswhich rangefrom teflon to stainlesssteel.We have found
that a bailer of the appropriate diameter made from schedule40 PVC is
adequate.A lightweight stirrup pump, similar to the one shownon figure 3-3,
capableof pumping about 1.5 liters per second(about 20 gallonsper minute),
is preferableto the bailer.

and recess-,
Threoded metal plate to
attach board to tripod Nylon roller
and recess

(Nylon rol ler

Recorder board, approximately

Counterweight (weight shield
slightly less than float)

Static water
Float table

- Burlap


Figure 3-2.-Equipment setup forthe auger-hole or piezometer test. 103-D-651.


Figure 3-3.-E:quipment for auger-hole test Item (I) perforated casing, (2) wire-wound well
screen, (3) stirrup pwnp, and (4) hole scratcher. P80I.D- 77012.

(8) Stopwatch.-Any standanl stopwatch or digital watch with seconds

registeredis satisfactorywhen using the float apparatus.All readingsshould
be made from a singlereferencetime which is the beginningof bailing, and
all time during the test shouldbe accountedfor.
(9) Inside calipers.--An ordii pair of inside caliperscan be used to
determinethe diameterof the hole. To prevent the points of the caliper legs
from gouging the walls of the augerhole, small flat plates shouldbe welded
to the legs. An extensionrod screwedinto the top of the calipers is used to
measurethehole diameterat variousdepths.Theaveragehole diameteris used
in the calculations.The diameteris difficult to measutebelow the water table
with ordinary inside calipers becausethe water surface reflects light and
preventsvisual determinationof the contact of the caliperswith the sidesof
the hole. For this reason, it is satisfactory to determine the averagehole
diameterby the measurementsmadeabout0.3 meter (1 foot) below the ground
surfaceandjust abovethe water table.
(10) Burlap.-Burlap or a similar permeablematerial will prevent soils
from enteringat the bottom of the hole. Eachhole requiresa piecemeasuring
about0.6 meter (2 feet) square.
(11) Perforated casing or wire-wound well screen.-This protection is
necessaryfor auger holesin unstablesoils. The casingor screenshouldhave
the sameor a slightly largeroutsidediameterthanthehandauger.As the screen
or casingis pushedinto the ground, the casingand the periphery of the hole
make definite contact. Commercial well screen with at least a lo-percent
perforated area is the most desirable; however, if this is not available, a
thin-walled downspoutcasingwith 4- to Spercentperforationsis satisfactory.
Jn most agricultural soils, about two hundred 5 by 25millimeter hacksaw
perforations per meter will give 4- to Z&percentperforations, Commercially
availableslotted PVC casinghasalso proven adequatefor conductingauger-
hole tests.Figure 3-3 showsa typical perforatedcasingand wire-wound well
(12) Mirror or strong Jflashlight.-Either one of theseitems can be used
to examinethe sidesof the augerhole and facilitate measurementswith the
(13) Windshield-When wind protection is required, a windshield such
as a l- by l-meter sheetof plywood hasbeenusedsatisfactorily.
(c) Procedure.-The most efficient team for performing the auger-holefield
test for hydraulic conductivity consistsof two people.One operatesthe recorder
board,puts the float in thehole, andoperatesthe stopwatch,andthe other operates
the baileror pump. After the water level in the holehasstabilized,an experienced
team canperform the entire test in 10 to 15 minutes in most soils.
At siteswhere detailedsoil profile datado not exist, a pilot hole will haveto
be drilled and logged,and test zonesselected.
Thehole shouldbe augeredvertically andasstraightaspossibleto therequired
depth.If the soil is homogeneousthroughouttheprofile, the hole canbeexcavated

to the total depth to be tested.When the soil is heterogeneous,tests should be

made for eachchangein texture, structure, and color. If the material is highly
permeablethroughout the profile to be tested, it is best to stop the hole about
0.6 or 1.0 meter (2 to 3 feet) below the water table so that one bailing will draw
the water down to aboutthe bottom of the hole.Upon completionof the augering,
the sidesof the hole shouldbe scratchedto breakup any sealingeffect causedby
the auger.Scratchingis not necessaryin the coarsertextured soils.Burlap is then
forced to the bottom of the hole and tamped lightly to prevent any soils from
enteringthe bottom. The sealingeffect can be overcomeby allowing the water
tableto rise to the static water level, andthen gently pumpingor bailing the water
out to developthe best flow characteristic.Afterward, time must be allowed for
the water table to reach static level before running the test. Prior to starting the
test, the depth to the static water table from the groundsurface,the total depthof
the hole, and the distancefrom the static water table to the bottom of the hole
shouldbe measuredcarefully. Figure 3-4 showsa sampledataand computation
sheetfor the test.
To beginthe test, the tripod with the recorderboard,recordingtapes,andfloat
apparatusis placednear the hole so the float can be centeredover the hole and
moved freely into it. The float is then lowered into the hole until it floats on the
static water table level. After a short time period, to allow the water to return to
static level, a zeromark is madeon the tape,and the counterweightpositionedso
the full changeof water table level canberecorded.This positioningmay require
that the counterweighthanginsidethe casing.The float is then removed,and the
water is bailedor pumpedfrom the hole as quickly as possibleto minimize the
amount of water which returns before the readingsare started.For best results,
sufficient water shouldbe bailed or pumpedfrom the hole so all readingscanbe
completedbefore the water level risesto half its original height, or 0.5 H. One or
two passeswith the bailer areusually sufficient for most agriculturalsoils. As the
last bail is withdrawn from the hole, or the pump starts drawing air, the float
shouldbe placed in the hole as quickly as possible.When the water level rises
rapidly, the float can be left in the hole andbelow the bailer or foot valve, which
will minimize the amountof water returning into the hole before the first reading
canbe made.The stopwatchis startedat the momentthe first baileris withdrawn,
or whenpumpingbegins,andshouldrun continuouslyuntil completionof the test.
Whenusingthe recorderboardandfloat mechanism,usingequaltime intervals
is convenient,starting from the initial tick mark on the recorder tape. As equal
time intervalsam readon the stopwatch,the operatormarks the tapeoppositethe
pointer. Measurementsam continueduntil recovery of water in the hole equals
about 0.2 of the depth initially bailed out or, statedanotherway, until a reading
on the measuringtape of O.SY,hasbeen reached(Y, is the distancethe water in
the hole was lowered by bailing). Upon completion of the test, the fti time is
recordedat the last tick mark on therecordertape.Any irregularitiesin the record
can be quickly observed on the recorder tape, and if all readings am highly
irregular, the test should be rerun after the static water table has been





b\V [ Light brown randy
friable, nonsticky, pnular.
wet at 1.52 m. (Sft)
slightly LYmpxcd below
1.83 m @I).
good hydraulicconductivity.

3.35-366 m: Blue gray clay (C), Sticky,
(11-u-t) stmcttuekas. Appears to
r=PJKLm (0.167ft)
be impumcabk. DH = am (9.OA)
h=mrn (4.8fi)
H=mm (4.2Q
yo=mm (3.15ft)

0.8 Yo= p,zZ m (2.52 fi)

y,= 0.960+0.759=08~- ‘,, 0.860

2 &fe&) r = 0.051 = 16’86
AY = 0.0335 meter (0.11 ft) c=39o(fromchart)

At=lOseconds K=C 2 = 1.31 metas (4.3 feet) per day

H or 5.45 cencimetas (2.151 inches) perhouf
- =* -25.10
r .

Figure 3-4.-Data and computation sheet on auger-hole test for hydraulic conductivity.

reestablished.Only the period covering the regularly spacedtick marks below

O.SY,is used in the computations.One irregular spacingusually occurs at the
beginningof the test while the float is steadying.As the water risesaboveO.SY,,
the marks will no longerbe equallyspaced,but will becomeclosertogetherwith
eachsuccessivereading.The beginningof the shorterspacingsusuallywill occur
aroundO.SY,,but two or three extra readingsare recommendedto show that the
spacingsare definitely getting closertogether.
Theuseof a pressuretransduceranda dataloggereliminatesor greatlyreduces
many of the problemsrelated to recordingwater tablerecovery discussedin the
aboveparagraphs.With this equipment,the pressuretransduceris placednearthe
bottom of thehole andcalibratedto thestatic water level.The dataloggeris started
just prior to removing the bailer from the hole. Running the data logger until
50 percentrecovery hasoccurredwill provide adequatedata for computationof
the hydraulic conductivity rate.
(d) Calculations.-Upon completionof the auger-holefield test for hydraulic
conductivity, the time intervals and the correspondingdistancesbetween tick
marks on the recorder tape are transferred to the computation sheet. Sample
computations are shown on figure 34. The initial Y,, for tune zero can be
computedor extrapolatedfrom a Y, versus time curve if the time from start of
pumping to the fust tick mark is lessthan 10 seconds.
Determining the initial Y,,is necessaryonly when the time interval between
the starting time andthe first measurementis longerthan about5 secondsandthe
water level recovery rate is very fast. Extrapolating the data to determineY,, or
the initial Y,,,is not alwaysreliable.Every effort shouldbemadeto keepthe time
interval betweenthe start of pumpingand the ftrst tick mark as short as possible.
This short time interval is particularly important in sandsand gravelswith rapid
recovery rates.
Care should be taken in selectingconsistent,consecutivetime intervals and
water table risesto be usedin determiningthe averagedistancefrom static water
table to the water surface in the hole during the test period, ?n; the average
incrementalrise during incrementaltime intervals, AY, and the averageincre-
mental tune interval betweenticks, AL
Water table recovery data collected by a data logger using a properly pro-
grammed logarithmic samplingschedulewill provide data points beginningat
time zero. This early tune data greatly reduces,if not eliminates,the concerns
discussedin the precedingparagraphs.As it is difficult to start the data logger at
the exact time water table recovery begins,the early time data shouldbe plotted
to determinethe point when computationsshouldbegin.
The C value neededin the computationsshown on figure 3-4 is determined
from the graphsof figure 3-5 or 3-6, which areintendedfor usewhere thebarrier
is consideredto be at infinity or at zero distancebelow the bottom of the hole.
The C values plotted against the dimensionlessparamrter m/r simplify the
determinationof C for a wide rangeof valuesof H/r andYn/r. For the usualcase
where no barrier is present,or the barrier is equalto or greaterthan H below the

Id .

0 3
2.5 I

2 -3s

Id I!! ! ! !-L.-E

1.5 22.53 4 5 6 7 6910 I.5 2253 4 5 6 7 6 9102

Figure 3-5.-Values of C when baker is Mow bottom of hole during auger-hole test
(Maasland and Haskew, 1958). 103-D-653.

bottom of the hole, figure 3-5 shouldbe usedto determineC. If the hole hasbeen
terminatedon a slowly permeablezone, figure 3-6 should be used. If the hole
penetratesinto a slowly permeablezone below a permeablezone, figure 3-6
shouldbe usedwith Has the distancefrom the level of the static water table to
the slowly permeablelayer insteadof to the bottom of the hole, as is the usual
case.The hydraulic conductivity can then be determinedby multiplying the C
factor by AY/At.The resulting hydraulic conductivity hasunits of metersper day
(feet per day) or centimetersper second(inchesper hour).





I.5 -

‘O I 1.5 2 2.5 3 4 5 676910 I.5 2 2.5 3 4 5 6 7 6 9102 I.5 i


Figure 3-6.-Values of C when harrier is at bottom of hole during auger-hole test (Maasland
and Haskew, 1958). 103-D-652.

(e) Limitations.-The auger-holetest furnishesreliablehydraulic conductiv-

ity data for most conditions; however, the results are entirely unreliable when
the hole penetratesinto a zone under piezometric pressure.Small sand lenses
cccurring betweenlesspermeablelayersmake the test more difficult to perform
andmay yield unreliabledata.Water flowing into the hole throughthe lensesfalls
on the float apparatusandcauseserratic readings.Theauger-holetest alsocannot
be used when the water table is at or abovethe ground surfacebecausesurface
water or water running through permeablesurface layers will causeerroneous

readings.A depth of more than 5 meters (20 feet) to water table, althoughnot a
limitation as far as obtaining valid data is concerned,makes obtaining reliable
dataextremely difficult.
Comparativelyhigh hydraulic conductivity rates,in the magnitudeof 6 meters
per day (10 inchesper hour) or more, make theauger-holetest difficult to perform
becausethe bailercannotremovethe water asfast asit enters.A pump will remove
the water from the hole rapidly, but in very permeablesoils only one or two
readingscan be obtainedbefore recovery exceeds0.2 of the initial drawdown. A
hydraulic conductivity can be calculatedfrom only one or two readings,but the
resultscouldbe erroneous.Theuseof a dataloggerto collect water tablerecovery
datawill solvethis problem, which occurswhen usingfloat-activatedequipment.
Testshavebeensuccessfullyrun in alluvial materialshaving hydraulic conduc-
tivity rates of over 30 metersper day (50 inchesper hour) using a data logger.
At the other extreme,auger-holetestsin soils with hydraulic conductivity rates
in the rangeof 0.0006to 0.006meter per day (0.001 to 0.01 inchper hour) usually
give sucherratic readingsthat accuratevaluescannotbe obtained.However, the
resultscan be important in determinationof drainagerequirementseven though
exact valuesare not obtained.The knowledgethat hydraulic conductivities are
very high or very low can be quite useful from a practical standpoint.
The difficulty usually encounteredin augeringor digging a hole of uniform
size through rocky or coarse-gravelmaterial can prevent the performanceof an
auger-holetest. Casingcan sometimesbe used to stabilizethe walls of the hole
if a test is neededin thesematerials.Generally,however, most agricultural soils
being investigatedfor subsurfacedrainagesystemscan be testedby the auger-
hole method if a water table exists closeenoughto the ground surface.
v) Step Tests in Layered S&.-Step testsareusedto determinethe hydraulic
conductivity of layeredsoils. Step testsare simply a seriesof auger-holetests in
or nearthe samehole locationbut at different depths.The hole is initially augered
to within 75 to 100millimeters (3 or 4 inches)of the bottom of the first texture
changebelow the water table, and then the first auger-holetest is run and the
hydraulic conductivity computed. The hole is then augered to within 75 to
100 millimeters of the bottom of the next texture change,the secondtest is run,
<andthe averagehydraulic conductivity for both layers can then be determined.
The procedurecontinuesuntil the last layer to be testedhas beenreached.The
hydraulic conductivity value calculatedfor eachstep will be the averagevalue
from the water table to the depth of the hole. The hydraulic conductivity for the
individual texture is found from the formula:

K n,x = hydraulic conductivity to be determined
G = hydraulic conductivity obtainedin the nth step of test,
Kll-1 = hydraulic conductivity obtainedin the (n-l) step,

4 = thicknessof the nth stratum (Dn -Dml),

D, = total thicknessof the nth stepfrom the static water level,
Qa.1 = total thicknessfrom the static water level for the (n-l) step,
n = numberof the test, and
x = stepnumber.

Test errors may producenegativeresults,and the test shouldbe rerun. If the

resultsare still negativeafter a rerun, the piezometertest describedin section3-3
shouldbeused.A samplecalculationsheetfor the steptestis shownon figure 3-7.

The hydraulic conductivity for a specific layer is given by:

0 -* KnDn-kn.l Da-,
%X =
da =D,- D,.,
T Static water level

ICl = 5.8 dt=t.76-1.31&.a D1=1.76-1.31n0.45

Kz = 3.8 d2=2.19-1.7M.43 D2=21~1.31=0.88

K3 = 3.0 d3&59-2l9&10 D3=259-1.3k1.28

K4 = 2.0 d4=3.38-2.SO.79 D4=3.38-1.31~207


K1.1~ KSL 3 9 = = 5.8 ~entimUcrs per hour (23 indm peahew)

K1l= m = -iKlDl = (3*sxo-*; ;I:58x”*4q = 1.71 ce~c~crlmr

K1 3 _ - = K3D3 -KS& = (3*ox1.28) - (3-8)(o.88) = 1 24 ccntimcXMs per hour

* - d:, 0.40 (053 inch pr hour)

K4D4 -K3D3 = (2*ox2*o7) - (3*ox1*28) = 0.38 ccntjmum ptr hour

KI,~=KcL= drl 0.79 (0.15 inch prr hour)

Figure 3-7.-Data and computation sheet on step test for hydraulic conductivity. 103-D- 1627.

3-3. Piezometer Test for Hydraulic Conductivity.-(a) Introduction.-

The piezometertestmeasuresthe horizontalhydraulic conductivity of individual
soil layersbelow a water table.This test is preferredover the auger-holetest when
the soil layersto be testedare lessthan 18inchesthick andwhen individual layers
below the water table are to be tested.In subsurfacedrainageinvestigations,an
important applicationof this test is to provide datafor determining which layer
below a proposeddrain depth functions as the effective barrier layer. This test
also provides reliable hydraulic conductivity dam for any soil layer below the
water table.
(b) Equipment.-Suggested equipmentrequired for the piezometertest is:

(1) Casingof minimum 25-milliieter (l-inch) i.d. (insidediameter)40- to

5Omillimeter i.d. recommended)consistingof a thin-walled electricalconduit
for depthsto 4 metersandblack iron pipe with smoothinsidewalls for depths
greaterthan 4 meters.
(2) Ship augerwhich fits inside the casing.
(3) Pipe-driving hammer, consistingof a piece of 5Omillimeter (2-inch)
iron pipe which fits over the casingwith a Gilogram (lo-pound) weight fixed
to the pipe. A small sledgehammer can be used in place of the Wilogram
(lo-pound) weight.
(4) Hand-operatedpitcherpump with hoseandfoot valve, or a bailerwhich
will fit inside the casing.
(5) Recorder board, recording tapes, and float apparatusor an electrical
sounder.The float resemblesthe float made for the auger-holetest, but is of
smaller size to fit into the smaller diameter casing.The counterweightmust
be adjustedaccordingly.
(6) Computation sheets, clipboard, stopwatch, measuring tape or rod,
windshield,and casingpuller.
(7) Bottle or vegetablebrushfor cleaningsoil film from insideof test pipe.
The brush shouldbe fitted with a coupler that attachesto the auger handle.
(c) Procedure.-A two-man team is desirablein performing the piezometer
field test for hydraulic conductivity. The test layer should be at least 300 milli-
meters(12 inches)thick so that a NO-millimeter (4-inch) lengthof uncasedhole,
or cavity, canbe placedin themiddle of it. This placementis especiallyimportant
if amarkeddifferencein the texture, struchue,or densityof the layersexistsabove
and below the test layer. After the test layer has been selected,the topsoil is
removed from the ground surface, and a hole is augeredto within 0.5 meter
(2 feet) of the test layer. Someoperatorsprefer to auger 150to 300 millimeters
(6 to 12 inches),then drive the casingandrepeatthis processfor the entire depth
of the hole. However, this method is slow, and experienceshows its use is
generallynot warranted.Other operatorsjet the casingto within 0.5 to 0.75 meter
(2 to 3 feet) of the test layer and then augerand drive the casingthe remaining
distance.This procedurerequires additional equipment that usually cannot be
moved in to a waterloggedfield. The augeringand driving procedureis always
usedfor the last 0.5 meter (2 feet) to assurea good sealand alsoto minimize soil
disturbance. The casing is stopped at the depth selectedfor the top of the
lOOmillimeter (4&h) long cavity, and the cavity is then augeredbelqw the

casing.After somerecoveryhasoccurred,the pipe shouldbe cleanedwith a bottle

brush to removethe soil film that the float may cling to.
The size and shapeof the cavity am important in the test, so care should be
taken to assurethat it is the predeterminedlength and diameter.If the soil in the
testlayer is sounstablethat the cavity will not remain openduring thetest, screens
shouldbe madethat can be pusheddown inside the casing.For a 25millimeter
(l-inch) i.d. casing and a lOOmillimeter (4-inch) cavity, the screenshould be
125 millimeters (5 inches) long and have a 24-millimeter (H/16-inch) o.d.
(outsidediameter).A rigid point shouldbe weldedon the bottom of the screento
facilitate pushingit down insidethe casing.A poleabout20 millimeters (3/4 inch)
in diameter can be usedto push the screento the bottom of the cavity. A small
bent nail or hook placedon the oppositeendof the pole will allow the screento
bereclaimedat the endof the test by hooking the nail into the screenandpulling
it out. The cavity is cleanedby gently pumpingor bailing water and sedimentout
of the hole until the dischargeis clear.
After the water tablehasreturnedto equilibrium, the recorderboard and float
apparatusare setup and the float droppeddown the casing.Figure 3-2 showsthe
equipmentsetup.When the float comesto rest, the pointer is set at zero on the
recorder tape, the float is removed from the hole, and the water is pumped or
bailed out. A small foot valve for the suction line can be made similar to larger
commercial types, or a bailer similar to that used in the auger-holetest can be
made.After pumpingor bailing the water, the float is immediatelydroppeddown
the casing.When the float starts to rise, a tick mark is madeon the recordertape
and at the sametime the stopwatch is started. Selecta convenienttime interval
betweenobservationsand make correspondingtick marks on the recordertape.
Removal of all of the water from the piezometeris not essentialbecausemeas-
urementscanbe obtainedandusedanywherebetweenthe static water tablelevel
and the initial bailed-out level. Obtaining three or four readingsduring the fust
half of the water rise will give consistentresults.
(d) Calculations.-After completion of the piezometer test, the hydraulic
conductivity is calculatedfrom the equationdevelopedby Kirkham (1945):

K = hydraulic conductivity in centimeters per hour (inches per
Y1and Y, = distancefrom static water level to water level at times tl and t2
in centimeters(inches),
D = diameterof casingin centimeters(inches),
t241 = time for water level to changefrom Y1to Y2(seconds),and
A = a constantfor a given flow geometry in centimeters(inches).

A samplecalculationusing this equationis shown on figure 3-S.


The constantA may be taken from the curves shown on figures 3-8 or 3-9.
The curve on figure 3-8 is valid when d and b areboth largecomparedto w (d =
distancefrom the static water level to bottom of piezometer;b = distancebelow
bottom of cavity to top of the next zone; and W = length of cavity.) According
to Luthin and Kirkham (1949), when b = 0 and d is much greaterthan w , the
curve will give an A factor for W = 4 andD = 1, which will be approximately
25 percenttoo large.
The chart on figure 3-9 is usedfor determiningA whenpiezometricpressures
exist in the test zone. When pressuresare present,additional piezometemmust
be installed. The tip of the secondpiezometershould be placedjust below the
contactbetween layers in a layered soil, sekfigure 3-10. In deepuniform soils,
the secondpiezometertip shouldbe placed an arbitrary distancebelow the test
After installing the piezometers,the following measurementsshouldbe made:

(1) DistanceH, in meters (feet), betweenpiezometertips,

(2) Difference A in meters (feet), betweenwater levels in the piezometer
at static conditions,and
(3) Distanced’, in meters (feet), betweencenter of the lower piezometer
cavity and the contact betweensoil layersin layeredsoils.

TheA valuefrom figure 3-9 is usedin equation(2) to determinethehydraulic

(e) Limitations.-Installation andsealingdifficulties encounteredin gravelor
coarsesandmaterial compriseone of the principal limitations of the piezometer
test for hydraulic conductivity. Even when the hole can be augeredin these
materials,rocks on the sidesof the hole often dent or rip the casing.Also, when
the casingbottoms in coarsegravel, a satisfactorycavity cannotbe obtained.
Six meters (20 feet) is about the practical limit of hole depth, both for
installationandwater removal witha stirrup pump. Duplicatetestsin soilsof very
low hydraulic conductivity (0.0025 to 0.025 centimeterper hour) am always in
thelow range,but canvary asmuch as 100percent.However, this much variation
has little consequencein this low range. Test layers less than about 25 to
30 centimeters (10 to 12 inches) thick and lying between more permeable
materials will not give reliable results becauseof the influence of the more
permeablematerials. The size of the casing is a matter of preference,as long as
it is 25 millimeters (1 inch) or more in diameter.Field experiencehasshown that
38millimeter (1-l/2-inch) i.d. piezometersprovide adequateopen areafor, float
operation.Pipe dieters greater than 50 millimeters (2 inches) are diffic/ult to
install properly.
3-4. Pomona Well Point Method.-This method resemblesthe piezometer
test discussedin the preceding paragraphs,except that this method measures
dischargefor a fixed draw-down rather than the water tablerecovery rate. These
differencesallow data collection in unstablematerials where an open cavity is



38 3 51 mm (2 in.)
diameter piezometer

44.5 mm (1 3/4 in.)

34 diameter piezomeler

38.1 mm (1 112 in.)

32 diameter piezometer

3 31.8 mm (1 l/4 in.)
diameter piezometer

25.4 mm (1 in.)
diameter piezcmeter
26 +









Figure 3-9.-ChaIt for determining A-function on piezometer teat for hydraulic con-
ductivity when there is upward pressure in the test zone. 103-D-1628.

Pkansmtar No.
1 2

A, =2.2m

LOAM 3,6aOx(Dm2be&YtW

FINE d=Distmcefmttcpoftest
SANDY layertoceattexoftest
LOAM cavity.
H = Distame frcm wrtsr table
to c&u of test cavity.


LOAM re” Tutinthelillyc~y--PhdA-Pundionuring
H I Hl-H2-6.1-S.l=lmetu (3.3fea)
1 A~A1.A2~22-1.4=0.8maa@.6fmt)
A/H = 0.8/1.0 = 0.8
SAND & s=dismccfmm8romulItufretocQtuoftestuvityitt
clay layer
= 6.3 - 6.0 = 0.3 meter (la fat)
a/H E 0.3/l = 0.3
A = 71.6 -8 (ftwtt A- function chart)
P.2 -)
dctcnnioa K value fa the silty clay laym.

Figure 3-lO.Sample calculation for piezotneter test with upward pressure in the test zone.

difficult to maintain. This test method can also be used in materials where the
water recovery rate is very rapid.
The setupmay be identical to the piezometertest or it may employ a driven
well point.
After installation is complete and the well has been developed,the test is
conductedby pumping at a rate to maintain a fixed drawdown. The dischargeis
measuredfor 1 out of every 5 minutes until a steadymte is obtained.When the
systemreachesequilibrium, the dischargerate is measured.The hydraulic con-
ductivity rate is determinedby:

k = Q/Ah

K = Hydraulic conductivity
Q = Dischargerate
A = A constantfor a given flow geometry (seefigs. 34 3-9)
h = Headdifference

Layeredsoilscan easilybe investigated,andthe soil neednot supporta cavity

if a screenedwell point is used.Even when the cavity is unsupported,as in the
piezometersetup, there is substantiallyless hydrostatic pressureon the cavity
than in the piezometer test. The primary limitations are the time required to
conductthe test and the unpracticality of measuringlow permeabilities.
3-5. Single Well Drawdown Test for Hydraulic Conductivity.-Coarsc
sandsand gravelsusually make the auger-hole(pump-out) and piezometertests
difficult to run. An alternative pump-out test can be made to obtain a rough
estimateof hydraulic conductivities in thesematerials. The test is a small-scale
versionof a regularpump test for large wells.
Equipment for the test is the sameas that usedfor the auger-holetest except
the recorderboardandtripod arenot used.A gasoline-drivenpump with a valved
dischargeshouldbe used.A calibratedbucket anda stopwatchshouldbe usedto
determineflow rate.
Hole preparationis much the sameas for the auger-holetest; however, hand
augeringis usually too difficult. Once the hole is preparedand the static water
level is measured,water is pumpedfrom the hole at a constantrate. After some
time, the water level in the hole will reach a steady-statelevel. Steadystate can
be assumedto exist whenthe water level in thehole dropslessthan 30millimeters
(0.1 foot) in 2 hours.When steady-stateconditionsexist, the flow rate and depth
of water in the hole are recorded.Thesedata, along with the distancefrom the
static water level to the bottom of the hole, am usedin oneof the equationsshown
on figure 3-l 1. Use the equationthat most nearly approachesthe test conditions.
This method should be used only in highly permeablesandsand gravels to
obtain an estimateof hydraulic conductivity when the auger-holeor piezometer
testsfail to give satisfactoryresults.

K Qlw, 0
= x(H2-h2)
A AssumeR=5OOx r
for most cases. v

(a) Pumping from a uniform unconfined stratum,

water table in stratum being pumped.

(b) Pumping from a confined stratum, water table

abovestratum being pumped.

K = Hydraulic conductivity, m3/m2/day (ft3/ft2/da )

Q = Flow rate at steady state conditions, &day (f s /day)
Y = Drawdown from static water surface = H-h, m (ft)
H = Height of static water table abovebottom of hole, m (ft)
h = Depth of water in hole at steadystate pumping
conditions, m (ft)
D= Flow thicknessof strata between bottom of the hole
and overlying (confuting) stratum, m (ft)
R = Distance from centerline of well to point of xero
drawdowm, m (ft)
r = Effective radius of well, m (ft)
Figure 3-ll.-Determination of hydraulic conductivity by pumping from a uniform or
confined stratum. 103-D-1630.

B. In-Place Hydraulic Conductivity Tests Above a Water Table

3-6.Objective.-The two methodsthat havebeenadaptedfor usein drainage
investigationsare the shallow well pump-in test and the ring permeametertest.
Thesetestsam usedto determinethe hydraulicconductivity rates of soils above
a water table, and theserates are then used to predict the subsurfacedrainage
requirements.To minimize extraneouseffectson hydraulicconductivity,the water
usedin the testsmust be free of sedimentandshouldbe warmer than the soil.
3-7. Shallow Well Pump-in Test for Hydraulic Conductivity.-(a) Intro-
ducrion.-The shallow well pump-in test for hydraulic conductivity, alsoknown
as the well permeametertest, is used when the water table is below the zone to
be tested.Essentially,this test consistsof measuringthe volumeof water flowing
laterally from a well in which a constantheadof water is maintained.The lateral
hydraulicconductivity determinedby this testis acompositeratefor the full depth
of the testedhole.
(6) Equipment.-Equipment requirementsfor the shallow well pump-in test
include the following items previously described for the auger-hole test in
section 3-2: 75 and lOO-millimeter (3- and 4-inch nominal) diameter soil
augers,hole scratcher,perforated casing,burlap, and wristwatch with a second
hand.Additional equipmentitems are:

(1) Water-supply tank truck of at least 1,200-liter (350-gallon) capacity

with gasoline-poweredwater pump.
(2) Calibratedheadtank, 200-liter (50-gallon)minimum. This tank should
havefittings so that two or more tanks can be connectedwhen requited.
(3) Eight meters (25 feet) of 25- to 50-millimeter (l- to 2&h), heavy-
walled hosefor rapid filling of headtank from supply tank.
(4) Wooden platform to keep head tank off the ground and to prevent
(5) A 25-millimeter (l-inch) diameterpipe 1 meter long to be driven into
the groundand wired to headtank to keep tank in position.
(6) Constant-levelfloat valve (carburetor)which must fit insidethe casing.
(7) A rod threaded to fit the threads on top of the carburetor, used to
regulatethe depth that the float valve is lowered into the hole.
(8) Sufficient lo- or 12.5-millimeter (3/8- or l/2-inch) i.d, flexible rubber
tubing to connecttank to carburetor.
(9) Plexiglasscover, 300 by 300 millimeters (12 by 12 inches)by 3 milli-
meters (l/8 inch) thick, with hole in centerfor carburetorrod, and two other
holes,onefor rubbertubing andonefor measuringwater levelandtemperature
of water in the hole.
(10) Filter tank and filter material.
(11) Steel fencepostswith post driver, four required per site. Approxi-
mately 25 metersof fencing wire (neededonly when site must be fenced).
(12) Thermometerwhich canbeloweredinto hole, Celsiusscalepreferred.
(13) Three-meter(lo-foot) steeltape,clipboard,computationsheet,anda
40-centimeter(16~inch)tiling spade.
Figure 3-12 showsa schematicof the equipmentset up for this test.
Filler hole and cork-

Calibrated head tank

Pipe driven into ground
Gageconsisting of plastic and wired to heod tank
tube and board cali
ire or leather strap


# Plexiglass cover
Clamp .-/

F- Adjustoble rod threoded
to fit top of carburetor

Constont level float valve

(carburetor) to fit I
inside of casing
h-Depth of water to be I
maintained from bottom ’
of hole.


Figure 3-12.-Equipment setup for a shallow well pump-in test.


The constant-levelfloat valve (carburetor)suggestedfor usein this test andin

the ring permeametertest, describedlater, can be constructed out of various
materialsand can be made in different shapes.The only requirementsare that it
must fit insidea lOOmillimeter (4-inch) diameterhole, haveadequatecapacity,
causeminimum aerationof water, andcontrol thewater level within plus or minus
15 millimeters. Material to construct a carburetor that has proven satisfactory
consistsof the following:

(1) One-half meter (20 inches) of 20- by 3millimeter (3/4- by Winch)

metal strap,
(2) One large tractor carburetor, needlevalve, a needlevalve seatat least
3 millimeters (l/8 inch) in diameter,a float made of Styrofoam,
(3) Two 20-by 6millirneter (3/4- by l/4-inch) bushings,and
(4) One 20-millimeter (3/4-inch) coupling.

A photographof a typical carburetoris shown on figure 3-13.

(c) Procedure.-A two-man team can efficiently install the equipmentand

conductthe shallow well pump-in test. The hole for the test shouldfirst be hand
augeredwith a 75millimeter (3-inch nominal) diameteraugerand then reamed
with the 100~millimeter(4-inchnominal) diameterauger.A completelog, includ-
ing texture, structure, mottling, and color, should be obtained for use in
interpreting and projecting results. The hole should be carefully scratchedafter
completion to the desired depth to break up any compaction causedby the
lOOmillimeter augerand to remove any loosematerial on the sides.In unstable
soils, a thin-walled perforated casing should be installed, with perforations
extendingfrom the bottom of the hole up to the predeterminedcontrolled water
level. A commercialwell screenor slotted-PVCcasingshouldbe used,but when
not available, a lOO-millimeter (4-inch nominal) diameter, thin-walled casing
with about 180uniformly spaced,hand-cutperforationsper meter, 3 millimeters
wide by 25 millimeters long (l/8 inch wide by 1 inch long), will be satisfactory
for most soils.
The constant-levelfloat valve should be installed and approximately posi-
tioned. The float valve is then connectedwith tubing to the head tank, which is
on an anchoredplatform beside the hole. The lo- or 12.5millimeter (3/8- or
l/2-inch) tubing will allow sufficient water to flow into the carburetor when
testingmoderatelypermeablesoils. The hole should thenbe filled with water to
approximatelythe bottom of the carburetor.The valve on the head tank is then
opened,and the height of the carburetor is carefully adjustedto maintain the
desiredwater level. The plexiglasscover will keep small animalsand debrisout
of the hole, hold the carburetorfloat adjustingrod, and allow observationof the
carburetorduring the test.The time andthe readingonthe tankgaugearerecorded
after everything is operating satisfactorily. The tank should be refffled when
necessary.Each time the test site is visited, a record shouldbe kept of the time,

Figure 3-l3.-.Typical constant-level float valve used in hydmulic conductivity tests. Fully
assembled float valve is shown on the right. P801-D-770l3.

tank gauge readings, and volume of water added. Reading times are deternrined
by the type of material being tested and will range from 15 minutes to 2 hours.
Although not a necessity, the use of automatic recorders is desirable so that a
complete record may be kept of water movement into the hole. When water
temperature fluctuations exceed 2 °C, viscosity corrections should be applied.
If the test water contains suspendedmaterial, a filter tank should be installed
between the head tank and the caIburetor. Polyurethane foam is a satisfactory
fIlter material. In-Iine milk fIlter socks have also been used successfully.
Figure 3-14 shows a typical filter tank and material.
The nomographs shown on figures 3-15a and 3-15b are used to estimate the
minimum and maximum volume of water to be discharged during a pump-in
hydraulic conductivity test. These nomographs provide an excellent guide to
deternrine the amount of water that should be discharged into the hole before the
readings become unreliable. The nomographs are especially useful in sands
becausethe minimum amount of water will be discharged into the hole in a very
short time. Readings should be taken as soon as the minimum is reached. To use
the nomogrnphs, the specific yield must be estimated from the hydraulic conduc-
tivity, texture, and structure of the soil. Knowing the depth of water maintained
from the bottom of the hole, h, and the radius of the hole, r, the minimum and
maximum amounts of water needed to meet the conditions set up in the mathe-
matical model can be determined. When the minimum amount has been
discharged into the soil, the hydraulic conductivity should be computed following

Figure 3-14.-Typical filter tank and filter material. P801-D-

tklqhl d mt9r Might of water Yinmmum volume Estlsoted
klallnn *0*mc specific yield
Rodiu;,;f well S
hum ” In’

- 3.0
- 2.8
- 2.2 15.00
10.00 T9aturr Structure
- 1.8 0.00 0.1=----’ -----
- 1.6 6.00 - Coarse sand Sinqk qroin
4.00 030 - CrOVd
- 1.4
au)- ‘.OO ---- .----- ---.
- I.2
-- 2.00 0.24 - Sinpk gram 5.0-12.0
Medium sand
---- .----- ---.
- 1.0 0.*- 0.20 - Medium crumb 3.0-6.0
- 0.9 krnS
_--_-- sljlkW’“-
- 0.8
-- 1.00
0.16 - :irdr
Sandy barn
- 0.7 0.u -----I _--.
am-- a40 LI@~ cby udortsmatic 0.5- 1.5
-0.6 O.I2 - bO~ 6SUbOnp-
OM-- silt ubr bbhy
- 0.5 -- R20 - Silt loam
0.10 - Veryflnr
- sandyloom
- 0.4 - 0.10 LOOIll _---
O.Ol--- QOE osa =Y---’ Fmc 6 m&m 0.12~05
_- cm6 - wty cloy Drwnatic, oq
ubr blocky. 6
-0.3 - 0.04 0.06 - ~~~~ Fmr
oM-- a03
cloy loom
0.05 - Silt loam
.----- ._--
very fmr or 006-CL12
fme prism&
npular block
a ploty

Figure 3-15a-Nomograph for estimating the minimum and maximum volume of water to
be discharged during a pump-in hydraulic conductivity test (metric units). 103-D-1193.

tklqhtdwdw itdght d water Mlnimum voiuma tlmo ted

Radius of well h. ft Maim volume ic yririd
h/r V,ft) s
Mill Max

50- ;,” Terture Structurr orbttir
-250 0.35 ----------_ ,---in/h
30--_200 torrc rend Single groin > 20.0
-160 0.30 rove1
- I20
= 100 ----------- ---
IO-- 00 0.24
eddlumsand Sinpk pmin 10.0-20
I- 60 .---.---___ ---
0.20 - 5.0 -101
-- 40
4-- 30 ‘25Gi
-- 20
0.1, - ---
2-- ‘5 0.0-2.5
- IO 0.12 OOD . hsubonp-
it UIOI. bkciw
I.0 7- 8 IIt loom
I- B 0.10 - try fin
0.6 - _-- mdy im
0.4-- 0.08 -----_-- ____ ----
‘OY Fmc 6 medkm a2-06
- 2 ity Cloy prismatic. aq-
nndy cloy ulor blocky. 6
0.2 -
OS- Ity cloy Diotr
I oom
0.05 - It iwm
Key to toivbq Nomogroph it
” mm 0.04 - mdy Cloy
h/r h mor s oom


001s - --- -----_ ---

B”Y MY very fine or
WI fine cdunn2r
0.01- ----t------ --.

Figure 3-lSb.-Nomogmph for estimating the minimum and maximum volume of water to
be discharged during a pump-in hydraulic conductivity test (U.S. customary units).

eachreading. The test can be terminated when a relatively constant hydraulic

conductivity valuehasbeenreached,andthe total volume dischargedinto the soil
is not greaterthan the maximum value takenfrom the nomograph.
(d) Calculations.-A samplecomputationsheetfor theshallowwell pumping
test is shown on figure 3-16. Figures 3-17a, 3-E%, 3-18a, and 3-18b show
equationsand nomogmphsused in the computations.The use of thesefigures
dependsupon the depth of water maintainedfrom the bottom of the hole, h, and
the depth of the water table or depth to an impervious strata from the surfaceof
water maintained,T,. The h valuecanbe determinedaccurately,but the depth to
an imperviousor restrictive zone,T,,, requiresa deeppilot hole near the test site.
Any zonewhich appears,from visualinspection,to havea much lower hydraulic

Locaton: Hole C . 3 . . snmple Farm

Obserfer: AE& DwOctober m n 0.0LO0.6” (0 1”2 r, Light
Sandy Loam, friable. non-sdcky
0.6 to (2 Lo7 r,. Light
grayish brown Sandy my Loam,
Oiabk. slight stickiness. damp 1
sbm *.tm (7 0) Fab hydrudic

h = 1.07 meters (3.5 feet) Depth of

water maintained from bottom of hole

Adjuti toaverage tank water Lcmpcmlure. .. se4 Figure 3.20 lot medwd.
Rends: No woublc with appanxus. assumed test sadsfawxy and resulu reliable.
Calc”tion: hh E 1.074.051 = 20.96 h/&I 1.07/1.37 = 0.78
Q (werage akz mbitimintion) = O.ooO536 cubic meer ( 0.019 cubic feel) per minute
3h 6x3~ l.O7m)>‘&(L37m)> h(l.07m). soukCondikm II.
From nomogmph Qt. 3 . l&&b) : K E 0.52 metez per day ( 0.85 in per hour)

Figure 3-16.-Data and computation sheet on shallow well pump-in test for hydraulic conduc-
tivity. 103-D-467.
Q- K
h/r I ;/min. mI/Clay h- metres


10.0 0.20

4.0 0.25

2.0 0.30

1.0 0.35

0.6 0.40
I50 0.4
120 0.2
100 I 0.60
- 50 0.90
- 40
25 1.60
I .60


‘2, 0

h = 0.76m
: 0.051 m
i/r = I5
Q : 0.000034 m’/doy
K = O.O32m/day

K (m /day) = 1440 Lag, (k +/pi)-g a

Figure 3-17a-Nomograph for determining hydraulic conductivity from shallow well

pump-in test data for condition I (metric units). 103-D-1191.

h Q K h
T; ft3/min in /h feet

: 300
- 60 - 1.0
- 40
- 20
- 1.5
r IO
- 5
- 3
- 2
00.0 / i2.5
- 1.0 40.0 1’
/ i3.0
- 0.6
- 0.4 IO.0 F3.5
20.0 @,/” i4.0
- 0.2 4.0
2.0 ’ Lb.0
-0.1 I.0 ,N’
- 0.06 I6.0
-0.04 0.49/’
0;20 17.0
-0.02 0.10 -6.0
:O.Ol,, 0.04 Lg.0
0.02 -10.0
;E.E 0.01
’ - 0.002
*~O.OOl 0.001
- 0.000
- 0.000

h= 2.5ft
T, L 3h
t-=0.167 ft
h/r= 15
Q=O.O012 ft3/min
K=o.o~ in/h
Figure 3-17b.-Nomograph for determining hydraulic conductivity from shallow well
pomp-in test data for condition I (U.S. customary units). 103-D-657.

h/Tu h-m m3/min. m/day h/r


-0.50 .002
- 5 .004
. 0.01


PO.10 - IO

- IS

,.ool w - 20
0* 0 .002

. I.8 \
,004 4.0
-2.0 \ P’ - 30
6.0 . 10.0
.Ol - 40
7.0 - 2.4 20.0 - 50
-8.0 - 60
-9.0 .04
- 80
- 10.0 -3.0 - 100
.I0 * 100.0
- 12.0 .20 -150
- 14.0 .40

- 16.0
- 18.0
-20.0 2.0 EXAMPLE:
4.0 = 1.07m
? = I.37m
hu/T, = 0.78
0 = 0.00054 m’/min.
hp,r = 0.051
20:96 m
CONDITION II K = 0.52 m/day
3h LT, Lh

K= 1440

Figure 3-18a.-Nomograph for determining hydraulic conductivity from shallow well

pump-in test data for condition II (metric units). 103-D-l 192.

Q K h
ft3/mir in/h T;

0.00006 a04 -5
0.6 0.0001
.6 ‘.02
CO, .04
\ ,3L) 0.001
2 0.002 - IO
?” 0.004 1.20
41Q ‘.40

3 4.5 ‘1
@ 0 2
Op2 ?O-,.-! 0
=O \ 1.0 ----_. i20
\ ,A04
6.0 \ /’ 1.0
5 \ al &
\ ,A
0.2 0.0
6 70
0.0 :40
7 0.4 -50
6.0 0.0
6 1.0 -60
- IO 101) ;I00
- I2 L IS0

h- 3.5 ft
T, - 4.5 ft
h/T,-0.78 3h LT,L h
Q = 0.019 ft ‘/min
r-0.167 ft
h/r = 20.96
K=08:, in/h
Figure 3-lib.-Nomograph for determining hydraulic conductivity from shallow well
pump-in test data for condition II (U.S. customary units). 103-D-657.

conductivity than the zone aboveshould be consideredas a restrictive zone for

determiningT,. A water tableshouldalsobe considereda barrier when estimating
T,,. If an in-placehydraulic conductivity test in this zoneindicatesthe zoneis not
restrictive, the hydraulic conductivity canbe recomputedusinga larger T,, value
and the appropriateequationor nomograph.
(e) Limitations.-The time requiredto setup the equipmentandcompletethe
test constitutestheprincipal limitation of this test. Also, a relatively largeamount
of water is required,especiallyif the material has a hydraulic conductivity over
4 to 6 centimetersper hour. In soilshigh in sodium,the water usedshouldcontain
1,500to 2,000 milligrams per liter of salts,preferably calcium. Rocky material
or coarsegravelsmay prevent augeringthe hole to accuratedimensions.Also,
comparisonsof electric analogtest results with valuesfrom the auger-holetest
show that the h/r ratio must be equalto or greaterthan 10.
Water moving outward from the hole sometimescausesthe fines near the
surface to form a seal before a constant hydraulic conductivity rate has been
reached.If a constantrate cannotbe obtainedby the time the estimatedmaximum
flow has occurred,the fines can be flushed back into the hole by removing the
equipmentandbailing all water out of the hole or by gently surgingthe hole with
a solid surgeblock andthen pumping the water out. This procedureis not always
successful,but shouldbe tried before abandoningthe test site. Use of a filter on
the supply line will generallyprevent this problem.
3-g. Ring Permeameter Test.-(u) Introduction.-In drainagestudies,the
lateral hydraulic conductivity of the soil must be known to determine drain
spacing.Usually the vertical hydraulic conductivity is assumedto be sufficient
to permit deeppercolationfrom irrigation andrainfall to reachthe saturatedzone
in which it moveshorizontally. However, slowly permeablelayersinterfere with
percolationand causetemporary perchedwater tablesin the root zone. Thus, a
meansof determiningthe vertical hydraulic conductivity of such a tight layer is
The ring permeametertest is a specializedin-place method of obtaining
vertical hydraulic conductivity of a critical zone.The test is basedon Darcy ‘s law
for movement of liquids through saturatedmaterial. The test is time consuming
whencomparedwith theauger-holetest,but theresultsareuniformly dependable.
Tensiometersand piezometersare usedto confii existenceof saturatedcondi-
tions, absenceof a perchedwater table, and fulfillment of the requirementsof
Darcy’s law.
(b) Equipment.-Equipment requiredfor the ring permeametermethod is as
(1) A lCgauge-steel,welded-seamcylinder, 457millimeter (M-inch) i.d.
by 508 millimeters (20 inches) high, with a reinforcing band on top and
sharpenedbottom edge(seamweld must be groundflush).
(2) A 50%millimeter (20-inch) diameter by 12.7-millimeter (l/2-inch)
thick driving disk with a 45Omillimeter (17-3/4-inch) diameterby 12.7-m&
limeter (l/2-inch) thick center ring. This disk fits inside the 457-millimeter

cylinder and has a 0.6-meter (2-foot) length of 25millimeter (l-inch) pipe

welded in the centerfor a hammer guide.
(3) A 25 to 35kilogram (50- to 75-pound) driving hammer (heavy steel
cylinder with hole in the center and pipe welded to center which fits over the
25millimeter (l-inch) pipe on driving disk).
(4) A water-supply tank truck of at least 1,250~liter(350-gallon)capacity
anda gasoline-poweredwater pump to fdl the tank truck. Also, about7 meters
(25 feet) of 25- to 38millimeter (l- or 1-l/2-inch), heavy-walled hose are
neededto fdl the tank from the water truck.
(5) Two calibrated200-liter (50-gallon) headtanks.
(6) Two woodenplatforms to keepheadtanks from rusting.
(7) Two 25-millimeter (l-inch) diameterpipes1meter (4 feet) long, driven
into the ground to keep tanksupright.
(8) Sufficient lo-millimeter (3/8-inch) i.d. rubber tubing to connecttanks
to constant-levelfloat valves (carburetors).
(9) Two constant-levelfloat valves (carburetors).
(10) Adjustable rods to hold the carburetorsat the,desiredelevation and
threadedbolts which fasten to the steel cylinder and support the adjustable
(11) Two 13millimeter (l/2-inch) i.d. piezometers, 450 millimeters
(18 inches)long, rigid copper tubing, and a small driving hammerto fit over
the 13-millimeter tubing.
(12) An 1l-millimeter (7/16-inch) wood augerfor cleaningout piezome-
ters and clean sandto Nl cavities in piezometers.
(13) Bentonite to sealtensiometersand piezometets.
(14) Two mercury manometer-typetensiometetsand mercury for them.
(15) Distilled water to fill tensiometersinitially. (Distilled water is desir-
ablebut unnecessaryafter initial filling.)
(16) Small air syringe to fill tensiometersand expel air after filling.
(17) A 25-millimeter (l-inch) wood augerfor installing tensiometets.
(18) Thermometer,Celsiuspreferred.
(19) Filter tank and filter material.
(20) Tiling spadeto clean the hole, and a rope bucket for removing soil
from hole.
(21) A 3-meter ladder (neededonly for deeplayer testing).
(22) Washedsandof uniform size,passingthe No. 14 sieve and retained
on the No. 28 sieve.
(23) Cover for the457-millimeter (18-inch) cylinder to reduceevaporation
andkeep out debris.
(24) Steel fencepostswith post driver (four required per site and needed
only when site must be fenced).Wire for fencing site, about 25meters.
(25) A 3-meter (lo-foot) steel tape, carpenter’s level, white chalk,
clawhammer,wire-cutting pliers, clipboard, andreferencesheets.

Figure 3-19 showsthe equipmentset up for this test.


Filler hole and cork

Calibrated head tank, two required

Gage consisting of plastic tube Pipe driven into ground

board calibrated in milliliters and wired to head

Wire or leather strap


Constant level float

valve (carburetor),

102 mm@l”)cavity filled with sand

Figure 3-lg.--Equipment setup for the ring peuueameter hydraulic conductivity test.

(c) Procedure.-A two-man team can efficiently install the equipmentand

conduct the ring permeametertest:After the site hasbeenselectedand the zone
of critical hydraulic conductivity determined,a l-meter-diameter hole is exca-
vated to within 75 millimeters (3 inches)of the test zone.The last 75 millimeters
areexcavatedwhenthe equipmentis readyfor installation,taking carenot to walk
on the areato be tested.Thetestingarea,which will be insidethe 1%inchcylinder,
is checkedwith a carpenter’slevel to assurethat it is level before the cylinder is
placed. The cylinder is marked with chalk 150 millimeters (6 inches)from the
bottom edge and driven 150 millimeters into the soil with the driving disk and
hammer. The cylinder shouldbe kept level during driving, andthe blows should
be as powerful and steadyas practicable.After the cylinder has been driven to
the desired depth, the soil immediately against its inside and outside wall is
tamped lightly to prevent channelingalong the sides. About 25 millimeters of
clean uniform, permeablesand is spreadover the area inside the cylinder to
minimize puddling of the soil surfaceduring the test. The outsideperiphery of
the cylinder is alsotampedto keepwater from channelingdown along the sides
and causingerroneoustensiometerreadings.
Next, the two 450-millimeter (Winch) piezometersate marked 230 millime-
ters (9 inches)from the sharpenedbottom and installedon oppositesidesof the
cylinder and about 75 to 100 millimeters (3 to 4 inches) distant from it. The
piezometersate installed by driving them 50 to 75 millimeters into the soil,
augering out the core, and continuing this process until the 230-millimeter
(g-inch) mark is at groundlevel. Careshouldbe takenthat the piezometersdo not
turn or comeup with the augerduring installation.A lOO-millimeter(4-inch) long
cavity is then augetedbelow eachpiezometerandfilled with clean,fine sand.As
an additionalmeansof preventingchannelingalongthe sides,a 1:1bentonite-soil
mixture is tampedaround the piezometers.Caution shouldalways be exercised
to ensurethat no bentonitefalls into the piezometersor into the testingring. The
piezometersam filled with water andcheckedto assurethat they are functioning
properly. If the water falls in the piezometem,the installation is satisfactory. A
small canshouldbeplacedover eachpiezometerto keepout dirt andwater during
the remainderof the installation.If the water doesnot fall, the piezometersshould
be flushedwith a stinup pump and reaugeredif flushing doesnot clear them.
The two calibratedandtestedtensiometersam theninstalledon oppositesides
of the cylinder and 75 to 100millimeters (3 to 4 inches)from it on a line at right
anglesto that of the piezometers.The calibration and testing shouldbe done in
the laboratory. Instructions for calibrating and testing can be ob&inedfrom the
manufacturer.During the calibration, 100on the scaleshouldbesetat zerotension
so that pressurescausedby a rising water table canbe observedif the water table
risesabovethe tensiometercup.Theholesfor the tensiometersareexcavatedwith
a 25-millimeter (l-inch) soil augerto a depth of 230 millimeters (9 inches). A
smallamountof dry soil is thendroppedinto thehole, followed by a smallamount
of water. The tensiometeris then placedin the hole, with the glasstubes facing
away from the sun, andworked up anddown in the mud to obtain good contact

between the porous cup, the mud, and the undisturbed soil. The annular space
around the tensiometer is filled and tamped with dry soil to within about
25 millimeters (1 inch) of the soil surface..A 1:l bentonite-soil mixture is then
added to prevent channeling.Mercury is placed in the reservoir cup and the
tensiometertubesfuled with water. A small air syringeis usedto removeair from
the tensiometertubeby forcing water through the system.
The carburetor float apparatusis installed and adjustedto hold a constant
150millimeter (6-inch) headin the cylinder, and the carburetor is connectedto
the headtank with rubber tubing. If the test water containssuspendedmaterial, a
fnter tank should be installed with the tubing as describedin section 3-7. The
tank should always be anchored,and the gaugeshould always face away from
the sun.The cylinder is then filled with water to the 15Omillimeter (dinch) mark
andthe tank valve opened.The hole outsidethe cylinder shouldalsobefilled with
water to a depth of 150 millimeters (6 inches) and should be kept to this
150~millimeter(6-inch) depth during the entire test period. The extra tank and
carburetoram used for this purpose.When all adjustmentshavebeen madeand
the tensiometersam full, the time and water content of the tank are recorded.
The headtank shouldbe checkedat leasttwo or three times a day, depending
upon the percolation and hydraulic conductivity rates, and filled as necessary.
Eachtime the site is visited, a record shouldbemade of the time, volume of water
in the tank, gaugereadingsof the tensiometersandpiezometers,temperature,and
the hydraulic conductivity. When the tensiometer gaugesread approximately
100 (zero tension), no water shows in the piezometer, and water is moving
through the 150~millimeter(6-inch) test layer at a constantrate, the requirements
of Darcy’s law may be assumedto have been met and valid test results can be
obtainedto calculatehydraulic conductivity. Tensiometerreadings sometimes
fluctuate when the soil is at or near saturation,and it is not always possibleto get
the 100reading.Gaugesfluctuating between100and 105areprobably indicating
saturatedconditions for that particular soil. Also, it is not necessaryfor both
tensiometersto have the same reading providing they both read in the 100 to
If the saturatedfront should reach a zone less permeablethan the test layer
before the requirementsof Darcy’s law are met, a mound of water will build up
into the test zone. When this buildup occurs, the hydraulic gradientwill be less
than unity, and the pressureat the baseof the soil column being tested will be
greater than atmospheric.Both the piezometersand tensiometerswill indicate
this condition. When the piezometersshow that a mound hasreachedthe bottom
of the cylinder, the test will no longer give a true hydraulic conductivity value.
When this condition occurs, the test will either have to be stoppedor the mound
loweredbelow the bottom of the cylinder. When thematerial betweenthe bottom
of the cylinder and the less permeablezone has a fair rate of hydraulic conduc-
tivity, it is sometimespossibleto lower the water table mound by augering a
number of holes around the outside periphery of the cylinder approximately
250 millimeters (10 inches)from the sides.Theseholes,when fflled with sand,

will act as inverted drainagewells and, under most conditions, will lower the
mound. If the holesdo not provide the necessarydrainage,the testing equipment
shouldbe loweredto the lesspermeablezoneand the test rerun
At the close of the test, the soil is excavatedfrom around the outside of the
cylinder and cut for a short distanceunder the cylinder. A chain placedaround
the cylinder andpulled by a truck will usuallybreakthe soil acrossthe bottom to
allow examinationfor root holes, cracks,and possiblechanneling.
(d) Calculations.-Hydraulic conductivity computations for the ring per-
meametertest am madeusing the Darcy flow equation:

K = Hydraulic conductivity in centimeters(inches)per hour,
V = volume of water passedthrough the soil in cubic centimeters(inches),
A = cross-sectional areaof the test cylinder in squarecentimeters(inches),
= time in hours,
:. = lengthof the soil column in centimeters(inches),and
H = height of the water level above the base of the ring in centimeters

Sampledata sheetsand computationsare shownon figures 3-20a and 3-20b.

When fluctuationsin the water temperatureexceed2 “C, viscosityadjustments
should be made. This adjustment usually results in more uniform hydraulic
conductivity values,and is illustrated on the sampledata sheets,figures 3-20a
and 3-20b.
(e) Limitations.The principal limitation in this test is that the material
directly below the test zonemust have equal or greaterhydraulic conductivity
than the test zone.Also, it must extendto a sufficient depth below the test zone
sothat a steady-stateflow is reachedfor at leastthreeconsecutivehourly readings
before any water mound builds up to the bottom of the cylinder. Another
limitation is the presenceof progressivelytighter soils below the test zone. A
steady-stateflow is never reachedunder this condition, and the hydraulic con-
ductivity apparentlydecreasesas the test proceeds.
Unreliable data may result when the test zoneis immediately abovea thick,
very permeablematerial. A fairly steady-stateflow can be obtained, but the
tensiometersin the very permeablematerial will never indicate zero tensions
below the test zoneand, thus, the requirementsof Darcy ‘s law are not met.
This test cannot be used in rocky or coarse gravel materials becausethe
cylinder cannotbe driven into such material without allowing channelingalong
the insideperipheryof the ring during the test.

. I - . I I

1630 lo-14 0725 14% 11831 28546

10.14-74 0725 lo-14 1235 5.17 28546 34576 dry

#1235 lo-14 1635 4.00 *34576 392% dry



10-15-74 +iO3 22663 1.2363

l&1&74 +
122663 27219 1.1404

10-l&74 1210 lo-16 1650 4.67 27219 32151 4932 1056 18 1.0559 1004 0.31 lK! 102 &y dry

10-l&74 1650 lo-17 0820 1550 32151 46392 14241 919 13 1.2028 995 0.30 104 102 dry dry

Notes: 1 This is the temperahue of the yater moving into the test zone and is measured in the teat cyliner.

* To convert to pascal seconds, divide by 1000.

3 Adjusted Q = Q times viscosity of water at teat temperature divided by viscosity of wattx at
temperature at which the. water seemed to stabilize which in this test was 16cC.
(i.e. Adjusted Q (fmt time increment) = 1.412 x m = 1376 (A&ud lo timprams cfl6%)

Location: Hole D-Z-Sample Farm Observer: A.P. Brown

Depth: 107 to 122 centimeters (42 to 48 inches)

Cakulati01~ K = *H = s (centimeters per hour)

Q = 1002 cubic centimeters per hour (Adjusted Q, average of

last 6 time increments)
L = 0.1524 meters = 15.24 centimeters
H = 0.3048 meters = 30.48 centimeters

Therefore: K= w = 0.305 centimeters per hoor

(0.12 inches per hour)
4 A tensiometer reading of 100 represents zero tension (atmospheric pressure)

Figure 3-2Oa.-Data and computation sheet on ring pemwuneter test for hydraulic conductivity (metric units).

Votes: ‘This is the temperoture of the water moving into the test zone and is measured
in the test cylinder.
2Adjusted Q- ,,, , , , x 62.0 =57.5 (Adjusted to averoge tank water
temperature of 16oC which is the first reading after apparent stabilization)

Location: Hole D-2--Sample Farm Observer:--___~ A.P. Brown

Depth : 42 to 48 inches

Calculations: K= *H = g (inches per hour)

Q- 61.2 cubic inches per hour overage (Average for

48.5 hours)
A= ‘Tfr2 - 3.1416 x 92-254.5 square inches
L- 6 inches
H- 12 inches
Therefore: K- Qx0.00196-61.2x0.001965=0.12 inch per hour

Figure 3-20b.-Data and computation sheet on ring permeameter test for hydraulic conductivity
(U.S. customary units). 103-D-659.

3-9. Test Pit Method.-(u) Introduction.There is no exact method for

determining the hydraulic conductivity above a water table in soils of coarse
gravel and cobbleswith matrices of finer materials. The following procedure,
equations,and samplecomputationsdescribeone method which is considered
sufficiently accurateto give a reasonablehydraulic conductivity when appliedto
field problems.
The test pit can be of three different shapes: (1) a circular test pit of
diametera, (2) a squaretest pit with side dimensionsof a, and (3) a rectangular
test pit with sidedimensionsa by 2~.
The test should be conductedin only one textural classification such as a
cobbly, coarsegravelly, or loamy sand. A backhoe,power auger, or hand tools
can be used to excavate down to the test zone. The test pit is then carefully
excavatedto the desiredshapeanddepth by hand.For the different shapedpits,
an a valueof 0.3 meter (1 foot) shouldbe adequate.Larger sizescan be used,but
will requite proportionally more water. Small cavities left when cobbles are
removed, or a few small cobblessticking out into the test pit, will causelittle
difference in the quantity of water enteringthe test pit, the averagediameterof a
circular pit, or in the sidedimensionsof a squareor rectangularpit.
Matrices with texturessuchas fme sands,silts, silt loams, andvery fine sands
tend to sloughinto the pit when saturated.For theseconditions,the pit shouldbe
filled with a clean (washed)fine gravelbefore water is applied.
(6) Procedure.-After the test pit hasbeenexcavatedand, if required,back-
filled with fine gravel, it is filed to a predetermineddepth with cleanwater. All
water enteringthe pit shouldbe filtered to remove the suspendedsilts and clays.
The depth of water in the hole can be maintainedby using bypasshosesand a
large carburetor for the finer regulation to keep the water depth reasonably
constant.The carburetor can be installed by placing it in a perforated tin can
locatedin the middle of the test pit. This test normally takesonly a short time to
run, so the water depth in the pit can be maintainedby handif a carburetoris not
available.A clearplastic cover shouldbeplacedoverthe pit to keepmaterialfrom
blowing in.
(c) Calculations.-The following equationis used to compute the hydraulic

K = hydraulic conductivity in meters (feet) per day,
U = diameter of a circular pit, the side dimension of a squarepit, or the
a dimensionof a rectangularpit that is a by 2u all in meters (feet),
Q = quantity of flow per unit of time in cubic meters(feet) per minute,
D = depth of water maintainedin the test pit in meters(feet), and
C = conductivity coefficient from the following tabulation:

Conductivity coejjkient

I! Circular test pit Square test pit Rectangular test pit

a of diameter of dimension of dimensions

1 1.50 (4.92) 1.67 (5.49) 2.24 (7.35)

2 2.11 (6.92) 2.34 (7.68) 3.01 (9.89)
3 2.68 (8.78) 2.96 (9.70) 3.71 (12.18)
4 3.25 (10.65) 3.54 (11.63) 4.40 (14.44)
5 3.78 (12.39) 4.13 (13.54) 5.06 (16.59)
6 4.29 (14.09) 4.67 (15.33) 5.68 (18.62)
I 4.84 (15.87) 5.23 (17.15) 6.30 (20.68)
8 5.34 (17.52) 5.78 (18.95) 6.95 (22.81)
9 5.86 (19.22) 6.32 (20.74) 7.57 (24.82)
10 6.32 (20.72) 6.86 (22.51) 8.19 (26.87)

A sampledataandcomputationsheetis shownon figure 3-21. Sufficient time

must elapseafter fnling the test pit and before taking measurementsto permit
establishmentof a relatively steadystate of flow. A comparisonof valuesof C
obtained by an electric analog study with K values determined analytically
showedthe aualogvaluesto be about 30 percentlower at a ratio of 5 = 3 and
about 10percentlower at a ratio of ; = 10 than the analyticalstudy. Whenever
possible,the test pit method should be checkedagainstsome other method of
determininghydraulic conductivity.
MO. Test for Determining Infiltration Rate.-Although the drainage
engineeris mainly concernedwith the hydraulic conductivity of the soil, the
infiltration rate is also important in determining the deeppercolationand runoff
that must be carried by the drains.Infiltration is generallyconsideredas the rate
at which water entersthe soil surface.Hydraulic conductivity is consideredasthe
rate at which water will move through a unit cross sectionof soil under a unit
hydraulic gradient.The two terms neednot be and generallyare not identical. In
fact, they am identical only if all the following conditionsare true:

(a) The soil must be homogeneousthroughout.

(b) A zero headof water must be maintainedat the soil surface.
(c) No lateral movementof the water may occur.
(d) The surfacesoil may not restrict the water movement.
(e) Atmosphericpressuremust exist at all times at the baseof the downward

These conditions might occur in a sandy soil before the water reachesan
impervious layer or a water table. Usually, in an infiltration test the infiltration
rate will be greater in the initial stagethan the hydraulic conductivity rate. The
infiltration rate will be greaterbecauseof somelateral movementand becausea


Observers: Date:

Texture of test zone: - Srructure of test zone:

Type of pit: circular with diameter p

D = 0.6 meter (2 feet)

a = 0.3 meter (1 foot)

C = 6.92

Tank reading. Hydraulic

Time Time, m3 (ft3) Q conductiviy, K
Initial Final min Initial Final m3/min(f?/tnin) m/day (ft/day)
0800 0810 10 0 (0) 0.144 (5.10) 0.0144 (0.510) 16.658 (53.5)

0810 082cl 10 0.144 (5.10) 0.283 (9.98) 0.0138 (0.488) 15.953 (50.8)

0820 0830 10 0 (0) 0.119 (4.20) 0.0119 (0.420) 13.756 (43.6)

0830 0840 10 0.119 (4.20) 0.237 (8.36) 0.0118 (0.416) 13.619 (43.4)

0840 0850 10 .0237 (8.36) 0.354 (12.51) 0.0117 (0.415) 13.586 (43.2)

Calculations: K = z

K= Q = 1156Q, m/day (104.05 Q, ft/day)


Figure 3-21.-Data and computation sheet on test pit method for hydraulic conductivity. 103-D-1632.

head of surface water greater than zero must be maintained of necessity. A

downwardcapillary pull, which initially is significant,alsoexists.As the wetting
front moves downward, lateral and vertical capillary movement becomesnegli-
gible; the hydraulic gradient will approachunity, and the infiltration rate will
approachthe hydraulic conductivity rate.
The sameequipmentcan be usedfor the infiltration test asis usedfor the ring
permeametertest. The site selected for the infiltration test should be repre-
sentativeof conditions that will be encounteredwhen the areais irrigated. If the
areais aheadyundercultivation, the457-millimeter- (l&inch-) diametercylinder
should be set in a level areaand driven in about 25 millimeters (1 inch). Care
shouldbe takenthat the soil within the cylinder hasnot beencompactedor sealed.
Infiltration rates for virgin soil will not be indicative of the infiltration mte of a
cultivated soil. Therefore,if the areahasneverbeencultivated, the soil in the test
site shouldbe turned over to a depth of 200 to 250 millimeters (8 to 10 inches),
then leveled,and all large clods broken up and worked into the soil before the
cylinder is installed. When the cylinder has beeninstalled, both the inside and
outside edges at the soil surface should be carefully tamped to seal possible
Next, a mound of soil, metal, or plastic, 150 millimeters (6 inches)high and
about 1 meter in diameter, should be constructedaround the cylinder. A cali-
brated tank should be set up outside the mound, and the carburetor and
connectionsshouldbe installedasdescribedfor thering permeametertest. Before
starting the test, a moisture sampleshouldbe taken just outside the cylinder at
50-, 150-, and 25Omillimeter (2-, 6-, and lo-inch) depths to determine the
moisture content in the top foot. Both the cylinder and mound shouldbe filled
with about 75 millimeters (3 inches) of water, the time recorded,and the water
withdrawn from the calibratedsupply tank. The 75millimeter depthof water is
maintainedinside the mound by a secondtank and carburetor. A reading on the
tank supplyingwater to the cylinder shouldbe takenevery 5 minutes for the frost
30 minutes,every 15minutesfor the second30 minutes,every 30 minutesfor the
secondhour, and at l-hour intervals for the next 5 hours. The cylinder shouldbe
permitted to go dry, andafter 24 hours the surfaceshouldbe scratchedto a depth
of about25 millimeters (1 inch) andthe testrerun the sameasthe first day. Before
the secondtest is statted,moisture samplesshouldbe takenoutsidethe ring at the
samedepthsas on the previoustest.
Becauseinfiltration is definedas the volume of water passinginto the soil per
unit of area per unit of time, the cross-sectionalareaof the cylinder should be
computed: (rw-2= 3.1416 x 22.862 = 1,642 square centimeters). Therefore,
1,642cubiccentimetersareequalto 1.Ocentimeter(0.39 inch) insidethe cylinder.
If 1,642cubic centimetersrun through the cylinder in 1 hour, the infiltration rate
would be 1 centimeterper hour. When recording the rate for a particular site, the
texturesof both the surfaceandunderlying zoneshouldbe shown.For example,
if the surface texture is a fine sandyloam underlainby a clay loam, the texture
shouldbe shown asFSL 20 centimeters(8 inches)/CL.

bnkRyting r-c,

Initial Final Tii. em Voy CJfi trr Lcxation:

Date Tie Date Tii hours Initial Final

centimeters for a
(18-&h) dianwer

Second Run rnfiltmtion


Figure 3-22.-Data sheet for determining infiltration rate. 103-D-1633.

The initial readingscanbeusedto estimatethe infiltration rate during wetting,

and the later readingsindicate the steadystate infiltration rate. A sampledata
sheetfor determiningthe infiitration rate is shownon figure 3-22.

C. Laboratory Tests for Hydraulic Conductivity

3-11. Hydraulic Conductivity From Undisturbed Soil Samples.-An
undisturbedsample is one taken from the test site with as little disturbanceas
possible.Severaldifferent methodsam usedfor taking undisturbedsamples,but
all methods attempt to provide for removal of a certain size of eatth sample
without disturbing the relation of the soil grains to each other with respect to
compression,expansion,or lateral displacement.A properly performed test on
sucha sampleshouldgive a hydraulic conductivity value reasonablyconsistent
with the accuracy obtained from an in-place field test. However, there are
economiclimitations in using this type of samplein an overall drainagestudy. A
properly obtained undisturbedsampleis usually about 100 to 150 millimeters
(4 to 6 inches)long, but for solutionof drainageproblemsit is necessaryto know
the hydraulic conductivity through at lcast a 3-meter (lo-foot) depth over the

study area. Therefore,in a heterogeneousprofile, many samplesmust be taken

in the field and tested in the laboratory to get the desired information. This
procedure is usually more costly than obtaining an equal amount of data by
The lateralhydraulicconductivity of many soilsis greaterthanthe vertical and
may be many times greater.This is a result of the natural depositionof soils in
horizontal layers. Although movement of ground water to a drain is a resultant
of lateral and vertical components,the movementis primarily lateral.
The hydraulic conductivity value usedin the solutionof drainageproblemsis
usually the resultant value of lateraI and vertical hydraulic conductivities that
apply to the particular problem, but in some instancesthe vertical hydraulic
conductivity aloneis of critical importance.
Either horizontalor vertical undisturbedsoil samplescanbe taken.Horizontal
samplestaken at depthsgreater than a meter are especiallycostly. Undisturbed
samplestaken in both directionscan be used to analyzedrainagerequirements,
but inplacetest resultsprovidemore reliabledata,particularly for a largevolume
of material. Methods of taking undisturbedsamplesand laboratory methodsof
determining hydraulic conductivity are describedin Reclamation Instructions,
Series5 10,Land ClassificationTechniquesand Standards.
>12. Hydraulic Conductivity From Disturbed Soil Samples.-A dis-
turbed (or remolded) soil sampleis one in which no attempt has beenmade to
maintain the naturalrelation of the grainsto eachother and,in fact, the grainsare
deliberatelydisturbed.The sampleis usuallytakenfrom an augerholeandbroken
up in a machinebefore the test is run. Thehydraulic conductivity valuesobtained
by this procedurehavea doubtful relation to the true hydraulic conductivity value
of the soil in its natural state and should not be used for determining drainage
requirements.However, looseand uncementedsandsandgravelshave aboutthe
samehydraulic conductivity in both the disturbed and undisturbedstates.Dis-
turbed hydraulic conductivity, pH, and electrical conductivity can also serveas
screeningteststo identify possiblesodium problems.

D. Observation Holes and Piezometers

3-13. Introduction.4bservation holesandpiezometersfor drainagestudies
are neededto furnish information concerningthe characterof soil materialsand
to provide a means for periodic observationof the location, fluctuations, and
pressuresof ground-water bodies. Observationsfor ground-water information
serve three purposes: (1) to measurethe static water level, (2) to measurethe
pressureof the water at a givenpoint in anaquifer,and (3) to samplewater quality.
3-14. Location of Observation Holes.-Selection of hole locations should
be made in the field where conditionsthat might affect the generalwater table
canbe readily observed.Holes shouldbe locatedto eliminatethe effect of ponds,
lakes, road borrow ditches, canals, laterals, rivers, and similar water-holding
reservoirson the generalwater table. If the hole cannotbe locatedto completely
eliminatethe effect of surfacewater, it is important that a notation be madeof the

presenceor recentpresenceof water on the surfaceeachtime the depth to water

is measured.
Observation holes should be located on a fence line or near some other
reasonablypermanentstructureto ensuretheir permanence.Whenpossible,they
shouldbe locatednearanall-weatherroadso they canbeeasilyreachedat regular
intervalsthroughouttheyear.Wheninstalledprior to construetion of the irrigation
system,the holes shouldbe locatedin the arableland areawhere they will be of
maximum value after irrigation. Usually they should not be located on high,
nonirrigateddivides.Holes shouldalwaysbe loggedcarefully, usingagricultural
soil classification,and shouldalsobe locatedsocrosssectionscanbe drawn both
parallelandperpendicularto the surfaceslopes.At breaksin slopes,holesshould
be located both aboveand below the break so that the drawdown in the water
tablecausedby the break can be shown.Occasionally,observationholescan be
located on a grid system along a land subdivision. This method of locating
observationholesshouldbeusedonly whenthetopographyisuniform. Generally,
observation wells will be located based on landform and local topography.
Placementwith a legal subdivisionis consideredthe leastimportant parameter.
Piezometersare located where needed to provide information on vertical
movementof water. They are always installed in clustersof two or more, each
terminatingat a different depth,andtheir logsandlocation shouldfollow the same
criteria as statedfor openobservationholes.
3-15. Installation of Observation Holes.abservation holes may be
installedby any of severalmethods,dependingon the characterof the material,
required depth of hole, and the equipmentand personnelavailable. A 50- to
lOOmillimeter (2- to 4-inch) diameterhole is usually sufficient. If the materials
areunconsolidatedand thehole is not deep,a handaugermay beused.Generally,
a power augershouldbe usedif a largenumberof holesarerequired; thematerial
is compacted;sand and gravel arc encountered;or the holes are over 3 meters
The hole should be augeredto final depthand pumpeduntil the dischargeis
clear. About 100millimeters (4 inches)of sandor gravelam thenput into the hole
before the perforated casing is installed. The annular spacearound the casing
shouldthenbe filled with sand(passingthe No. 8 sieveandretainedon the No. 18
sieve) to the top of the perforations. At this point, a 1:1 bentonite-soilmixture
should be tamped around the casing and mounded at the gmund surface. This
mixture will preventsurfacewater from flowing directly into the sandandcasing.
A concretecollar should be placedaroundthe pipe at the ground surfaceif the
installationis to be permanent.
The depthof an observationhole usuallyshouldbe below the lowest expected
water level. Deeperholesmay benecessaryto locateandidentify artesianaquifers
or deep barriers. A careful log of each hole should be made showing texture,
structum, color, moisture, etc. Sufficient samplesof thematerialsshouldbetaken
for mechanicalanalysesto ensurethat accuratetextureappraisalsarebeingmade.

When a sodic environmentis suspected,some samplesshould alsobe taken for

exchangeablesodium analyses.
3-16. Casing for Observation Holes.-Generally, most observationholes
will be in material that will not stay openwithout casing.Many types of material
can be used for the casing, and the type chosenwill dependon the cost and
availability of the material and the degreeof permanencerequired. The ‘least
expensivematerial is probablythinmetal stovepipeor downspoutpipe; however,
standardpipe or well casing is ordinarily used. With the present emphasison
water quality, observationwells may also serve as sample sites. If used as a
sampling site, the casingmaterial should meet EPA standardsfor the type of
samplescollected.Thesevarioussamplingstandardshave resultedin the manu-
facture of many different typesof slottedpipe. They rangefrom stainlesssteelto
teflon, to PVC, andareavailablethroughmanysuppliers.For most drainagework,
slottedPVC casingis adequate.Severalstateshavestatutoryrequirementsfor the
completionof monitoring wells. Theseare legal requirementsthat must be met.
All casingsfor observationholesmust be perforatedand shouldbe largeenough
in diameterto allow acquisitionof water quality samples.A satisfactorymethod
is to perforate at about 150-millimeter (6-&h) vertical intervals, with the perfo-
rations alternating on oppositesidesof the pipe andextendingfrom the bottom
of the pipe to within 1 meter of the ground surface.The perforations shouldbe
large enoughfor water to enter but small enoughto prevent soil materials from
enteringthe casingin any quantity. Generally,a slot about3 millimeters (l/X inch)
wide will be satisfactory. When automaticwater table recordersare to be used,
the observationhole shouldbe at least 100millimeters (4 inches)in diameterand
casedwith an economicalcommercialwell screen.
The casingshouldbe extended300 to 450 millimeters (12 to 18 inches)above
ground surfaceso that it will be visible from a distance.An additional aid is to
paint the extendedportion of the pipe either yellow, orange,or someother color
that contrastswith the natural surroundings.This not only makesthe hole easyto
locate for measuring,but alsomakesit easyfor the farmer to seethe casingin a
cultivated field. When the casingis not protectedby a fenceor similar permanent
structure, a painted lOO- by NO-millimeter (4- by 4-inch) by l-meter (4-foot)
wood post or a painted steel post shouldbe installed near the casing.The hole
number shouldbe painted or stampedon the post for easyidentification.
Another method that canbe usedif it is consideredinadvisableto leavea rigid
pipe or post projecting in a field is to attacha rubberhoseto the top of the casing.
The casingis cut off about 150 millimeters (6 inches)below the ground surface
and a tubber hoseabout 600 millimeters (2 feet) long slippedover the top of the
casing.This method resultsin fewer damagedobservationholesand lessdamage
to farm equipment.
The casing shouldbe cappedand the cap tightenedwith a wrench to prevent
rocks or sticks from being droppeddown the casingto check the water level. A
hole should be drilled in the cap or in the pipe just below the cap to prevent
pressureor vacuum from building up during fluctuations in the water table.

M7. Piezomet.ers.-The piezometeris a device which allows measurement

of the piezometric water surfaceat a given point in an aquifer. This device is
important becausepressuredifferentials exist in a moving ground-water body.
Differential elevationsof the water table, as measuredin observationholes, give
only information on the thicknessof unconfinedwater bodiesand the gradientof
their phreaticwater surfaces.Data from piezometersgive information on vertical
pressure differentials in confined and unconfined water bodies. Piezometer
measurementsare frequently used in the study of seepageflow from canals,
laterals,or other surfacesourcesto determineground-waterflow patternsandin
the determinationof upward leakagefrom a confined aquifer. In such studies,
groupsof two or more piezometersare usedto measurethe hydrostatic pressure
at specific depthsin separatesaturatedsoil strata.Singlepiezometersdo not show
the water table exceptin very permeablematerial, and shouldnot be usedin lieu
of an observationwell.
3-18. Installation of Piezometers.-The method of installing a piezometer
pipe must be such that a tight seal is formed around the outside of the pipe to
prevent vertical movement of water between the pipe and wall of the hole. For
shallow installations,pipe as small as lo-millimeter (3/8-inch) diameterand up
to as large as a lOO-millimeter (4-inch) diameter can be used. However, 25 to
5Omillimeter (l- to 2-inch) diameter pipe has been found to be the easiestto
There am many methods of installing piezometers. For depths less than
1.5meters(5 feet), alternateaugeringanddriving of thepiezometerpipeprovides
a good seal.For depthsmore than 1.5 meters, the hole can be augeredto within
about 0.5 meter (18 inches)of the proposedbottom, the pipe placedin the hole,
and the alternateaugering and driving method used for the last 0.5 meter (18
inches).A driving headshouldbe usedwhen driving the pipe to prevent splitting
or smashingthe end. A type of driver which has beenusedsuccessfullyconsists
of a Od-meter (2-foot) length of pipe with an insidediameterslightly larger than
the outsidediameterof the pipe to be driven. The driving pipe shouldhavean end
cap. A 5- to lOkilogram (lo- to 20-pound)weight can be welded to the pipe to
give the driver additionalweight. A hardwoodor plastic plug shouldbe inserted
into the cap of the driving pipe to prevent the driver from hitting the piezometer
pipe directly. A standardwood augerfitting insidethe piezometercanbe usedas
an auger.The augermust be altered by grinding the end to a point to penetrate
the soil. A 12-millimeter (l/‘&inch) pipe coupling must be welded to the shank
to accepta handleandextensions.When usingthe alternateaugeringanddriving
method,the hole is augeredabout 150millimeters (6 inches)below the pipe each
time, and the pipe is then driven to the bottom of the hole. A cavity about 100
millimeters (4 inches)longandwith the samediameterasthe insidepipediameter
is augeredbelow the bottom of the pipe to provide an easy accessfor water
enteringthe pipe. This cavity shouldbe flushedby insertinga hoseto the bottom
of the cavity andpumpingout the water. After flushing, the cavity shouldbefilled
with sandto assurethat it remainsopen.

An alternatemethod of installing deeppiezometersandmultiple piezometers

is to augerto the full depthwith a power auger.Before the pipe is installed,about
100millimeters (4 inches)of coarsesandor fine gravelam pouredinto the hole.
Thepipe is then installedon top of the sandandanother25 to 50 millimeters (1 to
2 inches) of sandpoured around it. The annular spacearound the pipe is then
sealedwith grout or a dry 1:l bentonite-soilmixture to eliminate vertical water
movementaroundthe pipe. This sealshouldbe a minimum of 0.6 meter (2 feet)
thick vertically when grout is usedand a minimum of 1.5 meters (5 feet) thick
when the bentonite-soil mixture is used. When more than one piezometer is
installedin the samehole, the aboveprocedureis repeatedexceptthat the ,sealant
must fill the annularspacebetweenpiezometerlevels andfor a 0.6- to 1.5-meter
(2- to 5-foot) distanceabove the last piezometer.Remaining ammlar spacecan
be fdled with any material available.
In unstablematerial, an outsidecasingmust be used to keep the hole open.
After the pipe has beeninstalled,the casingis removedby pulling as the sealer
is placedand the hole is filled.
After a period of 24 hours, the piezometershouldbe testedto ensurethat it is
functioningproperly. Water is thenpumpedfrom or pouredinto the pipe, andthe
time is observedfor the water level to rise or fall. If there is a definite rise or fall
in the water level in the pipe, the piezometeris functioning properly. If the rate
of rise or fall is very slow, the pipe might be pluggedat the bottom and shouldbe
flushed or reaugered.A piezometerinstallation shouldnot be consideredcom-
plete until it hasbeentestedand found to function properly. If the piezometeris
capped,a perforation must be made in the cap or in the pipe just below the cap
to assureatmosphericpressurewitbin the pipe.
3-19. Records of Observation Holes.-A permanentrecord shouldbe made
of all observationholes.This recordshouldincludesuchitems asthe location and
depthof the hole; type, depth, diameter,perforatedlength,and total length of the
casinginstalled; a log of the hole showing a completetextural descriptionof the
material encountered;elevationof natural ground surfaceat the top of the hole
and of the measuringpoint from which measurementsof the depthto water will
be made (usually the top of the casing);and the periodic measurementsof depth
to water. When cooperativeprogramswith the U.S. Geological Survey(USGS)
are carried on, it may be preferableto use their forms for recording information
on the hole and for recording water level measurements.
3-20. Numbering Systemfor Observation Holes.-A numbering systemfor
observationholes should be establishedfor ready referencein the field and for
location on maps. Two systemshaveproved satisfactory,the coordinatesystem
and a land subdivisionsystemdevelopedby the USGS.
In the coordinatesystem, the study area is locatedon a map, and the north-
south(N-S) andeast-west(E-W) lines,calledthezero lines,areestablished.These
lines can be in any location with respectto the area,but it is a little easierand
them is lesschancefor error if the E-W line is chosento be adjacentto the south
of the areaandthe N-S line adjacentto the west of the area.The areacanthen be

2 I ’ I 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 IO II 12 I3 14 I5 I6 17 18 I9 20 21 22

OWI PE-3N l Observotion Well (OW)
OW2 1.2E-2.13N -Project Boundory
OW3 2fE-2+

Figure 3-23.~Coordinate system for numbering observation holes. 103-D-1636.

visualized as being in the first quadrant of a rectangular coordinate system.

Figure 3-23 shows an example of this system. A well that is 0.6 kilometer
(2 miles) eastand0.9 kilometer (3 miles) north of the intersectionof the zero lines
(point of origin) would be well No. 2E-3N. Wells do not have to be located an
even number of miles from the point of origin, they can also be located by
decimals (1.2E-2.13N) or by fractional parts of a mile (2-1/4E-2-1/2S). This
system not only readily locates the wells on maps and in the field, but also
identifies their locationwith respectto eachother. The systemoperatesbestin an
areawhich hashad a land survey,but this is not essential.Locating the point of
origin at the intersection of two highways that traverse the ama might be

convenient.In this case, wells in all four quadrantscould have numbers with
combinationsof E, W, N, and S.
TheUSGSmethodis basedon a landsubdivisionsystemwhich usestownship,
range,section,and four lowercaseletters for well locations.The fust designation
of a well number denotesthe township, the secondthe range, and the third the
section.Each township contains 36 sections,and each sectionis 1 mile square
(640 acres). The lowercaseletters that follow the sectionnumber indicate the
positionof the well within the section.The fust letter indicatesthe quartersection,
the second the quarter-quarter section, and the third, if present, the quarter-
quarter-quartersection,or lo-acre tract. The letters a, b, c, and d are assignedin
a counterclockwisedirection, beginningin the northeastquadrantof the section,
or quarter-quarter section. If two or more wells are located within the same
lo-acre tract, they are distinguishedby anumeral following the lowercaseletters.
Figure 3-24 showsan exampleof the USGSnumberingsystem.1
3-21. Measuring Devices for Depth to Water.-There are severaldevices
for measuringthe depth to water in an observationhole. Figure 3-25 showsthe
most commonly used devices.Probably the most widely used is the weighted,
chalkedline. An ordinary steel tapewith a suitableweight attachedto the end is
chalkedfor the fmt 0.5 to 1.Ometer (2 to 3 feet) with carpenter’schalkor ordinary
blackboardchalk. When immersedin water, the chalk will changecolor, andthe
point to which the tapepenetratesthe water surfacecan easilybe read. The tape
is lowered into the hole until it reachesthe water and then further lowered until
an evenmeter mark is held at the measuringpoint. The reading on the chalked
portion is subtractedfrom the readingat the measuringpoint and the difference
is the depthto water. This proceduremay requiremore than onetry to get the end
of the tapeproperly submerged,but canbe donequickly if the approximatedepth
to water is known.
Another method is to use a steeltape with a “popper” attachedto the end of
the tape. A popper can be made from a 12-millimeter (1/24nch) pipe plug. A
fasteneris welded to the headend of the plug so that it canbe fastenedto the end
of the steel tape. The threadedend of the plug is hollowed out to provide an air
pocket. The popper is lowered into the hole, and a distinct “pop” can be heard
when the popper meets the water surface. With a little experience,the water
surfacecan be located within 3 millimeters (0.01 foot). The tape is read at the
measuringpoint when thepopperisjust touchingthe water, andthe distancefrom
the endof the popperto the tapeis addedto the readingto obtain the depth of the
water surfacefrom the measuringpoint.
A graduated rule or dipstick made of 1Zmillimeter (l/2-inch) thick by
25millimeter (l-inch) wide hardwoodis usefulfor measuringwater levelswithin

and cannot, of come, be used in States that do not use the rectangular system of the United States public land

R. 29 W.

Well No. 7-29-12 aad

b o
b -a-
C /
b a -L

C d

I?igure 3-24.-USGS township-range well numbing system.

Power. PX-D-25996.
OIalked Line. PX-D-25997.

Pressure Transducer and Data Logger.


Figure 3-25.-Devices for measuring depth to water in wells.


2.5 meters (8 feet) of the surface.This devicecanbe jointed like a fishing rod or
hingedandfolded for convenience.The wood is not paintedor treatedin anyway,
which eliminatesthe needfor chalking. With ah nonelectricmeasuringdevices
except the popper,caution should be exercisedto avoid errors in measurement
causedby displacementof a sufficient volume of water with the device during
the measuringprocess,patticularly when measuringin small diameterpipes.
AU permanentpump installationsshouldinclude an air line and gaugewith
which to measuredrawdown during pumping. The air line usually consistsof
6-millimeter (l/4-inch) tubing of sufficient length to extend below the lowest
water level to be measured.The vertical distancefrom the centerof the pressure
gaugeto the bottom of the air line shouldbe measuredat the time of installation.
A pressuregaugeand an ordinary tire valve are placedin the line at the surface
so air can be pumped into the line and the pressuremeasured.To measurethe
depth of water, pump air into the line until a maximum reading occurs on the
gauge. This reading is equal to the pressureexerted by the column of water
standingabovethe bottom of the air line in the well. The depth to water below
the pressuregaugeis then computedby subtmcting the gaugereadingfrom the
vertical distanceto the bottom of the air line. If the gaugereadsin kilopascals,
multiply the readingby 0.102 to convert to meters.
Example: If the length of the air line from center of gaugeto bottom of air
line is 30 meters(100 feet) and the gaugereads150kilopascals(21.6 poundsper
squareinch), the water level in the well is 15meters (50 feet), 30 - (150 x 0.102)
[( 100- (21.6 x 2.3l)], below the center of the gauge.Unlesscarefully calibrated
against taped readings, the air line is accurate only to about plus or minus
0.15 meter (0.5 foot).
Severalcommercial electrical soundingdevicesare availablefor measuring
the depthto water in a well or observationhole. Most of thesedevicesare based
on completingan electrical circuit through the water in the well. Someuse two
electrodesandthe circuit is completedwhen they reachthe water surface.Others
use only one electrodeand the well casing servesas the other electrode.These
devicesusually employ flashlight batteriesfor power, andcontact with water is
signaledby a bell, buzzer, light, or movement of an ammeter indicator. The
electrodesareattachedto insulatedwire which is markedin incrementsof length
Devices are also availablewhich measurevarious water-quality parametersas
well as depth. Parametersmost likely to require measurementduring drainage
investigationswould includesalinity, pH, temperature,etc.
Instrumentshavealsobeendevelopedwhich usea diaphragmarrangementto
measureeither positive or negativepressures.Theseinstrumentsare sometimes
referred to as transiometers. As the water table fluctuates, they alternately
measure depth of water above the measuring point or negative pressure in
S22. Plugged Observation Holes.-After a seriesof measurements,it may
be noted that the water level no longer fluctuates in certain holes, that the
fluctuation departsfrom its former pattern, or that the position of the water table
and the magnitude of fluctuation has changedin nearby holes. Suchholes may
have become plugged by an accumulation of silt. Possibleplugging can be

detected by pouring water into the hole and measuring the rate at which it
is acceptedinto the formation. A very slow rate, consideringthe soil in the
formation, indicates a plugged hole. Usually these holes can be retumed to
usefulnessby flushing the hole from the insideor by bailing. A stirrup pump can
be usedfor flushing by attachinga small diameterplastic hoseto it, inserting the
hose in the hole, and pumping water into the hole. The water will then flow
upward out of the hole between the casing and the plastic hose. The flushing
action will loosenthe materialthat forms theplug andwashit out or permit bailing
it. Under someconditions, a hand auger sized to fit inside the casinghas been
usedto cleanmaterial from a pluggedwell. Augering usedin combinationwith
bailing works well for somesoils.
When a monitoring well hasoutlived its usefulness,environmentalconsidera-
tions and legal requirementscall for proper disposalor abandonment.The well
should be cut off 0.5 meter (2 feet) below ground surface and backfilled with
concreteto precludethe possibility of providing an avenuefor contaminationof
the ground water. State and local codes should be checkedto be sum that all
statutory requirementsaremet.
S23. Bibliography.-
ASCE, June1961,Journal of the Irrigation and Drainage Division, vol. 87,
No. lR2, part 1.
Bureauof Reclamation,1977, Ground Water Manual.
Kirkham, D., 1945,“PmposedMethod for Field Measurementof Permeability
of Soil Below a Water Table,” Soil ScienceSocietyof America Proceed-
ings, vol. 10, pp. 58-69.
Kirkham, D., and C.H.M. Van Bavel, 1948, “Theory of SeepageInto Auger
Holes,” Soil ScienceSociety of America Proceedings,vol. 13, pp. 75-82.
Luthin, J. N., and D. Kirkham, 1949, “A PiezometerMethod for Measuring
Permeability of Soil In Situ Below a Water Table,” Soil Science,vol. 68,
pp. 349-358.
Maasland,M., and H. C. Haskew, May 1958, “The Auger Hole Method of
Measuringthe Hydraulic Conductivity of Soil and its Application to Tile
DrainageProblems.” Paperpresentedat the International Commissionon
Irrigation and Drainage,Third Congress,SanFrancisco,Calif., Question8,
pp. 8.69-8.114.
Mantei, C. L., datedMay 2,1972. “A-function Valuesfor Field Permeability
Measurement.”UnpublishedBureauof Reclamationmemorandum.
Van Beer, W.F.J., 1958,“The Auger Hole Method.” InternationalInstitute for
Land Reclamation and Development, Bulletin No. 1, Wageningen,The
Winger, R. J., Jr., December9-12, 1956, “Field Determination of Hydraulic
Conductivity Above a Water Table.” Papergiven at the annualmeeting of
the American Societyof Agricultural Engineers,(unpublished). ,
Winger, R. J., Jr., June 1960, “In-Place Permeability Testsand Their Use/in
SubsurfaceDrainage,” InternationalCommissionon Irrigation andDrain-

age, Transactionsof the Fourth Congress, Madrid, Spain, pp. 11.417-

Zanger,C. N., 1957,“Theory and Problemsof Water Percolation,”Bureauof
Reclamation,EngineeringMonographNo. 8, revisededition.
((Chapter IV


4-l. Scopeof the Investigations.-The many typesanddiversity of drainage

problemsrequirea clearunderstandingof the purposeof aparticular investigation
at its outset. The scopeof the investigationand the level of the report shouldbe
directed toward specific objectives. The objectives should be establishedwith
economyand timelinessin full perspective.Theminimum amountof dataneeded
for solutionof the problemsmust be determined.Existing datamust be evaluated
and the bestmeansfor obtainingnecessaryadditional dataexamined.
After becomingacquaintedwith the areaand the availabledata,the scopeof
the investigationcan be established.The scopewill representa balancebetween
the availabledataandthe amountandtypesof additionaldatarequiredasdictated
by the accuracyand completenessexpectedof the final report or plan, including
the time andmanpower availablefor the investigation.
The scopeof the investigation and the resultant plan and report will be less
detailedfor a reconnaissanceinvestigationthan for an investigationimmediately
prior to construetion. The work performed during a reconnaissanceinvestigation
should fit into a pattern that can be expandedinto the more complete study
requiredfor construction.
Eachdrainageproject or segmentof constructionmustbejustified aseconomi-
cally necessary.The dminageengineer’sprincipal job is to devisean effective
drainagesystem at minimum cost. The Bureauof Reclamation method of eco-
nomic analysisappearsin ReclamationInstructions,Series110,ProjectPlanning.
Some drainageproblems are simple and their solution readily apparent:for
others, a limited investigation will suffice. Most drainageproblems, however,
involve a thorough study of the complexrelationshipsamongsoils, water, crops,
salts,and irrigation pmctices.
4-2. Factors in an Investigation.-The main factors in any drainageinves-
tigation are topography,soils, salts,groundwater, solubletrace elements,andthe
sources and quantities of excess water. Any investigation must answer the
following questions:
l Is excesswater or salt presentnow or anticipatedin the future?

l Is an adequateoutlet availablefor excesswater and salt?


l What is the sourceof the excesswater and salt?

l What is the depth of the drainablesoil zone?
l What type of dminagesystemis best?

l How much water and salt must be removed?

l Can the soil be economicallydrained?

l Are solubletrace elementspresentin potentially toxic quantities?

4-3. Review of Existing Data.-The fust step in the drainageinvestigation

is to collect, review, and analyzeexisting data. Data on geology, soils, topogm-
phy, well logs, water levels and their fluctuations, precipitation, salinity,
ground-waterquantity, and surfaceflow area few of the pertinentitems. Analysis
of thesedatawill ascertaintheir adequacyandestablishthe amount and kind of
4-4. Field Reconnaissance.-The field reconnaissanceis one of the most
important stepsin any investigation.Firsthand information and impressionsare
valuablein evaluatingcurrent conditionsandprogrammingadditionalinvestiga-
tions. If possible,in making a field reconnaissance,someonefamiliar with the
areashouldaccompanythe investigator.
The initial field study should acquaint the investigator with data on the
following items:
(a) Location and capacityof natural waterways.
(b) Location and condition of outlets.
(c) High watermarksor other information which may beusedin evaluating
(d) Location and characteristicsof canals,laterals, wells, springs,ponds,
reservoirs,or other possibleground-watersources.
(e) Local irrigation practices, such as method of water application and
efficiency of irrigation.
v) An estimateof the presentwater tablelevel andinformation with regard
to its fluctuation and direction of movement.
(g) Presentcroppingpractices,crop conditions,anda notation of any trend
toward possiblefuture changes.
(h) Type, location, spacing,depth, and effectivenessof any drains in the
specifiedstudyamaandadjacentareas.Theanalysisof dminsinadjacentareas
is one of the most important items in the investigation. Existing drains in
similar areas can often constitute the soundestfoundation from which to
determinedrainagerequirementsin the specifiedstudy area.
(i) Topographic features which might obviously affect the location of
0) Geologic setting and featureswhich will affect the designof drains.
(k) Indicationsof salinity or alkalinity, suchas surfaceflorescence,barren
soil surface,certain plant populations,or abnormalcultural practices.
(r) Discussionswith local people,particularly thoseresiding in the culti-
vatedor irrigated areas.They may provide important information on types of

crops currently grown and trends, crop yields, irrigation practices, and the
extent and effects of local floods.
(m) Statusand scopeof any existing drainageprograms administeredor
undertakenby State,Federal,or private agencies.
The preliminary information collected from the aboveitems for field recon-
naissanceis associatedwith the analysesof certain subsurfaceconditionsthat are
introducedin this sectionbut discussedin more detail in subsequentsections.
The analysisof subsurfaceconditions requireseither a value for the depth to
barrier or the knowledgethat the barrier is at sucha sufficient depth that it hasa
negligibleeffect on thedrainagerequirements.Thelogs of any existingwells may
show the depth of barrier; otherwise,new holesmust be drilled for barrier depth
determination.Suchholesshouldbelocatedat strategicpoints ondepth-to-barrier
contour maps.
To graphicallyshow the effect of subsurfacecharacteristicson drain location,
depth,and spacing,a seriesof ground-waterprofiles shouldbe madeshowing the
location, extent, and slope of the different strata. These features can then be
analyzedin relation to the slope of the ground surface and to the existing or
projected ground-water conditions.A sampleset of profiles is shown on figure
4-l. Wherepertinent soil strata(either fine-textured, slowly permeablematerial,
or coarse-textured,highly permeablematerial) are continuousover a large area,
a contour map of the surface of the stratum is often useful. Sucha contour map
is extremely helpful in planninga drainagesystemfor an areaunderlainat depths
of 1.8to 3 meters(6 to 10feet) by thesematerials.Contourmapsandground-water
maps drawn on transparentpaper can be used as overlays on a basemap of the
studyareawhich showsgroundsurfaceelevations,canalanddrain locations,and
other pertinent data. When making these overlays, using a color system as
suggestedon figure 2-l will simplify the interpretation.This methodis often very
helpful in locating new drains. Thesetypes of maps and profiles can be easily
developedusing a GIS (GeographicInformation System).
4-S. Subsurface Investigations.-A goodinvestigationof subsurfacecondi-
tions representsa balanceamong: the availabledata: the amount and types of
additionaldatarequired; andthe time, money, andmanpoweravailable.Hydrau-
lic conductivity measurementsrepresentthe grates t investmentin time, money,
and manpower, but the resulting data are the most important of all the data
produced in the subsurfaceinvestigations. Therefore, hydraulic conductivity
shouldbe measuredusing the best techniques.
(a) Log of Drainage Holes.-Each hole or cutbank used in a particular
drainagestudy should be completely logged so the description of soil charac-
teristics has maximum useftdnessin identifying and correlating similar soils.
Figure4-2 showsthe type of log preferredfor a drainagehole. Personnellogging
holes should coordinate their efforts so that identical soil characteristicsare
recognizedand uniformly describedwherever possible.
(b) Projection of In-Place Hydraulic Conductivity Data to Similar Soil Hori-
zons.-An in-place hydraulic conductivity test, when conductedin two or more


1236 L LOAM
5 I 1244


i; J 1236

w rMnin cnnnt
1244 NOTE
PROFILE 2Y Ground water profiles based on ohs.
well readings of March 13;1970.





3000 2000 1000 ’ 1000 moo 3000 -mm 5ooo 6000 7000 8000 SCQO

Figure 4-l.-Typical ground-water profiles. 103-D-1428.

Hydraulic Conductivity No. 1 T 120 N, R 64 W, 34 bbbb-Oahe Project, South Dakota
J. Smith, S. Williams September 10.1967
Wheat (harvested in July) C228Y U2f2

SiL(SiCL) 4.61 7.5YR sm. Fine Moderate Pump-in 1. Medium cleavage lines between peds
M.A. to 514 Ang. to 2. Moist consistence-friable, slightly plastic
Sand 16% 6.61 &own _ Blocky Medium 0.5 in 3. Few very fine and fine roots, concentrated along vertical ped faces
Silt 56% per hour 4. Many fine discontinuous vertical imped simple closed tubular pores
Clay 26% 5. Very few clay films in tubular pores
6. pH 7.5
7. Slightly effervescent
8. Moisture less than field capacity

SiL(FsL) 6.61 1OYR Platy Medium Moderate Pump-in 1. Light brownish gray with common medium prominent mottles of
M.A. to 612 yellowish brown and reddish brown
Sand 44% 8.81 CZP 0.9 in 2. Fine cleavage lines between peds
Silt 51% 1OYR per bout 3. Very few fine roots in the 6.6 to 7.0 ft zone
Clay 5% 516 4. Few fine vesicular pores
and 5. Few clay films between plates
5YR 6. pH 8.0
514 7. Slightly effervescent
8. No visible moisture on auger or in pores

Figure 4-2.Sample log of a drainage hole. 103-D-1637.


textures,givesa weightedvalue for the textures.This valuecan be useddirectly

to designdrains at the test site becausethe weighted hydraulic conductivity for
the flow zoneis usedin designcomputations,rather thanthe valuesfor individual
strata.However, the weightedvalueis not readily transferableto other locations.
If the test is conductedin only one texture for which the physical and chemical
characteristicsare known, the resultscan be averagedwith other in-placedatain
similar soilsof that texture to determineanaveragehydraulicconductivity. When
the averagehydraulic conductivities have been obtained for all the different
texture-structurecombinationsin the project, the datacanbe usedto estimatethe
weighted hydraulic conductivity at every site where a hole hasbeenlogged.By
following this procedure,the weighted hydraulic conductivity valuesare avail-
ableat a maximum number of siteswith a minimum amountof field testing. This
procedureis most valuablewhen estimatesof drainagerequirementsare needed
for large areas.
4-6. Identifying the Barrier Zone.-By definition, asusedby the Bureauof
Reclamation,a barrierzoneis a layer which hasahydraulicconductivity one-fifth
or lessof the weightedhydraulic conductivity of the strataaboveit. Although this
is a somewhat arbitrary standard, it has worked out satisfactorily in practice.
Identifying anddeterminingthedepthto barrier zonein turn definesthe thickness
of material through which water may flow to a drain.
&7. Geologic lnfluence.-Geologic processesoften produceareasin which
the soil mantle is underlain by material with markedly different characteristics
than the overburden.The underlyingmaterial may have an irregular surfacethat
shows significant relief. Material that is less permeableas compared to the
overburdenmay affect ground-water movement. Deep, percolating water may
perchon the material, or the lateralmovementof groundwater may be restricted.
If the surfacesof the underlyingmaterialhaveappreciablerelief, groundwater
may be channeledin topographiclows, andthe surroundingareaswill betributary
to the channel.In somecases,the key to successfullydraining the areais to tap
the channelwith drains andwells. On the other hand, the surfacetopographyof
the underlying material may act as dikes or damsto the lateral flow of water to
natural or manmadeoutlets.Either casewill requirecareful investigationin areas
believedto havebarrier material that hasan unconformablecontact surfacewith
the overburden.
The normal observation hole system may not reveal the true subsurface
condition. In areasknown to be underlainby shale,or in areaswhere deepcuts
have revealedundulating strata of impermeablematerial, more closely spaced
holeswill be necessaryto locate andmap the barrier surface.
Knowledgeandunderstandingof the geologicprocesseswhich developedthe
soil mantle abovethe barrier zoneare important in defining a drainageproblem.
Early recognition of the landforms in the areaandhow they developedwill assist
in developingthe most efficient dam-gatheringplan. As an example,an elevated
river terrace may require backhoe pits becauseof the size of the cobble and

boulders.At the sametime, ancient lakebedmaterialsmay be investigatedwith

a hollow-stem drill rig; an alluvial fan may require a combinationof both.
4-8. Water Source Studies-(a) General.-The presenceof excesswater
that createsa drainageproblem can ordinarily be traced to:
(1) Precipitation.
(2) Irrigation applications.
(3) Seepagefrom surfacewater bodies.
(4) Hydrostatic pressurefrom an artesianaquifer.
(5) A combinationof any of thesesources.
Properprotectivemeasurescannotbe takenunlessthe sourceof the damaging
water is known. If the source of the water is precipitation, the solution may
involve additional surface drains; an over-irrigationproblem may require water
use educationas well as additional drains (recognizing that practically all arid
soilsrequire someirrigation in excessof consumptiveusefor salt control); canal
lining can slow or stop seepage;pumpedrelief wells may alleviatehydrostatic
pressure.Relief or interceptor drainswill generallyaccompanyall thesepossible
(b) Precipitation.-The precipitationrecord obtainedin the study of rainfall-
runoff relationshipsshouldbe analyzedfrom the standpointof its effect on both
the surface runoff and the ground-water table. The precipitation distribution
should be related to the fluctuations in water table elevations,and long-term
precipitation recordsshouldbe relatedto long-term hydrographsof water levels,
where possible.
(c) Irrigation.-Drainage problems are most frequently traced to irrigation
practices.In determiningthe possiblecontribution of excessirrigation water to
the drainageproblem, the aspectsthat shouldbe investigatedare:
(1) The effect of individua.lirrigations on the water table.
(2) The fluctuation of the water tablethroughoutthe irrigation seasonand
during times of no irrigation.
(3) The changesin water table elevations over a period of years, both
before andafter the beginningof irrigation, if possible.
Irrigation practicesshouldrelate to soil typesandcrop needsand, ideally, only
enough water should be applied to furnish crop needs and to maintain a salt
(d) Seepage.-Seepagecan be a major sourceof ground water moving into
many drainageproblem areas.Most seepageoriginatesfrom irrigation develop-
ment works such as canals,laterals,reservoirs, or the irrigation of higher lying
lands. In some cases,seepagemay result from rainfall or snowmelt on the
high-lying areas.The comparisonof ground-waterfluctuations with water levels
in canalsandreservoirs,or with the applicationof irrigation water at higherlevels,
may indicate the sourceof the seepagewater. The growth of tules, willows, or
other water-loving plantsdownstreamfrom possiblesourcesof seepageindicates
a high water table. Other methods of detecting seepageinvolve the use of
radioisotopes,dyes, salts,observationholes,and piezometers.

(e) Hydrostatic Premure.-In someareas,hydrostaticpressurein underlying

aquifers may be damaging.Hydrostatic or artesianpressuresare found where a
slowly permeablelayer overlies a saturatedpermeablelayer that is under pres-
sure.Hydrostatic pressuremay force water upward throughthe slowly permeable
layer or through fracturesin this layer. Damagingamountsof artesianwater may
be presentin areaswhere old artesianwells ate leakingbelow the groundsurface
or am allowedto run freely without properfacilities to disposeof the surfaceflow.
&9. Ground-Water Studies.-(a) GeneruL-Studies of the water table
produceinformation necessaryto solvea drainageproblem. Areaswhere a high
water table has developedor is anticipatedmust be mapped.Information con-
cerning depths, trends, and movementsis essentialto understandthe problem.
The water table investigationprovidesdata on the position, extent, and fluctua-
tions of the water table, the quantity and direction of movement of the ground
water, and an indication of water sourcesand areasof discharge.Analysesof
periodic measurementsfrom observationholesand piezometersare the focus of
the investigation.
The frequency of depth to water measurementsin observationholes and
piezometersdependson the particular problem under investigation. The fre-
quency may vary from daily to quarterly readings,but in general,the readings
should be made monthly. The objective of the measurementsis to establisha
record of the water table fluctuations over a period of time that will reflect all
factors affecting the water table. At least one full annual cycle of readingsis
neededbefore locating and designinga drainagesystem.
Data on water tableobservationsaremeaninglesswithout an analysisof their
significance.The mere gatheringof data is a needlessexpenseunlessthe dataare
plotted in a form for study and interpretationof the results.Interpretationbegins
with the datagatherer,who must remain alert to abruptchangesin conditionsand
must attempt to accountfor them. A few notesmade in the fieldbook can avoid
In many cases,using automatic recorders at selected locations provides
records for use in conjunction with other measurements.The use of recorders
often permits longer time intervals betweenvisits to the wellsite.
Drawings found useful in analyzingground-waterproblemsare ground-water
table contour maps, depth-to-groundwater maps, depth-to-barriermaps, water
table profiles, piezometricprofiles, and hydrographs.
(b) Ground-Water Table Contour Maps.-To prepare this type of map, all
points at which ground-water elevationswere taken shouldbe marked on a map
of the area.A contour map of the water tablecan then be preparedsimilar to the
one shown on figure 4-3. The measurementsof water table elevationsshouldbe
madefor all wells in the project ama in the shortestpossibletime to ensuregood
correlation. The inclusive datesduring which the elevationswere read must be
noted on the map.
Water table maps show the direction of water movement by the shapeand
position of the contour lines, indicate the areasof rechargeand discharge,and

/l’oJ-Ground-wotsr elsvotion
11.3 -Depth to ground water
0 - Observation hole
Contour interval e feet

Figure 4-3.-Typical ground-water table contours. From drawing


may give some indication of the relative hydraulic conductivity by the distance
betweencontour lines.Themapsshouldalsoincludeinformation on construction
and depth of the well. This information is useful in assuringthat the water table
map showscontourson hydraulically interconnectedground-waterbodies.
(c) Depth-to-Ground Water Maps.-One method of preparing these maps
involves overlaying the water table contour map on a topographicmap. This
procedurecan be doneby marking eachintersectionof contours and noting the
difference in their elevations at the intersection point. Using these values, a
contour map which shows the depth to water below the ground surfaceat any
point canbeprepared.Another methodof preparinga depth-to-groundwater map
is to mark the measureddepthsto water from the ground surfaceon a basemap
at eachmeasuringpoint and preparea contour map from thesevalues.A typical
depth-to-ground-watermap is shown on figure 4-4.
(d) Depth-to-Barrier Maps.-A depth-to-barrier map can be preparedin a
manner similar to a depth-to-ground water map if sufficient information is
availableon the location of the barrier. This type of map is useful in establishing
drain locations, estimating quantity of ground-watermovement, and providing
other information neededfor drainagecalculations.
(e) Water Table Profiles.-A water table profile canbe madefor a seriesof
observationholes. The baseprofile is preparedby plotting the ground surface
elevation:the locationanddepthof theobservationholes;andany springs,canals,
or ponds that are in the profile. The profile is generallymade downslopein the
direction of water movementbut can be made in any direction. The elevationof
the water surfaceat eachobservationhole or otherknown point canbe plotted on
a print of this profile. The use of different colored pencils for readingstaken at
different times of the year facilitates a visual comparisonof fluctuations in the
water table along the profile.
A water table profile is even more useful if it also contains information on
subsurfacematerial. The logs obtainedfrom installationof the observationholes
canbe plotted at eachhole, and any other pertinent information canbe plotted at
the proper location. If soil textures are available,tentativecorrelationsbetween
holes may be possible.The elevationof the barrier in eachhole shouldalso be
plotted on the profile, as this information will be helpful for locating drains and
in calculatingother drainagerequirements.
cf) Piezometric Profiles.-Readings from severalclustersof piezometerscan
be plotted on a profile drawn throughthe clusters.The elevationof the piezomet-
tic water table for eachpiezometercanbe plotted at the elevationof the bottom
of that piezometer.Lines drawn throughpoints of equalpiezometric water table
elevationshow linesof equipotential.Lines dmvn from higher elevationsthrough
lower elevationsandperpendicularto the equipotentiallinesform a flow network
and show the direction of movement of water and, possibly, the sourceof the
water. This procedureis particularly useful in locating an artesianwater source.
(g) Hydrographx-Drawings may be made showing the elevation of the
water tablewith respectto time for any singleobservationhole, well, or piezome-

E i-i i
R.\BW. .


re- DWh +o proumJ wJ+er
contour Int*r”.l 2 ‘Bet

Figure 4A.-Typical depth-to-ground water map. From drawing


ter. Sucha drawing clearly showsfluctuationsin the water tableas well astrends
in water tablemovement.Figure4-5 showsa typical hydtogmph.When analysis
of the hydmgraphdoesnot provide an explanationof certainproblems,it may be
helpful to superimposeadditionaldataon the hydrographfor use in the analysis.
Figure 4-6 shows the plotted data for a special problem where river stage,
precipitation,periodsof canaloperation,and water deliverieswere all included
on the samehydrograph.
A useful tool in analyzing hydrograph data is to compare departuresfrom
normal weather data with hydrograph fluctuations. The plot often explains
upward or downward trendsin water levels.
Availablegeographicinformation systemsoftware designedfor useon a work
station makes development and modification of the maps, profiles, and hy-
drographsdescribedin this sectionmuch easierthan hand drafting methods.
4-10. Ground-Water Accretions to Drains.-In its natural state, ground
water follows the hydrologic cycle wherein a portion of the precipitation falling
on the land surface percolatesdownward to join the ground-water body. The
ground-water body moves slowly from a higher to a lower elevation. Over a
period of time, the undergroundbasinfills with water until it spills into a natural
outlet such as a spring or a stmam. As a result of the cycle, a rise occurs in the
water table during periodsof high precipitationanddeeppercolation,causingan
increasein flow at the natural outlet. A period of low precipitation causesa
lowering of the water tableand a decreasein flow. A stability is reachedwherein
the ground-water table and the natural dischargefluctuate within an established
Whenirrigation water is addedto the land surface,thusincreasingpercolation,
the pattern is upset. The water table rises and the dischargeat the natural outlet
increases.If water is addedannuallyat a fasterrate than it can travel to the outlet
to be discharged,the water table will rise in searchof outlets. When the water
table approachesthe land surface, agricultuml production may be adversely
affected, andadditionalmanmadeoutlets in the form of drainsmust be installed.
The drainskeepthe water table from encroachinginto the root zone.A depth-to-
water tableof 0.9 to 1.5 meters (3 to 5 feet) is generallysatisfactory, depending
on local conditionsincluding type of crops grown.
The dataobtainedby observingan operatingdrainagesystem can be usedto
verify the designcapacityand drainagerequirementsfor a new system,provided
the soils, croppingpattern, climate, water management,and other conditionsare
similar. Before any data from an operatingproject are used,the effectivenessof
existing drainsshouldbe investigated.Only when thesedrainsarefunctioning as
expectedshouldthe databe usedto verify the designof new systems.
Cll. Outlet Conditions.-(u) Physical Constraints.CSne of the most im-
portant considerationsin all drainageplanning is to determinethe adequacyof
the outlet for the systemof drains. An inadequateoutlet must be made adequate
by channelconstruction or pumping of the discharge.Either of thesemeasures
may affect the overall feasibility of a &Gage project.
133j- NOllVA313
1339 - NOIlVA313
a I-?-32dd I iii

............. ....
.. ’ ....... . . SEC 32. 1. IN., R. 7 W.

DELIVERIES TO LAT. SO i;i;;iiig ,-I.-- -----. --
,..... :-...:I.:’ F1.Q 13.9-0.9-0.4

Is52 I953 IS54 I955 1956 1957 I958 l9- 19-


Figure 4-6.-Additional plotted data on an actual project hydrograph. 103-D-1638.


The investigationsnecessaryto determinethe adequacyof an outlet depend

upon the characteristicsof the stream or area which will serve as the outlet or
disposalarea.Where drainagesystemswill dischargeinto rivers, creeks,lakes,
or other water bodieswhich are affected by high water, the elevation,frequency,
and duration of the high water must be determinedasaccuratelyaspossible,and
the effect on the drainagesystemmust be analyzed.Thesehigh-water elevations
will limit the elevation of the hydraulic gradient at the lower end of the system.
The water surface in gravity-drainage outlet works should coincide with the
normal water surface of ponds, lakes, and reservoirs,unless studiesshow that
high water will be of sufficient frequency and duration to be detrimental to
drainage.Under usualcircumstances,this meansthat the drainedlandsmust lie
about 3 meters(10 feet) or more abovethe outlet elevationif the landsare to be
economicallydrained,althoughpumping can sometimesbejustified.
High-water conditions can be obtained from gaugerecords, observationof
watermarkson the banksof streamsor lakes,anddiscussionswith local residents.
The adequacyof natural outlets can be determinedby computing the estimated
runoff from the entire ama which they serveandchecking their capacity.
Theremay be exceptionalcasesin which the effluent from surfacedramsmay
be disposedof by using sumpswhich allow the water to percolateinto the ground
andjoin the ground-waterbody. This method is possibleonly where the grotmd-
waterbody itself dischargesinto a stream,other drainagefeatures,or into an area
where the water will not be a problem. The infiltration rate in thesesumpsmust
be high enoughto supportdisposalof thenecessaryquantitiesto makethemethod
economical.In somecases,invertedwells canbeusedto disposeof surfacewaste,
provided adequatemeasuresare taken to prevent aquifer contamination.
(b) Quality Requirements.-Quality of surface and ground water is an item
of national concern. As most drainagesystemsdischargeto surface waters, the
drainageengineerneedsto be awareof the effect drain effluent will haveon those
waters. Stateandnationalwater-quality criteria are beingrefined to includetrace
elementsand other potentially toxic constituents.Dependingon the applicable
water-quality standards,specialdischargerequirementsmay have to be met.
4-12. Drain Location.-There are no fixed rules or methods to direct the
drainageengineerin locating every drain. Each location presentsan individual
problem which can be solved by analyzing the conditions involved. Wherever
possible, outlet, suboutlet, and collector drains should be located in natural
drainageways.Relief and interceptor drams should be located where they will
produce the best drainageresults. The location and spacingof drains require
careful study and intuitive judgment on the part of the drainageengineer. As
tentativedram locationsaredecidedupon,they shouldbe locatedon a map of the
area. The centerlinesof the drains should then be stakedout on the site.,Fm-
quently, unmappedbuildings, etc., at the construction site will make c&ges
necessaryin location or alignment of dmins. In theseinstances,drain locations
on the site shouldbe changedasrequiredand the tentativemap locationsrevised
to show the new alignments.Dram centerlineson the map shouldbe scaledand

stationsmarked for future reference.After the centerlinehasbeenstakedon the

ground,holes shouldbe drilled along the centerlineat various intervals down to
theproposeddraindepthto confinmthat the drainis properly locatedin permeable
material. Holes offset from the centerlineshouldalso be drilled for this purpose.
Data collected from centerlinedrilling shouldbe logged to provide information
on constructionconditions in addition to drainageparameters.This information
shouldbe provided to potential bidders as a part of the contract specifications.
Thoseholes canalso be used to co&m the gravel envelopedesignfor the soils
at actual drain depth.Stationingshouldstart at the mouth of the outlet dmin and
proceedupstream. In some instances,fust-order surveys may be required to
establishcenterlines,but quite often, in an openlocation, the line may be staked
out visually with the useof rangepoles.In consideringditch locations,allowance
shouldbe madefor sufficient right-of-way, usually 30 meters (100 feet).
&13. Drain Numbering.-After drainlines have been laid out and staked,
they shouldbe given identifying numbers.No singlenumberingmethod fits all
drain layout situations. One method adaptableto many situations is to locate
station O+OOof the suboutletor collector drain with respectto land subdivisions
andthe junction of tributarieswith respectto the suboutletor collector. If station
0+00 of a collector drain is locatedin sec.3, T. 7 N., R. 10 W., the numberof the
collector drain would become3-7N-10W. Letters for the cardinal directionscan
be omitted if thereis no possibility of confusion.If more than onecollector drain
dischargesin sec.3, the fmt could be 3A, the second3B, etc. For example,if the
frostbranchis located975meters(3,200feet) upstreamof thecollector drainfrom
stationO&O, the numberof the tributary drain could be 3-7N-lOW, 0.975 (3.2).
If a tributary drain from both sidesintersectsthe collector drain at this point, the
one on the right (looking upstream)could be numbered0.975R (3.2R) and the
one on the left, 0.975L (3.2L). Junctionsupstreamfrom the tributary drain could
be numberedthe sameway by addingto the previousnumber the distanceto the
upperjunction from the lower junctioninunits anddecimalsof 1000meters(feet).
This systemcanbe continuedas necessaryuntil the highestdrain is numbered.It
shouldbe noted that using R andL doesnot conform to the hydraulic practice of
assigningright and left when looking downstream, but does conform to drain
surveyingpracticeof startingthe stationingat theoutlet andproceedingupstream.
If this method is not adaptablefor a particular situation, another numbering
methodshouldbe devised.Drain numberingis a valuableaid in locatingthe drains
both on maps and in the field.
4-14. Existing Structures.-The location, elevations,and capacitiesof all
existingbridgesandculverts throughwhich a proposeddrain will passshouldbe
determined.Bridge footings shouldbe investigatedand the elevationsof road or
railroad falls determined.The location of all utility lines and buildings which
could havean effect upon the constructionwork shouldbe noted andappropriate
descriptionsof structuresand conditionsobtained.Other possiblestructuresthat
the designershouldbe aware of include buried water supply and powerlines to
center-pivot sprinkler systems,and farm lateralsboth surfaceandburied, includ-

ing parts of permanentsprinkler systems.Also, the trend to rural small acreage

subdivisionsrequites care to ensureproper clearanceof septic tanks and leach
4-15. Economic Considerations of Drainage Problems.-Determining eco-
nomic benefitshasbeenprimarily the responsibilityof economists.The drainage
engineer’sresponsibilityhasbeento designdrainagesystemsthat do the bestjob
for the leastcost.
Drainagesystemsare most often justified by comparingthe direct cost of the
drainswith the direct benefitsof maintainingor increasingcrop production.Net
direct benefitsof farm operationarecomparedwith the total costof the irrigation
anddrainagesystem.The comparisonis usuallymadeusing the presentworth of
capitalizedbenefits and estimatedcosts. Benefits am capitalizedover the life of
the drain system;a RIO-yearlife expectancyis usedon most Bureauof Reclama-
tion systems.
The economic analysis on a drainagesystem is usually left to economists:
however, the engineer is often asked for a quick estimate of the economic
feasibility of a project. To do this estimate,the engineermust have an estimate
of net direct benefitsby land classand the current interestrates for capitalization.
In an area subject to salinization, the entire net benefit less the costs for the
distribution systemandoperationandmaintenance(O&M) canbe usedto justify
drainageworks. An examplefor a preliminary estimatefollows:
Interest rate = 5.5 percent
Averagecost for irrigation works = $1,125per hectare($450 per acre)
Total drainagecost = $875per hectare($350 per acre)
O&M annualcost = $23.75per hectare($9.50per acre)
Distribution of acreagesby economicland class:

Class Hectares Acres

1 96 240
2 2 100
3 x!Q
Total 256 hectares 640 acres

Net direct benefitsby land class:

Annual benefit Total annual beneBt

Class per hectare per acre [hectares (acres) x annual benefit]
1 $181.25 $72.50 $17,400
2 156.50 62.60 6,260
3 107.75 43.10
Total $36,590
Averageannualbenefit = $36,590/256= $142.93per hectare($36,590/640=
$57.17per acre)

Find An estimateof the economicfeasibility over the 100-yearlife expectancy

of the system.
Presentworth (PW of capitalizedaverageannualbenefit):

PW = interest factor x annualbenefit

pw _ (1 + i)“l
x $142.93= $2586.46 per hectare($1,034.55per acre)
i(1 + i)”

n = number of interestperiodsin years,and
i = interestrate at which compoundingtakesplaceover the period, 12,expressed
as a decimalfraction.
Presentworth of capitalizedannualO&M costs:

pw= (1 +iY-1
x $23.75=!fi429.78per hectare($l71.91per acre)
i(1 + i)

cost slmlmaly:

Drainage = $875 per hectare($350 per acre)

Irrigation = $1,125per hectare($450 per acre)
O&M = $430 per hectare($172 per acre)

Total = $2,430per hectare($972 per acre)

Benefit-cost (B/C) ratio =

Drainageprojects having B/C ratios greater than 1 are generally considered

feasible.However, this exampleis obviouslyborderlineandmay proveinfeasible
under a more detailed analysis, particularly if unquantified impacts on the
environmentare considered.
The aboveexampleassumesthat no crop production can be expectedshortly
after the drainageproblemdevelops.This assumptionis reasonablein areaswhere
saline conditions follow high ground water, and also assumesthat irrigation is
the bestuseof the land.In areasnot affected,or only moderatelyaffectedby salts,
the net benefit (if basedon maximum production)must be adjusteddownward to
allow for reduced production becauseof poor drainage. In some cases, the
benefits can be increasedif drainage will increase yields over that used to
determine net direct benefits. The exact amount of adjustment is difficult to
determine.Theoretically,the total amountthat could be spenton drainagewould
be the differencebetweenmaximum productionwithout saltsandproductionwith
a given level of salinity.

100 -

80- only be used to indicate

trends in crop production.
Supporting dota too
limited to permit use
in detailed analysis.

z 50

8 40
k!! Range of normal root
a 30 zone for drain design.

1 (FEET)
j 6 7 8 9 IO
0’ I I ,
0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0 2.5 3.0
Figure 4-7.-Crap production response to a fluctuating water table. Drawing 103-D-1639.

Information regarding crop responseto shallow, fluctuating water tables is

limited. Figure 4-7 shows composite curves of available information on crop
responseto water table depths.The chart must be usedjudiciously, if at ah, and
is includedin this manualonly to indicatethe generalrelationshipbetweencrops
andwater tablelevels.Most researchersreport yield reductionswhenwater tables
fluctuate to levels lessthan 0.9 meter (3 feet) below ground surface.
If adequatedata exist in the project areato developcharts similar to the one
on figure &7, the averagedirect benefit presentedin the previousexamplecould
be adjustedas follows:

Annual benefits based on maximum production = $142.93 per hectare
($57.17per acre)
Presentminimum depth-to-watertable = 0.67 meter (2.2 feet)
Crops am deeprooted.
From figure 4-7:
Percentof full production is 50 percent.
Adjusted annual benefit without drainage = $142.93 x 0.50 = $71.47
($28.59per acre)

Annual benefit available for drainage= $142.93 - $71.47 = $71.46 per

hectare($28.58) per acre
Assuming the objective is to upgrade an operating project, the economic
analysiscould then be:

(1 + i)” - 1
PW of annual benefit = x $71.46 = $1,293 per hectare ($517 per acre)
i(1 + i)”

cost summary:
Drainage = $875per hectare($350 per acre)
O&M = $430 per hectare($172 per acre)

Total = $1,305per hectare($522 per acre)

B/C ratio = 1293/1305(517/522) = 0.99

This approachwould be valid, assumingpresentcrop returns were sufficient

to defray existing obligationsandsaltswould not precludeproductionin the near
The approachesshown in the previous examplesare highly simplistic and
should be usedonly for preliminary estimates.Complete economic and repay-
ment analysesfor large projects shouldbe made by qualified economists.This
information, along with environmentalconsiderationsand other related factors,
shouldbe usedin decidingthe feasibility of drainageprojects.
This manual doesnot addressthe problem of analyzing alternativecosts for
severalapproachesto a problem. For different methods of comparing costs of
alternativeplans and other information on making economiccomparisons,see
the Bureau of Reclamation publication A Guide to Using Interest Factors In
Economic Analysis ofWater Projects (Glenn and Barbour, 1970)and textbooks
on engineeringeconomics.
4-16. Drainage for Sprinkler Irrigation.-Sprinkler irrigation does not
necessarilyeliminateall possibledrainageor salt problems.The leachingrequim-
ment must be consideredin the designof all irrigation systems.If natural drainage
is not adequateto remove the deeppercolation without damageto plant roots,
subsurfacedrainswill be required.
When the estimateddeep percolation is basedon the leachingrequirement
neededfor salt balance,subsurfacedrainagerequirementsfor sprinkler irrigation
shouldbe about the sameas for good gravity irrigation. In areasof permeable
surfacesoils having high infiltration rates,however, the minimum deeppercola-
tion under gravity irrigation will usually be more than requiredfor salt balance.
Consequently,the drainagerequirementsfor gravity irrigation shouldbe greater
than for sprinkler irrigation. Properly designedsprinkler systemscan offer a high
degreeof control for the total water application. Sprinkler application is not
exactly uniform, however, and someareasreceivemore water than others.If the

farmer doesnot apply sufficient water to bring the soil to field capacityover the
entire field, crops in the drier areasmay suffer from lack of moisture and will
probably developsalt problems.If the farmer irrigates in a manner that ensures
all areassufficient water, someareaswill receivemore water thanrequiredwhich
results in somedeeppercolation.Figures4-S and 4-9 show typical distribution
patternsof two different sprinkler systems.
In the planning stageof a sprinkler-irrigated project, the drainageengineer
must assumegoodsprinkler systemdesignandcareful operation.All subsurface
investigationsshouldbe made, and the estimateddminagerequirementsshould
be determined to satisfy leaching requirementsand normal deep percolation
losses.Investigationsshouldinclude ground-watermovement from other areas,
canaland lateral leakage,and studiesof the water table fluctuations before and
after irrigation. Measureddeeppercolation,if greaterthan that requiredfor salt
balance,shouldbe usedin designingthe drainagesystemif the amountof deep
percolationdiffers from planningstageestimates.
4-17. Tests for Estimating Deep Percolation From Sprinkler Systems.-
The tests should be located in an area where the sprinkler lateral pressuresare
typical of the system. Severaltests may be neededwhere large variations in
pressureoccur in the line becauseof topographyor other factors.
Catchcansshouldbeplacedsymmetrically in a grid coveringan areasprinkled
by two or three nozzles.Thesecansshouldbe at least 10centimeters(4 inches)
in diameterand set at the centerof 3- by 3-meter (lo- by lo-foot) grids with the
sprinklersplacedat the grid comers. The cansshouldbe set carefully with their
tops parallel to the ground. Vegetation or other obstructions should not be
permittedto interfere with entry of water into the cans.If necessary,the cansmay
be fastenedto spikesto hold them upright. Water collectedin the cansmust be
measuredfor two settingsof the sprinkler line. The catch volume for each set
must be added together to obtain the total catch volume in a grid square.
Generally, all water caught in the cans can be assumedto infiltrate the soil.
However, any significantrunoff from the test field shouldbe subtractedfrom the
Measurementsto be madeam: (1) depthof water in the cans,(2) time for the
water to accumulate,and (3) total time of irrigation per setting of the sprinkler
line. If the water depthin the can is 50 millimeters (2 inches)or more, depthscan
be determined to plus or minus 2 millimeters (0.1 inch). For less than 50
millimeters (2 inches),the depthsof catch shouldbe determinedfrom volumetric
measurementsto ensureaccuracy.


For 9m(30’) spacing, 12m(40’) radius, and 15m(50’) move with
less than an 8 km (5mi.) per hour wind at ground level.
S - Indicates location of sprinklers

SET TIME - -.-.._ 14.3 HOURS

MAXIMUM TOTAL INFILTRATION -- _ .---. ~-.~__._. 116mm (457’)
DESIRED APPLICATION ___._- 76mm (3.0’)
AVERAGE APPLICATION __ . _ 95 mm (3.791
COEFFICIENT OF UNIFORMITY .-.-. ._ ._-.-.-.._ 60 %

Figure 4-8.-Typical sprinkler irrigation pattern. Dewing 103-D-1640.

Deep percolation is calculatedby multiplying the catch rate (adjusted for

lossesif necessary)at eachgrid point by the averagetotal time per set. The deep
percolation is the difference betweenthis product and the amount of moisture
depletedsincethe last irrigation. Studieshaveindicatedthat deeppercolationcan
vary over a wide range,from 9 to 30 percentof the amountof water infiltrating
the soil surface.For a seasonalaverage,an overall farm efficiency of 65 percent
canbe expectedwith most sprinkler systems.A breakdownof farm lossesunder
sprinkler irrigation could be as follows:



20 w 40 50 Go 70 60 90 loo


Figure 4-9.-Typical pivot sprinkler irrigation pattern. Drawing 103-D-1641.

Evaporationandnonbeneficialconsumptiveuse ........ 10 to 15
Surfacenmoff .......................... 3 to 5
Deep percolation ......................... 15 to 22

The percentagelossesshown above are basedon the total amount of water

delivered to the farm. This breakdown assumesthe system is reasonablywell
designedfor soil, topographic,and climatic conditionsencounteredin the field
under study. The breakdown also assumesthe farmer irrigates for a sufficient
length of time to bring all of his land to field capacityupon eachinigation.
For very sandy soils in hot climates, deeppercolationmay be considerably
higher than 22 percent of the total delivery becauseof the practice of using
sprinklers to cool the crops. In very fine soils, surface runoff may exceed
5 percent,which canreducedeeppercolationto quantitiesconsistentwith values
obtainedfrom gravity irrigation of fme-texturedsoils.Figure2-6 summarizesthe
relationshipsbetweenthe deeppercolationandinfiltration rates and canbe usyd
for both sprinkler and gravity methods. I
Liited information has beenpublishedregarding tests on pivot sprinklers;
however, the information that hasbeengatheredindicatesthat generalvaluesfor
deeppercolationlie in the samerange as for straight-line sprinkler systems.In

evaluatinga pivot system,the catch cansshouldbe spacedthe samedistanceas

eachsprinkler is spacedand beyondthe last nozzleby a distanceof one-half the
radiusof the circle coveredby the last nozzle.The catch volume andtime should
be recordedfor one completepassof the sprinkler line.
C18. Numerical Models.-Previous editions of this manual contained a
section on building and using electric analogmodels for solving ground-water
problems.Although electric modelsare still viableanduseful tools, they areused
infrequently thesedays.With the adventof low-cost digital computers,numerical
modelsare more commonly employedto solve ground-waterproblems.
In the field of drainageand seepage,most numerical models use either the
ftite-difference method or the finite-element method to solve the governing
partial differential flow equations.Numerical models are powerful tools for
solving difficult problems.They can be usedto solvecomplex problemsinvolv-
ing nonhomogeneousanisotropicmaterials,highly variable problem geometry,
spatialand temporalhydraulic stresses,andcomplex initial andboundarycondi-
tions for both saturatedand unsaturatedflow. Solute transport is increasingly
more important, and modelsam availablethat provide this capability.
A number of robust, well-proven, and acceptedgeneral-purpose,ftite-ele-
ment andfinite-difference codesare availableat reasonablecost. Code selection
shouldnotbetakenlightly; inchoosinga code,costshouldnotbe thesolecriterion
for selection.Somecodesinherently dealwith certain classesof problemsbetter
than others. Additionally, easeof use, documentation,and the availability of
preprocessorandpostprocessorutility programscanmake themodeling task less
The relative merits of the numericalmethod the codeemploys and the broad
topic of constructing,calibrating,andverifying a numerical ground-watermodel
arebeyondthe scopeof this manual.The literatureis repletewith articleson these
Models can serve as an important framework into which all the available
information canbe integrated.Coarse,pt&minary modelsand existing informa-
tion can be used at the outset of a study to explore the sensitivity of parameters
and to identify data deficiencies.When modeling is initiated early in a project,
modeling and data collection can be coupledin an iterative process.Using the
model asthe framework for understanding,further damcollectioncanbe directed
to specific areasof need, which results in a more thorough knowledge of the
systemand a more cost-effectiveuseof availablefunds. Numeric modelsam not
a panaceafor a lack of information about the physical system.The modelresults
are only as good as the dataused and the assumptionsmade.
&19. Bibliography,
Bureau of Reclamation, 1962-1971, “Use of Water on Federal Irrigation
Projects,” Seriesof Reports.
Glenn, B. P., and E. Barbour, December 1970, A Guide to Using Interest
Factors in Economic Analysis of Water Projects, Bureauof Reclamation,
A Water ResourcesTechnicalPublication.

International Institute for Land Reclamation and Improvement, May 1972,

“Drainage Principles and Applications,” Wageningen,The Netherlands,
PublicationNo. 16, vol. 1.
Merriam, John L., 1968, “Irrigation System Evaluation and Improvement,”
California State Polytechnic College, Blake Printery, San Luis Obispo,
Pair, ClaudeH., December 1968,“Water Distribution Under Sprinkler Irriga-
tion,” Transactionsof the American Society of Agricultuml Engineers,
Vol. 11, No. 5, pp. 648-651.
((Chapter V


A. Spacing of Drains
51. Introduction.-Nearly all irrigated areaseventuallyrequire installation
of some spaceddrains. Proper spacing of these drams is very important but
difficult in areaswhere field experienceis inadequateor nonexistent.Spacingof
drains that will be efficient, effective, and economical dependsupon the full
considerationof such factors as: depth of dram, depth to a slowly permeable
barrier,hydraulic conductivity and specificyield of the soil, requireddepthof soil
aeration for plant growth, effects of irrigation practices on deep percolation,
length of irrigation season,number of irrigations, amount of deeppercolation,
climatic conditions,and irrigation water quality.
Every effort shouldbe madeto obtain information from operatingsystemsin
the vicinity of the study or in other areaswheresimilar soil, topographic,climatic,
and other related conditions permit comparisons.Suchinformation may verify
drainagerequirementsas determinedfrom mathematicalanalyses.If wide vat%
ations exist in the spacingrequirementsbetween the field observationsand the
mathematicalsolution, field datashouldbe checkedto determinewhetherirriga-
tion practices,moisturerequirements,andwater tableconditionsare satisfactory
for optimum plant growth.
Most methodsfor estimatingdrain spacingare empirical and were developed
to meet specific characteristicsof a particular area.Somemethodsam basedon
assumptionsof steady-stateflow conditions where the hydraulic head doesnot
vary with time. Other methods assume transient flow conditions where the
hydraulic headchangeswith time. The very natureof precipitation andirrigation
practicesdictatesthat storageanddischargeof groundwater follow a nansientor
nonsteady-stateflow regimen.
5-2. Transient Flow Method of Drain Spacing.-In the 1950’s,the Bureau
of Reclamation developeda method for estimating dram spacing based on
transientflow conditions that relatesthe behavior of the water table to time and
drain spacing.Thevalidity of this methodis demonstratedby theclosecorrelation
betweenactual spacingand drawdown values,and the correspondingpredicted
values.Reclamation’smethod of determining&am spacingaccountsfor time,
water quantity, geology, and soil characteristicspertinent to the irrigation of

specific areas.Although this method was developedfor use in a relatively flat

area,laboratoryresearchand field experienceshow the method is applicablefor
areashaving slopesup to 10 percent. Figures 5-l and 5-2 comparemeasured
values of dmin spacing and water table heights with predicted values using
S-3. Background of the Method.-In general,water tables rise during the
irrigation seasonin responseto deeppercolating water from irrigation applica-
tions. In arid areas, water levels reach their highest elevation after the last
irrigation of the season.In areasof year-roundcropping,maximum levels occur
at the endof the peakperiodof irrigation. The water tablerecedesduring the slack
or nonirrigation period andstartsrising againwith the beginningof irrigation the
following year. Nearly all shallow water tablesexhibit this cyclic phenomenon
on an annualbasis.Shallowwater tablerises alsooccur after eachrechargeto the
groundwater from precipitationor irrigation. Lowering of the water tableoccurs
If annualdischargefrom an areadoesnot equalor exceedannualrecharge,the
generalcyclic water table fluctuation trend will progressupward from year to
year. Specifically, the maximum andminimum water levelsboth reachprogres-
sively higher levelseachyear. When the annualdischargeandrechargeareabout
equal,the rangeof the cyclic ammalwater table fluctuation becomesreasonably
constant.This condition is defined as “dynamic equilibrium.”
Figure 5-3 showstwo ground-waterhydrogmphsthat indicatehow the above
conditionsdevelopedunder irrigation in two specific areas.The hydrogmph for
(A) on this figure showsthe upwardcyclic trend andthe stabilizationof the cyclic
fluctuation. Dynamic equilibrium occurred when the maximum water table
elevationreacheda point sufficiently below groundlevel to precludethe needfor
artificial drainage.The hydmgmph for (B) shows a similar upward trend of the
water table in another area. At this location, the maximum 1956 water table
elevationandthe continuedupward trend indicatedtheimminenceof a damaging
water table condition in 1957.Therefore,a drain was constructedearly in 1957,
and its effect in producing dynamic equilibrium at a safe water table level is
evidentin the graph.
Reclamation’s method of determining drain spacing takes into account the
transientregimenof the ground-waterrechargeand discharge.The method gives
spacingswhich producedynamicequilibrium below a specifiedwater tabledepth
The method alsoprovidesfor considerationof specific soils,irrigation practices,
crops, and climatic characteristicsof the areaunderconsideration.
5-4. Data Required.-Figure 54 showsgraphicallythe relationshipbetween
the dimensionlessparameters: versusE and 5 versusg basedon the
transientflow theory. This figure shows relationshipsmidpoint between drains
for caseswhere drains are locatedaboveor on a barrier.
(feet 1




250 800
600 p




0 50 100 150 200 250 300

Computed Spacing, meters

Figure 5-l.-Comparison between computed and measured drain spacings. Drawing 103-D-1649.




Figure 5-3.-Ground-waterhydrographs. Drawing 103-D-777.


Definitions of the various terms in the parametersare as follows:

(a) yO,and H.-The water table height abovethe drain midway betweenthe
drainsand at the beginningof eachindividual drain-outperiod, is representedby
y. and H for drains above and on the barrier, respectively.As used in the drain
spacingcalculations,y0andH representthe water tableheight immediatelyafter
a water table buildup causedby deeppercolationfrom precipitation or irrigation.
Parameterterms y0 and H also representthe height of the water table at the
beginningof eachnew drain-outperiodduring the lowering processwhich occurs
in the noninigation season.The maximum valuesof y0 and H are basedon the
requirementsfor an aeratedmot zonewhich, in turn, are basedon the crops and
climatic conditionsof eachspecific area.
(b) y and Z.-The water table height above the drain, midway between the
drainsand at the endof eachindividual drain-out period, is representedby y and
Z for drainsaboveandon the barrier, respectively.Thesetermsrepresentthe level
to which the midpoint water table elevationfalls during a drain-out period.
(c) Hydraulic Conductivity, K.-As used in this method, K representsthe
hydraulic conductivity in the flow zone between drains. Specifically, K is the
weighted averagehydraulic conductivity of all soils between the maximum
allowable water table height and barrier, the barrier being a slowly permeable
zone. The mathematicalsolution of the transientflow theory assumeshomoge-
neous,isotropic soils in this zone. Such assumptionsrarely exist; however, the
use of a weighted K value has given a good correlation betweenmeasuredand
computedvaluesfor dmin spacingand water table fluctuations. The K value is
obtainedby averagingthe results from in-place hydraulic conductivity tests at
different locationsin the areato be drained.
(d) Qecijic Yield, S.-The specific yield of a soil is the amount of ground
water that will drain out of a saturatedsoil under the force of gravity. S is
appmximatelytheamountof water heldby a soil material,on a percent-by-volume
basis,betweensaturationandfield capacity.Specificyield, therefore,relatesthe
amountof fluctuation of the water table to the amount of ground water addedto
or drainedfrom the system.On the basisof considerabledata,a generalrelation-
shiphasbeendevelopedbetweenhydraulic conductivity and specific yield. This
relationshipis shown on figure 24 in chapterII, and valuesfrom this figure can
be usedto estimatespecific yield valuesusedin the drain spacingcalculationsin
most cases.
Becausethe fluctuation of the water table in a drainedareatakesplace in the
soil profile zone between the drains and the maximum allowable water table
height, it is reasonableto assumethat the averagespecific yield in this zone will
adequatelyreflect water table fluctuations. The useof figure 2-4 to estimatethe
specific yield requires that the weighted averagehydraulic conductivity in this
zonebe determined.
The specific yield value, when usedin the parametersof figure 54, accounts
for the amountof drainoutassociatedwith lowering the water table. To determine

the buildup of the water tablefrom eachincrementof recharge,the depthof each

rechargeshouldbe divided by the specific yield.
(e) Time, ~-This variablerepresentsthe drain-out time betweenirrigations
or at specifiedintervals during the nonirrigation season.In an irrigated area,the
time periods between irrigations have generally beenestablished.Methods for
estimating unestablishedtime periods are discussedin section 2-6. The drain
spacingcalculationsshouldseparatethe longer nonirrigation seasoninto two or
three approximatelyequaltime periods for accuracyin results.
fj) Flow Depth, D.-The flow depth is the averageflow depth transmitting
water to the drain As shown on figure 54, D is equal to the distancefrom the
barrier to thedrain, plus one-halfthedistancefrom the drainto themidpoint water
table at the beginningof any tinout period, D = d + +.
The theoreticalderivationfor the casewhere drainsarelocatedabovea barrier
was basedon the assumptionthat the distancefrom the drain to the barrier, & is
large comparedwith the midpoint water table height, y,,. This posesa question
regardingcaseswherethe drainsareabovethe barrier, but d is not largecompared
with yO.In verifying the applicability of figure 5-4, studieshave indicatedwhen
d 5 0.10, the spacingcomputationsshouldbemadeasif the drainswere located
on the barrier, and when z 2 0.80, the computationsshouldbe made as if the
drainswe% locatedabovethe barrier. A family of curvescould be drawn between
the two curves shown on figure 54, or a computer program could be used to
accomt for the $ valuesbetween 0.10 and 0.80. The need for either of these
refmementsin the practical applicationof this method is not necessary.
(g) Druin Spucing, L.-The drain spacingis the distancebetween parallel
drains.However, this distanceis not calculateddirectly usingthis method. Values
of L must be assumeduntil a solution by trial and error results in annualwater
tablebuildup anddeclinethat will offset eachother within acceptablelimits. This
resulting condition is definedas a stateof dynamic equilibrium.
S5. Convergence.-When ground water flows toward a drain, the flow
convergesnearthe dmin. This convergencycausesaheadlossin the ground-water
systemandmust be accountedfor in the drain spacingcomputations.Figure 54
doesnot account for this convergencyloss when the drain is above the barrier,
and the drain spacingderivedthrough the use of this curve is too large.
A method of accounting for convergenceloss, developed by the Dutch
engineerHooghoudt, considersthe loss in head required to overcome conver-
gencein the primary spacingcalculation.His method accountsfor this headloss
by using an equivalent depth, d, to replace the measured depth, d in the
calculation of D = d + $. Hooghoudt’s correction for convergencecan be
determinedfrom the following equations:

d= for0 < t IO.31
1 + d/L(2.55 In d/r-c)

d’ = for: > 0.31
2.55 (In L/r-1.15)

d = distancefrom drain to barrier
d = Hooghoudt’sequivalentdistancefrom drain to barrier
L = drainspacing
r = outsideradius of pipe plus gravel envelope
C = 3.55-1.6;+2

In = log,= Natural log

Curves have also been developed for determining d and ate shown on
figures5-5a, 5-5b, 5-6a, and5-6b. Thesecurveswere developedfor aneffective
drain radius, r, of 0.18 meter (0.6 foot) and should cover most pipe drain
conditions.The effective drain radius is defined as the outsideradius of the pipe
plus the thicknessof the gravel envelope.The use of the Hooghoudt method is
also a trial and error processof assumingdrain spacings.The d’ value for the
assumedspacingis obtainedfrom figures 5-5a, 5-5b, 5-6a, or 54b and is used
to obtain the corrected average flow depth, D’ = d’ + $. This method of
correcting for convergencehas been found to be most appropriatefor use with
Reclamation’smethod of determiningdrain spacingand dischargerates.
If the spacingthat results from use of the equivalentdepth d is reducedby
more than 5 percentfrom the spacingthat resultsfrom useof the initial depth d,
anotheriteration shouldbe doneusing the initial depthd andthe reducedspacing
that resultedfrom the fust d’.
If the drainspacinghasbeencorrectedfor convergenceandthedraindischarge
is to be computedfrom the formulas of section5-l 1, the correctedaverageflow
thickness,D’, shouldbe used.
Correction for convergenceshouldalsobe madewhen using the steady-state
drain spacingformulas of section5-10.
The curve of figure 54 for the drain on the barrier is basedon a solution with
the convergenceaccountedfor in the initial mathematicalmodel. Therefore, no
correction for convergenceis requiredwhen using this curve.






0.3 0.5 0.7 1 2 345 7 10 20 ~40507OlW 200300

d Cmetewl

Figure 5-5a.-Curves for deteunining Hooghoudt’s couvergence correction (metric units):

Drawing 103-D-1653.

Figure 5-5b.-Curves for detemining Hooghoudt’s convergence correction (U.S. customary

units). Dmwing 103-D-1653.

120 M 43


33 = 42 meters





= 21
0 13



3 45 7 10 203050 loo 300 500 NY33 3ooo

L (melets)

Figure 5-6a.-Expanded curves for determining Hooghoudt’s convergence correction (metric

units). Drawing 103-D-1654.

Figure 5-6b.-Expanded curves for deWmining Hooghoudt’s convergence correction

(U.S. customary units). Drawing 103-D-1654.

56. Deep Percolation and Buildup.-Deep percolation from any source

causesa buildup in the water table. The methods of estimating drain spacing
developed by the Bureau of Reclamation require that deep percolation and
buildup in the water table from eachsourceof recharge(rainfall, snowmelt, or
irrigation application) be known or estimatedand accountedfor in the drain
When a drainageproblem exists on an operatingproject and dramsare being
planned,the buildup in the water tablecausedby irrigation applicationscan best
be determinedby field measurements.The water table depthshouldbemeasured
at severallocationsin the areato be drainedon the day beforeand on the day after
severalirrigation applications.The averagebuildup shown by thesetwo meas-
urements should be used in the spacingcomputations. These measurements
obviate the needfor theoreticalestimateson the amountof deeppercolation,and
relate the buildup to the actualirrigation operationsof the areato be drained.
In the planning stage of new projects or on operating projects where the
measuredbuildupis not available,the amountof expecteddeeppercolationmust
be estimated from each irrigation application. The buildup is computed by
dividing the amount of deeppercolationby the specific yield of the material in
the zone where the water table is expectedto fluctuate. Table 5-l shows deep
percolationas a percentageof the irrigation net input of water into the soil to be
considered.Thesepercentagesare given on the basisof various soil texturesand
on infiltration ratesof the upper root zonesoils.
The following examplesshow how to usetable 5-l to obtaindeeppercolation
and, in turn, the water table buildup:

Example 1:
Assumethe irrigation applicationis known to be 150millimeters (about
6 inches)per irrigation, soils in the root zone havea loam texture with an
infiltration rate of 25 millimeters (1 inch) per hour, and about 10percent
of the 150-millimeter (6&h) applicationruns off.
The net input of water into the soil per irrigation would then be
90 percentof the 15Omillimeter (6-inch) application, or 135millimeters
(5.4 inches).From table 5-1, the deeppercolationwould be 20 percentfor
an infiltration rate of 25 millimeters (1 inch) per hour. Therefore,the deep
percolationis 135 x 0.20 = 27 millimeters (1.08 inches).If the hydraulic
conductivity in the zone between the root zone and the drain depth is
25 millimeters (1 inch) per hour, then the specific yield correspondingto
this hydraulic conductivity is 10 percent, as given by figure 2-4. The
buildup of the water table per irrigation is the deeppercolationdivided by
27 -= 270 millimeters (10.8 inches).
the specific yield, or 0.10

Table S-L-Approximate deep percolationfrom surface irrigation

(percent of net input).
By texture
Texture Percent Texture Percent
Ls 30 CL 10
SL 26 SiCL 6
L 22 SC 6
SE 18 C 6
SCL 14
By infiltration rate
Jnf. rate Deep percolation, h&fate Deep percolatioq
mm/b (’ Ad percent mm/h (’ /h) Percent

1.27 (kFO5) 3 25.4 (YOO) 20

2.54 (JO) 5 31.8 (1.25) 22
5.08 w9 8 38.1 (1.50) 24
7.62 (.30) 10 50.8 (2.00) 28
10.2 (.40) 12 63.5 (2.50) 31
12.7 (.50) 14 16.2 (3.00) 33
15.2 W) 16 102.0 (4.00) 37
20.3 (.80) 18

Assumethe total readily availablemoisture in the root zone(allowable
consumptiveusebetweenirrigations) hasbeendeterminedas 107millime-
ters (4.2 inches) and that the infiltration rate of the soil in the area is
25 millimeters (1 inch) per hour with a correspondingdeeppercolationof
20 percent.
The net input of water into the soil per irrigation will be s =
134millimeters (5.25 inches),where 0.80 = 1.00 - 0.20. The deepperco-
lation will be 134- 107= 27 millimeters (1.05 inches).The buildup in the
water table per irrigation would be this deeppercolation amount divided
by the specific yield in the zone between the drain and the maximum
allowablewater table.

Rainfall in arid amasis usually, but not necessarily,so small that the effects
of deeppercolationfrom this sourceduring the irrigation seasoncanbeneglected.
In semihumidareas,deeppercolationfrom rain may be appreciableandmust be
accountedfor inestimating subsurfacedrainagerequirements.Whenit is apparent
that precipitationis a significant sourceof soil moistureanddeeppercolation,the
curve of figure 5-7 can be used to estimate the infiltrated precipitation. This
infiltrated precipitation can then be usedin a manner similar to that describedin
section 2-6 to determine the resultant irrigation scheduleand the amount and
timing of deeppercolation from rainfall and irrigation. In areasthat frequently
have 3 or 4 days of rainfall separatedby only 1 or 2 rainlessdays, the transient
flow methodsyield more accuratevaluesfor dischargeif the accumulateddeep
Measured Precipitation (inches)
0 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.5


31mm 26mm
(1.22’) (I.047

31(1.227+ 20 (O&Y) = 5lmm(2.02”)

Accumulative infiltrated rainfall
from curve = 38mm (1.51’)
38(1.51’) - 26 (l&I? = I2 mm (0.441)
33mm 3mm 51 C2.02? + 33 U.30’) = 64mm (3323
(1.30”) (0.11’) Accumulative infilrated roinfall fram cwve
25mm 22mm = 41 nvn(l.62? 41(1.62%36(1.51’)=3mm 011 3
CO.969 CQ65’,
0 5
I I IO 15
20 25 30
35 40
160 65 I
Measured Precipitation (millimeters)

percolationfrom infiltrated precipitation is assumedto occur on the last day of

Deep percolationfrom spring snowmelt occurs in some areasand shouldbe
accountedfor where possible.In someareas,the buildup in the water table from
this snowmelt can be measuredin observationwells and used directly in the
spacingcomputations.In other areas,the estimatemay haveto be basedentirely
on judgment and generalknowledgeof the area.
5-7. Using the Data-The method of using the datadescribedin section5-3
to obtaindynamicequilibrium is briefly describedin this section.A more detailed
description is given in examples shown in subsequentsections. A computer
program has also been developedby Reclamationpersonnelto perform drain
spacingcomputationsand analyzereturn flows for salinity studies.
The drain spacingcomputationshavealsobeenadaptedfor use on a personal
computer. This program is called the Agricultural DrainagePlanningProgram
(ADPP). The progmm manualanddisksare availablethroughthe Superintendent
of Documents,U.S. GovernmentPrinting Office.
Beginthe calculationsby assuminga drain spacing,L, andthe assumptionthat
the water table reachesits maximum allowableheight, yO,immediately after the
last irrigation applicationof eachseason.At leasttwo successivepositionsof the
water table are calculated during the nonirrigation season(even in areas of
year-roundcropping, a slackperiod occurssometimeduring the year). Then, the
buildup and drainout from eachirrigation is calculatedfor the irrigation season.
If the assumedspacingresultsin dynamicequilibrium conditions,the water table
height at the endof the seriesof calculationsfor the irrigation seasonwill equal
the maximum allowablewater table height, yO.If y0 after the last irrigation is not
equalto the maximum allowabley0the procedureis repeatedwith a different L.
Normally, only two drain spacing assumptionsare necessaryto verify the
dynamic equilibrium-producingspacing.A straight-linedrelation betweentwo
assumedspacingsand their resulting valuesof y0 after a completeannualcycle
will permit determinationof the proper spacingif the original assumptionsare
Where the annualhydrogmph peaksat some time other than the end of the
irrigation season,the normal high point should be used as a starting point for
calculations.This high point often occursin the spring where sprinkler irrigation
is usedin semiaridor subhumidclimates.
S-8. Drain Above the Barrier Layer.-The following exampleis given to
illustratethe methodof determiningthe drainspacingfor a drain abovethebarrier.
The following conditionsare assumed:
(a) The distancefrom the barrier to the drain, d, is 6.7 meters (22 feet), and
the depthof the drain is 2.4 meters (8 feet).
(b) The root zonerequirementis 1.2meters (4 feet), which givesa maximum
allowable water table height, yO, above the drain of 2.4 - 1.2 = 1.2 meters
(8 - 4 = 4 feet).

(c) The weighted averagehydraulic conductivity in the zone between the

barrier and the maximum allowable water table height is 127 millimeters
(5 inches)per hour, or 3.05 meters (10 feet) per day.
(d) Thehydraulicconductivity isuniform withdepth. Therefore,thehydraulic
conductivity in the zonebetweenthe maximum allowablewater table height and
the drain is also 127 millimeters (5 inches) per hour. From figure 2-4, the
correspondingvalue of specific yield is 18 percent.
(e) The deeppercolationfrom eachirrigation (also assumedto be the same
from a springsnowmelt)is 25.4millimeters (1 inch), or 0.0254meter (0.083foot).
The water table buildup from eachincrementof rechargeis the deeppercolation
divided by the specific yield, or o.l8 = 0.14 meter (0.46 foot).
cf) The approximatedatesof the snowmelt andthe irrigation applicationsare

Time between
Irrigation or irrigations,
srwwmelt (SM) Date &YS
SM April 22
First June6 45
Second July 1 25
Third July 21 20
Fourth August 4 14
Fifth August 18 14
Sixth September1

Therefore, the nonirrigation period is 233 days (365 - 132). As previously

mentioned,this period shouldbe divided into two or three approximatelyequal
periods;for this example,usetwo periods: oneof 116daysandoneof 117days.
A drain spacing,L, of 442 meters (1,450 feet) resulted from two prior trial
calculations. Assuming that the water table reachesthe maximum allowable
height immediately after the applicationof the last irrigation of eachseason,the
computationsbegin at this point in time.
The fust stepin applying the method is to computethe g valuefor the first

time period. Using this value, the value of $ is then found from figure 54.
Knowing the initial yO,we can then calculatey, the height to which the midpoint
water table falls during this time period. This process is repeated for each
successivetime period, which resultsin a water table height for eachsuccessive
rechargeand drainout. The processis shown in tables5-2a and 5-2b.

Table 5-2a.-Computation of water tablefluctuation in meters

with drain abovethe barrier layer.
al Q 0 @ 0 Q 8 Q
Buildup per
Irrigation Time period, inigation, YO. D, KDt 1 1.
No. t, days meters meters meters sr? YO meters
117 1.22 7.31 0.0742 0.575 0.701
116 0.701 7.05 .0710 .590 0.414
SM 0.140
45 0.554 6.98 .0272 .870 0.482
1 .140
25 0.622 7.01 .0152 .958 0.596
2 .140
20 0.736 7.07 .0123 .978 0.720
3 .140
14 0.860 7.13 .0087 .985 0.847
4 .140
14 0.987 7.19 .0087 .985 0.972
5 .140
14 1.112 7.26 .0088 .985 1.095
6 .140

Table %2b.-Computation of water tablefluctuation in feet

with drain abovethe barrier layer.
al Q Co @ Q 8 0 Q
Buildup per
Irrigation Time period, irrigation, YO. D, KDt 1 Y.
No. t, days feet feet feet z YO feet
117 4.00 24.00 0.0742 0.575 2.30
116 2.30 23.15 .0710 .590 1.35
SM 0.46
45 1.82 22.91 .0272 .870 1.58
1 .46
25 2.04 23.02 .0152 .958 1.95
2 .46
20 2.41 23.20 .0123 .978 2.36
3 .46
14 2.81 23.41 .0087 .985 2.77
4 .46
14 3.22 23.61 .0087 .985 3.17
5 .46
14 3.63 23.82 .0088 .985 3.58
6 .46

Explanationof eachcolumn:
Column @.-Number of each successiveincrement of recharge, such as
snowmelt (SM), rain, or irrigation.
Column Q.-Length of drainoutperiod (time betweensuccessiveincrements
of rechargeor betweenincrementaldrainoutperiods).
Column @.-Instantaneous buildup from each recharge increment (deep
percolationdivided by specific yield).
Column @.-Water table height above drains at midpoint between drains
immediatelyafter eachbuildupor at beginningof incrementaltime periodsduring
the nonirrigation seasondrainout (col. @ of preceding period plus col. @ of
current period).
Column @.-Average depth of flow, D = d + ? (d shouldbe limited to $).
Column @.-A calculatedvaluerepresentingthe flow conditionsduring any
particular drainout period: sL2
K x col. 0 x col. 0.
Column B.-Value taken from the curve on figure 5-4.
Column. @-Midpoint water tableheight abovedrain at endof eachdrainout
period, col. @ x col. 6.
Table5-2 showsa fmal y0 = 1.235meters(4.04 feet), which is approximately
equal to the maximum allowable y0 of 1.22 meters (4.00 feet). Therefore, the
spacingof 442 meters (1,450 feet) results in dynamic equilibrium. As statedin
section5-4, this spacingsolution doesnot accountfor headloss due to conver-
gence. Using Hooghoudt’s method of correcting for convergenceas given in
section54 and using figure 5-5, we find that for d = 6.7 meters (22 feet) and a
drain spacingof 442 meters (1,450 feet), the equivalentdepth, d’, is 6.1 meters
(20 feet). TheD’ to be usedin the dram spacingcomputationsis: D’ = d’ f 2 =

6.1+ F. The trial and error approachis againusedto find the correctedspacing
of 427 meters(1,400feet). Table5-3 showsthe resultsof usingD’ with a spacing
of 427 meters ( 1,400feet).
The calculationsin table5-3 result inessentiallythe samewater tableheights,
yO,that were obtained in the previous calculationsin table 5-2 and verify the
427-meter (1,400-foot) spacingas corrected for convergence.Figure 5-S illus-
trates the water table fluctuation producedas a result of the conditions of this

Table 5-3a.-Computation of water tablefluctuation in meters with

drain above the barrier layer using D’ as corrected by Hooghoudt.
Buildup per
Irrigation f, irrigation, Yor D’, KD't y Y,
No. days meters meters meters 2SL YO meters
117 1.22 6.71 0.0730 0.565 0.69
116 0.689 6.44 .0695 .600 0.41
SM 0.140
45 0.554 6.73 .0267 .870 0.48
1 .140
25 0.622 6.41 .0149 .955 0.59
2 .140
20 0.736 6.46 .0120 .970 0.71
3 .140
14 0.856 6.52 .0085 .986 0.84
4 .140
14 0.987 6.59 .0086 .986 0.97
5 .140
14 1.112 6.65 .0087 .985 1.09
6 .140

Table S-3b.-Computation of water tablefluctuation in feet with

drain above the barrier layer using D’ as corrected by Hooghoudt.
Buildup per
Irrigation 6 inigation, YO. D’, KD't y Y.
No. days feet feet feet SLY YO feet

117 4.00 22.00 0.0730 0.565 2.26
116 2.26 21.13 .0695 .600 1.36
SM 0.46
45 1.82 20.91 .0267 .870 1.58
1 .46
25 2.04 21.02 .0149 .955 1.95
2 .46
20 2.41 21.21 .0120 .970 2.34
3 .46
14 2.80 21.40 .0085 .986 2.76
4 .46
14 3.22 21.61 .0086 .986 3.17
5 .46
14 3.63 21.82 .0087 .985 3.58
6 .46

Figure 5-8.-Water table fluctuation chart for example problem. Drawing 103-D-776.

5-9. Drain on the Barrier Layer.-The following example is given to

illustrate the methodfor determiningthe drain spacingfor a drain on the barrier.
All assumptionsare the sameas thosein the exampleof section5-g except that
d in this example is zero. The assumptionof a drain spacingand subsequent
computationsof water tableheightsarealso similar to thosefor a dmin abovethe
A drain spacingof 125meters(410 feet) is assumed,and subsequentcompu-
tations are shownin tables5-4a and Wb.

Table SAa.-Computation of water tablefluctuation in meters

with drain on the barrier layer.
Buildup per
Irrigation Time period, irrigation, H KHt z 5
No. t, days meters meters -is H metels
117 1.22 0.1546 0.590 0.719
116 0.719 .0905 .720 0.518
SM 0.140
45 0.658 .0321 .900 0.591
1 .140
25 0.732 .0199 .945 0.691
2 .140
20 0.832 .0180 .950 0.789
3 .140
14 0.930 .0141 .975 0.911
4 .140
14 1.051 .0159 .970 1.015
5 .140
14 1.158 .0176 .955 1.103
6 .140

Table54b.-Computation of water tablejluctuation in feet

with drain on the barrier layer.
Buildup per
Irrigation Time period, hi&on, H KHt z z
No. t, days feet feet sL2 H feet
117 4.00 0.1546 0.590 2.36
116 2.36 .0905 .720 1.70
SM 0.46
45 2.16 .0321 .900 1.94
1 .46
25 2.40 .0199 .945 2.27
2 -46
20 2.73 .0180 .950 2.59
3 .46
14 3.05 .0141 .975 2.99
4 .46
14 3.45 .0159 .970 3.33
5 .46
14 3.80 .0176 .955 3.62
6 .46

Table5-4 showsa final H = 1.243meters(4.08 feet), which is essentiallyequal

to the maximum allowableH of 1.22meters (4.00 feet). Therefore, the spacing
of 125meters(410 feet) resultsin dynamicequilibrium,andbecausenocorrection
for convergenceis required for this case,the final dram spacingis 125 meters
(410 feet).
SlO. Other Usesfor Transient Flow Curves.-The transientflow method
is valid for either irrigated areas(dry climate) or humid areas.However, this
manualemphasizesdrainagefor irrigation in dry climates.
At times, the drainageengineeris interestedin the time necessaryto lower a
water tableto somespecifiedlevel, or may be askedfor a drain spacingthat will
lower the water table to a specific depth in a specified time. The basic data
regardinghydraulic conductivity, depthto barrier, specific yield, time, and drain
spacingareasrelevantin theseproblemsasin the previouslyillustratedproblems.
The main difference is the simplicity in solving theseproblemsas shown in the
following examples:

Example 1: Drain abovethe barrier.

Assume: K = 0.305 meter (1.0 foot) per day, d = 6.1 meters (20 feet),
depth to dmin = 2.7 meters (9 feet), water table at ground
surfaceat t = 0, specificyield = 7 percent,andexisting drains
are 91 meters (300 feet) apart.
Determine: Time requiredfor the water table to drop 1.5 meters (5 feet)
below the ground surface.

Becausethe water table is initially at the groundsurface,

y,, = 2.7 meters (9 feet);

D = d +% = 7.45 meters (24.5 feet);
d =4.4 meters (14.5 feet) from figure 5-5; and,
D' = d+t =575meters(19feet).
y = 2.7 - 1.5 = 1.2 meters (4 feet)
; = g =0.444

From figure 5-4, m = 0.096when: = 0.444

Solvingtheparameter- SLz = 0.096for t (metric andU.S. customaryunits):

us customary t = 0.096 SD _ 0.096(0.07)(300)2 =31.8 days

. . ,
KD' - (1W)

From the abovecalculations,the water table will drop 1.5 meters (5 feet)
below the ground surfacein about 32 days.

Example2: Using example 1, determinethe drain spacingrequired to drop

the water table 1.5 meters (5 feet) below the ground surfacein
20 days.

Using a similar approach,m = 0.096, when ; = 0.444.

(uncorrectedfor convergence)

From figure 5-5, d’= 4.00 meters(13.1 feet) andD’ = d’+ % = 5.35 meters
(17.5 feet).

L = [(gx$mg]m = 69.1 meters (227 feet) (secondtrial)

From figure 5-5, d’= 3.9 meters(12.8 feet) andD’= 5.25 meters(17.2 feet).

L = [(~~~6~~]m=68.5meters(224feet)(cormcteddminspacing).

A drain spacingof 68.5 meters (224 feet) is required to lower the water
table 1.5meters (5 feet) below the ground surfacein 20 days.

S-11. Drain SpacingUsing Steady-StateFormulas-The theory of steady-

statedrainageconsidersa uniform, steadyrate of rechargeto the drainagesystem
which, under specifiedconditions of depth of dram depth to barrier, hydraulic
conductivity, and dmin spacing,will causethe water table betweenthe drainsto
rise to and remainat someheight so long as that rate of rechargecontinues.
For eachsetof physicalconditions(depth of dram, depth to barrier, height of
water table betweendrains,and hydraulic conductivity), there is a different drain
spacingfor eachassumedvalueof steadyrecharge.Therefore,the validity of the
dram spacing obtained by use of the steady-stateformulas dependson the
assumedsteady recharge. The steady-stateassumptionsseldom representthe
conditions produced as a result of the intermittent rechargesfrom irrigation
applicationsand the transient flow conditions. The method of determining the
steady rechargerate is based on the experienceof Reclamation engineersin
comparingtransientand steady-statesolutions.
The steady-statedram spacingformula generallyusedin the irrigated areasof
the United Statesis the Donnanformula.

Donnanformula,LZ = 4K(?-a2)
L =
drain spacing,meters (feet);
K =
hydraulic conductivity, meters (feet) per day;
a =
distancebetweendram depth and barrier, meters(feet);
b =
distance between maximum allowable water table height between
drainsand the barrier, meters (feet); and
Qd = rechargerate, cubicmetersper squaremeter (cubicfeet per squarefoot)
per &Y.
Note: This formula is valid for any consistentset of units.

As previouslymentioned,the validity of this formula dependsupon the value

of Qdused.Throughexperience,engineershavefound that Qdshouldbe derived
by dividing the unit depthof deeppercolation from an irrigation applicationby
the number of daysbetweenirrigations during the peakportion of the irrigation
season.This value of steadyrechargeshouldbe used for the casewhere drains
are above a barrier. Where drains am on a barrier, it has been found that this
rechargerate should,generally,be divided by two.
The following examplesshow the use of the Donnan formula:

Example 1: Assumethe conditionsof the previousexample in section5-8,

wherethe drainswere locatedabovethe barrier andthe transient
flow method was used.

From section5-8:
Deeppercolation= 25 millimeters (1 inch) = .025 meter (0.083 foot);
Number of daysbetweenirrigations during peak of season= 14 days;
d = 6.7 meters (22 feet), maximum y0 = 1.22meters (4 feet);
D = d+$ = 6.7+? = 7.32 meters (24 feet); and
K = 3.05 meters (10 feet) per day.

In steady-statenomenclature:
a = d = 6.7 meters (22 feet) and u2= 44.9 m2 (484 ftz),
b = d + max. y0 = 6.7 + 1.22 = 7.92 meters (26 feet) and b2 = 62.7 m2
(676 ftz), and
=0.025 = 0.0018meter (0.0059 feet) per day.

Using Donnan’s formula:

L2 = (4)(3.05)(62.7- 44.9)
= 120,645m2 (1,300,OOO ft2)
and L = 347 meters(1,140 feet) ascomparedto 442 meters (1,450feet) by
the transientflow method in section 5-8. Donnan’sformula usually gives
results that agree with the transient flow method within plus or minus
20 percent.

Example2: Assumethe conditionsof the previousexample in section5-9,

where the drains were located on the barrier and the transient
flow method was used.

From section5-9:
Deep percolation= .025meter (0.083 foot),
Numberof daysbetweenirrigationsduring peakof season= 14days,d = 0,
maximum H = 1.22meters (4 feet), and K = 3.05meters (10 feet) per day.

In steady-statenomenclature:
b=d+max.H=O+ 1.22= 1.22meters(4feet)andb*= 1.49m*(16ft*);
Qd = 14 = 0.0018meter (0.0059 foot) per day.

As mentionedpreviously, this value for Qd shouldbe divided by two for

drainson the barrier. Then, Qd = 0.0018
2 = 0.0009 meter (0.00295foot)
per by.

Using Donnan’sformula:
L2 = (4)(3.05)(1.49)
= 20,200 m* (217,000 ft 2) and L = 142 meters
(466 feet) as compared to 125 meters (410 feet) by the transient flow
method in section5-9.

Thepreviousexamplesshow that the steady-statemethod doesnot necessarily

result in the samedrain spacingsasthe transientflow methods.BecauseQdis an
empirical value, this result is expected.The steady-statemethod does,however,
give spacingswhich are reasonablyclose for use where quick estimates are
neededor asgoodfmt approximationsfor the transientflow method. Very narrow
spacingscalculatedby the steady-statemethod havebeenfound invalid because
of problems with the basic assumptionof steady-stateconditions. The drain
spacingsobtainedusing the steady-statemethodshouldbe correctedfor conver-
gence,using the methodspreviously describedin section5-5.
5-12. Determining Discharge Froni Spaced Drains.-The discharge of
spaceddrains canbe computedusing the following formulas:

qp = 86 (for drains abovea barrier)


qp = & (for dramson a barrier)


= dischargefrom two sidesper unit length of drain, cubic meters
per secondper meter (cubic feet per secondper foot):
y,orH = maximum height of water table abovedrain invert, meters (feet);
K = weightedaveragehydraulic conductivity of soil profile between
maximumwater tableandbarrieror drain,meters(feet) per day;
D = averageflow depth (D = d + $) , meters (feet);

d = distancefrom drain to barrier, meters (feet); and

L = dram spacing,meters (feet).

The terms in the aboveformulas relate to the terms shown on figure 5-4.
Subsurfacewater flowing into an areafrom upslopesourcescan be evaluated
quantitativelyby useof the basic equation:

q. = KiA (3)
qu = unit flow, cubic meters (feet) per second:
K = weighted averagehydraulic conductivity of the saturatedstrata above
the barrier, meters (feet) per second;
i = slope (obtained from a ground-water table contour map along a line
normal to the contours,becauseflow is in this direction); and
A = areathrough which flow occurs, squaremeters (feet).
Generally, the maximum water table height would be used to obtain the
saturateddepth from which K is obtained.This same depth would be used to
obtain the area,A, for a unit width. The plane along which the area must be
obtainedis parallel to the contoursor normal to the direction of flow.
An applicationof equation(3) is given in section5-58.
The valueof quin equation(3) is the total amountof moving water within the
saturatedprofile above the barrier; however, an interceptor dram cannot be
expectedto pick up more thana portion of this water when the bottom of the drain
is abovethe barrier. For practicalpurposes,the dmin canbe expectedto intercept
only that portion of the saturatedprofile above the water surfacein the drain
Equation(3) then becomes:

q,, = KiA y

q,, = volume rate of flow per unit length of drain from underflow sources;
K = hydraulic conductivity in meters (feet) per second;
i = slopeof water table;
A = saturatedareain squaremeters (feet) of flow in a unit length of width,
Y = height in meters (feet) of maximum water surfaceimmediatelyabove
proposeddraim and
d = distancein meters (feet) from dram invert to barrier.

The flow determinedin this mannermay originatefrom oneor severalupslope

sources,dependingon the circumstances.Someof thesesourcescould be under-
flow from upslopeirrigated farmland; seepagefrom canalsat high elevations;or
seepagefrom streams,lakes,or other water bodies.Anevaluationof contributions
from individual sourcesmay be necessary,or a single computation for qu may

suffice. In making a single computation for q,,, the situation must be carefully
consideredto obtain either an averagevalue or limiting high and low values.
Water tablecontourswill changethroughoutthe year. It is important that records
be availablefor at leasta year so that an estimateof the valuesof i and A can be
Sometimes,the ground-watercontribution from a surfacewater body suchas
a stream, pond, or lake must be evaluated.This evaluation may be done by
analyzingsurfaceand subsurfaceinflow, precipitation, transpirationand evapo-
ration, imported and evaporatedwater, surface outflow, and the changein the
Contributions to ground water by seepagefrom canalscan be obtainedby a
ponding test. In this test, seepageloss can be measuredby changesin volume,
correctedas necessaryfor transpirationand evapomtionlosses.Other methods
for estimatingseepagelossesare describedin the following paragraphs.
In the planning phaseof an irrigation project, considerationshouldbe given
to the effects seepagefrom unlined canals and laterals has on the drainage
requirement. If lining is neededbut not provided, additional drains may be
requiredto protect nearbycrops. A method of estimatingthe seepagelossesfrom
unlinedcanalsand lateralsis given in section5-15.
To evaluatethe benefits from reducingcanalseepageto the groundwater, the
amountof this seepagemust be known. The effect of canallining on the drainage
requirementcanbe determinedanda cost comparisonmadebetweencanallining
and drain construction.The drainagerequirementmay be reducedby lining the
canalsand in someinstancesmay beeliminated.Lining of a canaldoesnot permit
the assumptionthat seepageis eliminatedbecauseeven the best lining usually
permits someseepage.The effect of canallining on thedrainagerequirementwill
dependupon the capability of the formation to convey water in relation to the
Drains shouldbe designedfor the total accretions:

4 = qp+ 4u (5)

q = cubic units of flow per unit of time per unit lengthof drain;
qp = flow in aboveunits due to deeppercolation;and
qu = flow in aboveunits due to underflow from outsidethe area or due to
seepagefrom surfacewater bodies.
S-13. Design Discharge for Collector Drains.-The dischargeq in equa-
tion 5, determinedfor eachunit lengthof pipe, canbe usedin the formula Q = qL,
where Q is the dischargein cubic units per secondat the end of a pipe L units
long. This formula for Q is applicablefor a lengthof pipe,L, which servesan area
that can be irrigated within about2 days. If q is the maximum rate of discharge
per unit length of pipe, the formula gives the dischargeonly for the period that
the water tableis highest.At anyother time, the rate of dischargewill be lessthan
maximum. For example,considera collector drain receiving water from a group

of drainsservingan ama that takesabout 10 days to irrigate. Eachof the branch

drainswill deliver water to the collector at a different rate, Q, dependingon the
valueof q. Theparcelwhich hasbeenirrigatedmost recently will havethe highest
water tableandthehighestdischarge,while the parcelirrigated first will havethe
lowest discharge.Theother drainswill dischargeat ratessomewherebetweenthe
highestand the lowest. The summationof the Q values from eachbranchdrain,
at a point on the collector drain, will be lessthan the maximum q multiplied by
the total lengthof collector and all branchdrainsabovethat point.
The water table height and the resultant value of Q will fluctuate mainly
becauseof the intermittent applicationof irrigation water, becausethe q valuefor
canalseepage,underflow, etc., is nearly constant.
Little data exist on which to basea rationalizationof the reduction in flow
receivedby collector drains. In general,few drainswill collect drainwater from
more than about 2,000 hectares(5,000 acres)before they dischargeinto a deep,
opensuboutlet.The following equationswill provide a reasonabledesigncapac-
ity for most collector drains:

2fiYfl A
Drains abovebarrier: q = Cw x
Drainsonthebarrier: q = C86,4001, x (7)
where: 0
4 = discharge[cubic meters (feet) per secondper unit area]; yO,K, D, H,
and L are as describedin section5-12;
A = areadrainedin squaremeters (feet); and
C = areadischargefactor.

The factor C is the relationship between possible dischargeand probable

discharge,and is determinedfrom table 5-5.

Table5-5.-Area discharge factors.

Hectares drained Acres drained Factor, C
O-16 040 1.0
16-32 40-80 1.0-0.92
3249 80-120 0.92-0.87
49-65 120-160 0.87-0.82
65-8 1 160-200 0.82-0.79
81-97 200-240 0.79-0.76
97-113 240-280 0.76-0.74
113-130 280-320 0.74-0.72
130-194 320-480 0.72-0.65
194-259 480-640 0.654.60
259-324 640-800 0.60-0.56
324-389 80-960 0.56-0.54
389-453 960-1.120 0.54-0.52
453-518 1,120-1,280 0.52-0.50
518-2.023 1.280-5.000 0.50

B. Interceptor Drains
S-14. Introduction.The principal function of interceptordrainsis to control
ground-waterlevels on sloping lands. As a generalrule, this control should be
accomplishedby pipe drainsexceptwhere the drain must receivesurfacerunoff.
Opendrainsaremore expensiveto maintain thancloseddrains,and they alsouse
producibleland for their construction.
Interceptor dramsam usually requiredat abrupt breaksin slopeto control the
water table on the lower slope. An interceptor drain should be placed on or as
close to the barrier as practical, which usually meansthe drain is located at the
toe of a break in slope.However, the drain can be locatedabovethe break if the
drain is placedon the barrier.
Interceptor drains am required when the slope of the barrier convergeswith
the ground surfaceslope.Under this condition, sufficient boringsmust be made
to determineat what point the barrier is about 2.4 meters (8 feet) below the land
surface. An interceptor drain at this location will intercept all water moving
downhill. Specificconditionswill determinethe needfor additionaldrainseither
upslopeor downslopefrom the initial interceptor.
When there is an appreciabledecreasein the hydraulic conductivity on the
slope, the water table rises to compensatefor the reduced conductivity by
increasingthe flow area. This may causethe water table to approachthe land
surface. As was the case where the barrier and ground surfaces converged,
sufficient borings must be madeto determinewhere the hydraulic conductivity
changes.The interceptor drain is then locatedwhere it will be about2.4 meters
(8 feet) deepjust upslopeof the decreasein hydraulic conductivity. If the change
is abrupt, the interceptor dram shouldbe locatedin the more permeablematerial
just before the change.
5-15. Location of First Drain Below an Unlined Canal or Lateral.-Data
required to determine the location of the first drain below an unlined canal or
lateral are:

(a) Channelsectionsand grades.

(b) Hydraulic conductivity of the material adjacentto the channel.
(c) Weightedhydraulic conductivitybetweenpermissibleroot zonedepthand
(d) Depth to barrier.
(e) Slopeof barrier and ground surfacein the vicinity of the channel.
cf> Distancefrom thecenterlineof channelto the irrigatedland, seefigure 5-9.

Firs+ required drain

Figure 5-9.-Measurements needed for estimating location of first drain below an unlined
canal or lateral. Drawing 103-D-1656.

The following stepsshow a methodof determiningthe distancefrom the canal

centerlineto first drain:

Step 1. Estimate the channel seepageunder free drainageconditions. The

following formulas may be used for estimating in the absenceof a
better method.

Kl@ +w
41 =
3.5 (8)

q1 = seepagein cubicmeters(feet) per linearmeter (foot) of channelper day,
whenwater table is below channelbottom (free dminagecondition);
Kr = hydraulic conductivity adjacentto the channelsection,meters(feet) per
d = depthof water in channelat normal operatinglevel, meters (feet);
B = width of water in channelat normal opemtinglevel, meters (feet); and
3.5 = factor usedto adjusthydraulicconductivity testvaluesto seepagelosses
from pondingtests.

Example: For a canal sectionwith a basewidth of 3 meters(10 feet) and

2: 1 side slopes,find q1 if K1 = 0.46 meter (1.5 feet) per day and
d = 0.76 meter (2.5 feet).

q1 = 0.46 [6.1+ (2 x O.Wl

= 1.Oms/m/d (10.71 fts/ft/cl)

For existingcanalsand laterals,q1 can be measured,but caremust be @en to

ensurethat free drainageexistsbelow the canalor lateral. When a water taI$ehas
developedunderthe canalor lateral,the depthto the water tablemustbemeasured

at the sametime as the seepage.Unless a thick, permeableaquifer underliesthe

canal,a ground-watermound will rise under the channeland eventuallyreachthe
samelevel asthe water surfacein the channel.The tune requiredfor this to occur
canbe estimatedfrom the formula:

t = time in days for water table mound to rise from water table depth at
beginningof irrigation seasonto water surfacein canal;
K2 = weighted hydraulic conductivity between root zone depthand barrier,
meters (feet) per day;
Y = distance from water table depth at beginning of irrigation seasonto
normal water surfacein the channel,meters (feet);
D1 = distancein meters (feet) between water table depth (at beginning of
irrigation season)and the barrier plus one-half y;
41 = seepage under free draining conditions,ms/m/d (fts/ft/d); and
S = specific yield determinedfrom hydraulic conductivity in the K, zone,
percentby volume.

For example, if the distance between water table depth (at beginning of
irrigation season)and the barrier is 6.1 meters (20 feet), K2 = 0.46 m/d (1.5 ft/d),
v = 2.74 meters (9 feet), S = 12 percent, and q1 = 1.0 ms/m/d (10.71 fts/ft/d) as
previouslycalculated.Find the time, t, as definedabove.

D1 = 6.1 +!$ = 7.45 meters (24.5 feet), and

t = (3.1416)(0.46)(2.74)2(7.45)(0.12)= 1o days

Theuse of q1 in formula (9) doesnot accountfor the fact that the seepagerate
beginsto decreasewhen the water tablemoundreachesthe bottom of the channel
and will continueto decreaseuntil the mound risesto the water surfaceelevation
in the channel.At this point, the seepagerate becomesessentiallyconstantandis
called the terminal seepagerate, q2. The seepagerate, q2 can be determinedby
the formula:

q2 = 1.0

Often, an aeratedroot zonemust be maintainedat the edgeof an irrigated area

adjacentto an unlined channel.This situation may require a drain. The seepage
from the channeland the additionalcapacityneededin the first drain becauseof
the seepagecan be determinedby the formula:

93 =
q3 = seepagein cubicmeters (feet) per linearmeter (foot) of channelper day
when the selectedroot zonedepthat the edgeof the irrigated areais
maintainedby a drain;
K2 = weighted hydraulic conductivity between root zone depthand barrier,
meters (feet) per day:
D2 = one-half the sum of the distancesbetween: (1) barrier and water
surface in channel,and (2) barrier and selectedroot zone depth at
the edgeof the irrigated area;
h, = difference in elevationbetweenselectedroot zonedepthat the edgeof
the irrigated field and water surfacein channel;and
X = distancefrom centerlineof channelto the edgeof the irrigated area.

Example: If hs = 1.22meters (4 feet) andX = 18.3meters (60 feet), then

D, = (6*1+ 2.74) + (6*1+ 2.74 - 1.22) = 8 23 meters(27 feet)9md

0.46 x 8.23 x 1.22
93 = = 0.252ms/m/d (2.70 fWft/d)

Step2: If the canalis on a sidehill where the ground-watermovement is in

onedirection andwhereq3 is lessthan q2, useq3 as the seepagefactor
in estimatingthe distancefrom the canalcenterlineto fnst drain. If
movement is in two directions or from a canal on a ridge with
irrigation on both sides,when q3 is lessthan 5, useq3,

The examplein this sectionhas the canalon a sidehill with all ground-water
flow in one direction and q3 less than 42; therefore, use the q3 seepageof
0.252 cubic meters per linear meter (2.70 cubic feet per linear foot) of channel
per &Y.

Step3: Estimatethe distancefrom the canalcenterlineto first requireddrain

by the formula:

R = K@--h*) + x


R = distancein meters(feet) from channelcenterlineto fust requireddrain;
h = distance in meters(feet) betweendrain and barrier: and
H = distance in meters (feet) between barrier and maintainedroot zone
depthat edgeof irrigated area.
K2, q3, andX am aspreviously defined.

Example: If h = 6.1 meters(20 feet) andH = 6.1+ (2.74 - 1.22)= 7.62 meters
(25 feet), then

R = 0.46 [(7.62)2- (6.1)2]

+ 18.3= 37.4 meters (123 feet)
2 x 0.252

Someirrigation rechargebetweenthe drain and the edgeof the irrigated area

abovethe drain hasnot beenconsideredin the calculations.This rechargeareais
accountedfor by using the 37.4 meters (123 feet) as the first estimate of the
distance from channel centerline to first required drain Irrigation recharge
betweenthedrain andthechannelcanbeestimatedandaddedto the canalseepage
(a) Deeppercolationfrom irrigation during the peakperiod, 14daysbetween
irrigations = 9.40 millimeters (0.37 inch).
(b) Average daily rate of rechargeduring irrigation seasonwould then be
i =- = 0.67 millimeter (0.00067meter or 0.0022foot) per day.
(c) Irrigation rechargeto be drainedbetweenthe drain and edgeof irrigated
area= i(R -X) = (0.00067 (37.4 - 18.3) = 0.0128 cubic meter per linear meter
(0.14 cubic foot per linear foot) of drain per day.
(d) Irrigationrechargepluscanalseepageq3, = 0.0128+ 0.252= 0.265mVn/d
(2.84 ftVft/d).
The secondestimateof the distancefrom channelcenterlineto the first drain
using irrigation rechargeplus canalseepagewould be:

R = 0.46 [(7.62)2- (6.1)2]

+ 18.3= 36.4 meters (120 feet)
2 x 0.265

Irrigation rechargewill now be i(R - X) = (0.00067)(36.6- 18.3) = 0.0123

mVn/d (0.13 ftVft/d) and,if addedto the canalseepage,q3 would not changethe
secondestimateof R.

Any additional parallel drams required to keep the water table below the
acceptablelevel canbe computedby the dram spacingmethodsdescribedin part
A of this chapter. Thesemethods were developedfor level lands but give an
acceptablespacingfor slopesup to about 10 percent.
s16. Location of Fist Drain on Irrigated Sloping Land.-When an
irrigated arealies on a slope,deeppercolationfrom irrigation may causeshallow
water tablesandthe needfor spaceddrams.When seepagefrom canalsor laterals
is negligible, a strip along the upper edge of the irrigated areamay not require
spaceddrainsbecauseof the downhill movement of the water. However, some
distance down the slope the water table will become too shallow for crop
production and farming operations.This sectiondescribesa method, basedon
steady-stateconditions,to determinethe location of the first drain downslope.
When infiltration is steady,the water tablewill approachsteady-stateconfigu-
rations asshown in the profiles on figures 5-10 and 5-l 1. The water table canbe
determinedfrom thesefigures for combinationsof surfaceand barrier slope.A
samplesolution follows:
(a) Assumeseepageloss from lined canalis negligible.
(b) K = averagehydraulic conductivity of soil profile under irrigated land =
5.08 centimeters(2 inches)per hour or 1.22meters (4 feet) per day.
(c) t = irrigation season= 135days.
(d) L = lengthof irrigated slope= 457 meters (1,500 feet).
(4 DP = deep percolation from irrigation and rainfall for 135 days =
0.091 meter (0.30 foot).

Figure 5-10.-Water table profiles on sloping barriers for 0.05 s-& I0.25. Drawing

Figure 5-ll.-Water table profiles on sloping barriers for 0.25 s--& I 1.25. Drawing

cf> Averagedaily rate of rechargeduring irrigation season,

i _ DP _ 0.091
- = 0.00068m3/m2/d(0.00222fts/ftz/d).
t 135
(g) Ss= 0.03 m/m (ft/ft), slopeof land surface.
(h) S, = 0.027 m/m (ft/ft), slopeof barrier layer.
(i) Dbl = depthto barrier at upperendof irrigatedarea= 7.32 meters(24 feet).
(jJ Db2 = depth to barrier at lower end of irrigated area = 5.94 meters
(19.5 feet>.
tk) 6 = 1*22(()027)2 = o*76

(1) h = height abovebarrier.

(m) Interpolate between the curves on figure 5-11 to plot the & = 0.76
curve shown on figure 5-12.
(n) Plot the ground surfaceusing the barrier asthe abscissa(fig. 5-12).

When: = O,$L = 7.32

= 0.593, and
X h 5.94
- = 1, G = (o.02’i3(457) = 0.481

Plot thesetwo points and draw a line betweenthem to representthe ground

surface.Where this line intersectsthe curve, readf = 0.31. The distancefrom
the edgeof the irrigated areato the point where the ground water appearsat the

X = (457)(0.31) = 142meters (465 feet)

(0) Find the point wherethe water tablewill be 2.44 meters(8 feet) below the

When$ = 0, h = 7.32 - 2.44 = 4.88 meters(16 feet)

therefore,%h = to.027)t457)
4.88 = 0.395

When? = 1, h = 5.94 -2.44 = 3.50 meters(11.5 feet)

h 3.50
andG = (0.027)(457) = o'284

Plot thesepoints on figure 5-12 as shownand draw a line betweenthe points.

Where the line intersects the curve, read $ = 0.058 on the abscissa.The
distancefrom the edgeof the irrigated areato the point where the water table is
2.44 meters (8 feet) below the ground surfaceis:

X = (457)(0.058) = 26.5 meters (87 feet)

(p) The shapeof the water table without dramscanbe determinedas follows:
Make a table using the coordinatesof the curve on figure 5-12 using L = 457,
and S& = 0.027 x 457 = 12.34meters (40.5 feet).

& (12.34) & (40.5) ; (1,500)

I! h h X
L z meters feet meters feet
0.00 0.335 4.13 13.6 0 0
.05 .380 4.69 15.4 22.9 75
.06 .390 4.81 15.8 21.4 90
.lO .425 5.25 17.2 45.7 150
.15 .460 5.68 18.6 68.6 225
.20 .496 6.12 20.1 91.4 300
.25 .528 6.52 21.4 114.3 315
.30 .555 6.85 22.4 137.1 450
.31 .560 6.91 22.1 141.7 465

Plot h and X as shown on figure 5-13, where h is the vertical height of the
water table abovethe barrier andX is the distancefrom the edgeof the irrigated
(q) The drain spacingfor the remainderof the areacanbe determinedusing
methodsdescribedin part A of this chapter.The spacingcalculationsdo not take
into account sloping barriers: however, the results are reasonablyreliable for
slopesup to 10percent.
The fmt 26.5 meters(87 feet) from theedgeof the irrigatedareawill bedmined
by the downhill movement of water. This distancemust be accountedfor in the
solution for drain spacing. The basic dmin spacing, L, is about 305 meters
(1,000 feet). Then,L + 26.5 = 331.5meters (1,087 feet). To fmd depthsbetween
drams, slopesSs,and &, must be used.
For example:
331.5 Ss= 331.5 x 0.030 = 9.95 meters (32.61 feet)
331.5 &, = 331.5 x 0.027 = 8.95 meters (29.36 feet)
The depth to the barrier at 331.5meters (1,087 feet) will then be:
7.32-(9.95 -8.95)= 6.32 meters (20.74 feet)
The averagedepth to the barrier is:

7.32 +6.32
= 6.82 meters(22.37 feet)

Using Donnan’s steady-stateequation,the distancebetweendram depth and

barrier, a, for a drain depth of 2.44 meters (8.0 feet) is:

a = 6.82 - 2.44 = 4.38 meters (14.37 feet)

Correcting a for convergenceusing Hooghoudt’smethods:

d= 4.0 meters (13 feet), and

b = 4.0 + 1.22= 5.22 meters (17 feet).


L2 = (4)U.22)(5.222-4.@) = 807u md
0.00068 9 9
L = 284 meters(932 feet).

Transient flow methods should be used to check results of the steady-state

(r) The fmt drain is located284 + 27 = 3 11meters(1,020feet) from the upper
edgeof the irrigated field. The spacingis basedon dmwdown from two drains,
but at 30 meters (97 feet) from the upper edgeof the irrigated field, natural flow
down the slopekeepsthe water table at 2.4 meters (8 feet). Therefore, no water

would enter a dram at this point, and the effect is the sameas having a drain at
this point. The downslope dmin will maintain a minimum 1.2-meter (4-foot)
watertable depthalongthe slopeabovethe dram. The sizeof the fast drain should
be designedto handleall deeppercolatingwater betweenthe upperedgeof the
field plus normal flow from the downslopeside-or about 1.5 times as much as
a normal spaceddmin.
For fields whereonedramis not quiteadequatebut two dramswould overdrain
the area,the plannersand designersmust decideon what is best for the farmer
and project-to install one or two drains. Generally, the decisionis basedon
economics,but project or district policies may infhrence the decision.An eco-
nomic studyof the areawould probablyshow that the useof only onedrain, which
would place the lower end of the field in nonirrigable status, would be more
To determinethe distancedownslopefrom the last drain wherethe water table
would be 1.2 meters(4 feet) from the land surface,the following procedurecan
be used:
(1) Measurethe distancefrom the last drain to a naturaldrain. In the example,
this is 488 - 3 11 = 177meters (580 feet). Draw a line betweenthe centerlineof
the drain and the water surfacein the natural channel.
(2) At 5 or 89 meters (292 feet) downslopefrom the &am, determine the
depth from the barrier to the line connectingthe drain to the water surfacein the
natural channel.
(a) Ground surfaceis (311 + 89) 0.03 = 12.0 meters (39.37 feet) below the
top of the field.
(b) Elevation of the barrier is 0.027 (400) + 7.3 = 18.10meters (59.38 feet)
below the top of the field.
(c) Elevation of the last dram is 0.03 (311) + 2.4 = 11.73meters(38.51 feet)
below the top of the field.
(d) Elevationof the water surfacein the natural drain is 14.6meters (48 feet)
below the top of the field (fig. 5-13).
(e) Elevation of the drain depthbetweenthe last drain andthe natural drain is
-= 14.8+ 11.73 = 13.17meters (43.25 feet).
2 2
cf) Distancefrom dram depth to barrier at 4 is:

a = 18.1- 13.2= 4.9 meters (16.08 feet).

(3) Compute the height of the water tablemidway betweendrains:


L = 178meters (583 feet)

a = 4.9 meters(16.09 feet)
’ = 4.3 meters(14.0 feet)
ft: = 1.22meters (4 feet) per day
Qd = 0.00068rny/rnz/d(0.00222f@/f@/d)

Using Donnan’sequation:

L2 = 4K(bZa”)
or b2*” = L2ed
b2-ap2 = (178)2(0.00068) = 4 42
(4)(1.22) ’
a j2 = 4.32 = 18.5
then, b2 = 4.42 + 18.5 = 22.92
and, b = 4.79 meters (15.7 feet)
therefore, y0 = b - a = 4.79 -4.3 = 0.49meter
(1.61 feet), the height of the
water table abovethe dram

At a point 89 meters(292 feet) downslopefrom the last drain the water table
will be 13.2- 0.49- 12= 0.71 meters(2.33feet) below the groundsurface,which
is not adequate.By plotting a fourth degreeparabolaof the drawdown curve
betweendrains when y0 = 0.49 meter (1.6 feet), the point where the water table
will be 1.2 meters (4 feet) below the ground surfacecanbe estimatedas follows:

x X’ Y Distance from
L groundsurfaceto v
meters feet meters feet meters feet
0 0 (0) 2.44 (8.0)
0.05 8.8 (29) 0.3439y, = 0.169 (0.553) 2.16 (7.1)
0.1 17.7 (58) 0.5904~~= 0.289 (0.949) 1.92 (6.3)
0.2 35.7 (117) 0.8704~~= 0.426 (1.399) 1.52 (5.0)
0.3 53.3 (175) 0.9744~~= 0.477 (1.566) 1.22 (4.0)
0.4 71.3 (234) 0.9984~~= 0.489 (1.605) 0.98 (3.2)
0.5 89.0 (292) V” = 0.490 (1.608) 0.73 (2.4)

* The pipe drain representsX = 0.


To obtain the distancefrom groundsurfaceto y in the previoustabulation,the

following calculationswere necessary:

Elevation of ground surface (fig. 5-13) from the last drain downslopeto
the natural drain is:
YS = 9.30 + 0.03X meters= 30.51 + 0.03X feet
whereX is measuredin meters andfeet, respectively.
Elevationof drain level betweendrainsis:
yd = 11 73 + (14.6-11.73)x = drain level elevationin meters.
)Jd= 38 51 + (48 -38.51)x
583 = dram level elevationin feet.
Depth to dm.h: Dd = yd - ys = 2.44 - 0.01372X(in meters) or
= 8 - 0.01372X(in feet)
Depth t0 Water: D, = Dd - y, D, = yd - ys -y, or D, =
2.44 - 0.01372X- y (in meters) below ground surfaceor
8 - 0.01372X- y (in feet) below ground surface.

From the previoustabulation,the water table will be 1.2meters(4 feet) below

the ground surfaceat about53 meters (175 feet) downslopefrom the drain. The
areathat would be inadequatelydrainedfor deep-rootedcrops, if only one drain
is installed,would be at about 125meters(411feet) on the lower edgeof thefield.

C. Open Drains
S17. Introduction.-Open drainsare ditcheswith an exposedwater surface
and are widely used for surfaceand subsurfacedrainage.Shallowsurfacedrams
are normally used for the removal of irrigation surfacewaste and storm water.
This type of drain provides very little subsurfacedrainage and is considered
simply a wastewaterditch or storm channel.Deep subsurfacedrainageditches
are usedto provide subsurfacedrainageand ascollectorsfor surfaceand subsur-
face drainagesystems.
Many hydraulicstextbooksthoroughly presentthe theory anddetails of open
channeldesign; therefore,only thosecriteria that pertain to designof drainsare
presentedhere.Figure 5-14 showsa typical plan and profile of an opendrain.
5-18. Open Channel Flow.-The area,A, of a drain sectionfor any flow, Q,
is found from the equationA = ev . The velocity, v, basedon Manning’s formula,
can be found in the Bureau of Reclamation’sHydraulic and Excavation Tables
(Bureau of Reclamation, 1957). Thesetablesgive velocities in feet per second
for various coefficients of roughness,it, for trapezoidalchannels.An it = 0.030
shouldbeusedfor openditches.When thesetablesarenot available,the Manning
formula can be usedto determinethe velocity.

zoo 0 200 400




REACH b s NO”4”’ ST RM d A r v
O-38 to /3+20 4.0 ,001 . 5.5 0.9 4.82 0.66 1.14
33 2.3. /Z/5 1.40 L93

Normal Q in the hydraulic properties table is the estimated sub-

surface accretions plus the return flaw from irrigation.
Storm 0 in the hydraulic properties table is the normal 0 plus the
estimated surface run-off from a storm of approw.5 year
Figure 5-14.-Typical plan and profile of an open drain. From drawing 103-D-663.

1.486 2M l/2
Manning formula, v = II r s (13)
V = velocity in feet per second,
r = hydraulic radiusin feet,
s = slopeof the drain in feet per foot, and
n = coefficient of roughness.

For velocitiesin metersper second,the Manning formula is

v= y (metric form) (134

V = velocity in metersper second,
r = hydraulic radiusin meters,
S = slopeof the drain in metersper meter, and
n = coefficient of toughness.

As an approximation,the velocitiesin feet per secondas given in the Bureau

of Reclamation’sHydraulic andExcavationTables(1957) multiplied by 0.3 will
give velocitiesin meters per second.
ValuesofA andr for small, V-shapeddrainageditchesareshownin table5-6.
5-19. Drain Velocities.-Maximum permissiblevelocities for open drains
accordingto soil texture are as follows:

Soil texture Velocity, meters

(feet) per second
Clay 1.2 (4.0)
sandy loam 0.8 (2.5)
Fine sands 0.5 (1.5)
In some soils, a tractive force analysismay be necessaryto determine the
stability of the drainagechannel.The objective is to construct a relatively stable
channelwhich will neither erode nor be subject to depositionof objectionable
amounts of sediment. The maximum permissiblegradient under given topo-
graphic and soil conditions shouldalways be used,provided the velocity is kept
below that which would causesignificant erosion from a 5-year storm. Where
surfaceslopesam steep,structuresmust be provided to control velocities.

Table 56a.-Crowsectional area and hydraulic radius for small V-shaped

ditches (metric units). Drawing 103-D&42.




Table Mb.-Cross-sectional area and hydraulic radius for small V-shaped

ditches (U.S. customary units). Drawing 103-D-682.
11/z : 1 SIDE SLOPES


The ideal minimum gradientin a drain would have sufficient velocity at low
flows to preventdepositionand growth of aquaticplants.This velocity would be
in the range of 0.2 to 0.3 meter (0.75 to 1.0 foot) per secondfor preventionof silt
and fme sand deposits, 0.5 to 0.6 meter (1.5 to 2.0 feet) per secondfor the
preventionof weedsand grasses,and 0.8 meter (2.5 feet) per secondor more to
inhibit growth of aquatic plants. In areas where ideal velocities cannot be
obtained,drains shouldbe designedwith a minimum velocity of about 0.3 meter
(1.0 foot) per secondfor the normal flow. In some collector drains, pumping
plantsmight be requiredwherethe gradientmust bebuilt into the drain Pumping
plants in drains have the disadvantagesof constant maintenance,expensebf
operation,and icing during the wintertime. They shouldbe usedonly when the
velocitiesat normal flow are well below the minimum 0.3 meter (1.0 foot) per

second.Gradientsfor natural outlet drains usually are not altered except where
the channelstmighteninggradientsallows increase.
Minimum gradesrequire maximum maintenance:therefore, when gradients
are used that result in velocities of 0.3 meter (1.0 foot) per secondor less for
normal flows, provisions should be made for shorter periods of time between
drain cleaning.
5-20. Depth of Drain.-The depthof an opendrain for carrying surfacewater
is controlled by the quantity of water it carries. The depth of a deep, open
subsurfacedrain is controlled by physical and hydraulic propertiesof the soils,
permissiblewater table levels, constructionequipment,and quantity of water it
must carry. The most difficult designcaseis that of a drain which receivesrunoff
water from tributary drains, while picking up groundwater throughoutits reach.
The drain must be deepenoughso that the normal water surfacewill be below
the water table to allow the drain to pick up groundwater. Also, the drain must
be large enoughto accept tributary dram discharge.The normal water surface
elevationin the collector drain must not be higher than that in the tributary dram
Designing the capacity for carrying floodflows is usually no problem in a
completely open drain system. When the Fist two requirementsare satisfied,
capacityis adequateto handlemost floodflows. A floodflow may raisethe water
level temporarily in the dram to a point higher than the ground-waterelevation.
This water level inhibits the drain from picking up groundwater, but crops would
not be burnedif the condition did not last for more than 48 hours. Where flash
floods occur frequently and the soils are highly erosive, separatedeepdrainage
andfloodwater systemsmay be more economical.
If the tributary drainsam closeddrains,the normal water surfaceelevationin
the open collector drain shouldbe below the invert elevationof the closeddmin
by a distancesufficient to allow for some floodwater flow down the open drain
without affecting the closeddrain. This practicewill prevent water from backing
up in the closed drain. The additional distance should be 450 millimeters
(18 inches),if practical, but can be as low as 150millimeters (6 inches)if banks
are stable or if the open drain depth would otherwise be unreasonable.An
occasional,tempomry rise in water level over the closeddrain causedby floods
is not detrimental.
In general,subsurfacedrainsshouldbe from 2.4 to 3 meters(8 to 10feet) deep
to provide the besteconomic balancebetweendrain cost and drain spacing.On
occasion, local conditions may require deeper or shallower drams. The most
important condition would be location of the permeableand impermeablestrata.
S-21. Drain Section.-The most hydraulically efficient open channelhas
maximum capacityfor a given slopeand cross-sectionalarea.Themost efficient
crosssectionhas the smallestwetted perimeter.Basedon thesefacts, a semicir-
cular section would be the most efficient. However, for channels excavated
in earth, the semicircular shapeis impractical for various reasons, including
constructiondifficulty. Trapezoidalcross sectionsam most often usedand have
beenfound to be the most economicalsectionfor earthchannels.

In trapezoidal-shapeddrains, stability of the side slopes dependson soil

characteristics.The side slopesshould be less than the angle of reposeof the
saturatedmaterial, at least as far up the slope as the maximum water table
elevation. Side slopesmay vary from a 3:l slope or greater in a sandy soil to
almost vertical side,slopesin a highly organic soil.
In general,a berm betweenthe edgeof the cut and the roadway or spoil bank
should not be provided becauseof the maintenanceproblems created. Berms,
however,may be required where soils am unstableand the load of the fnl would
be detrimental.The minimum bottom width of drains is influencedby the types
of excavatingandmaintenanceequipmentavailablefor use. If a draglineis to be
used,the minimum width shouldbe about0.9 meter (3 feet). Figure 5-15 shows
typical dram sectionsand the relationshipbetweenroadways, spoil banks, and
bermsfor drainsof different sizes.
5-22. Drain Banks-Drain banks should be constructedby depositingthe
excavatedmaterial in approximatelyhorizontal layersto a thicknessequalto the
depth of the material as it is depositedby the excavatingequipment.Excavated
material shouldbe placedover the full width of the bank to the prescribedslopes
and not widened with loosematerial from the top.
The crown of the banksshouldbe gradedto a reasonablyuniform surface.The
crown on at least one side shouldserve as a roadway. When excavatedmaterial
is unstableandcannotbe depositedwithin the prescribedslopesandwidths, the
material shouldbe allowed to dmin and dry before the banksam graded.Before
the dram is acceptedas completed,all banksshouldpresenta neat appearance.
5-23. Tributary Drain Intersections.-Open tributary drains shouldenter
the collector drain with their water surfacesat the sameelevation.If the tributary
drain carriesmore than about0.4 ms/s(15 fts/s), the bottom grademust be curved
downstreamto make the flow lines of the drainsmore nearly parallelat the point
of juncture. This curve is not requitedfor tributarieswith flows lessthan this, but
it would improve the flow characteristicsandreducemaintenancecostsif applied.
S-24. Surface Iulets.-!hface water shouldnever be permitted to enter a
deepdram by flowing down the side slopes.Spoil banks shouldbe constructed
to prevent this, andpipe inlets shouldbeprovided to control the inflow of surface
water.Figure 5-16 showssometypical culvertsanddraininlets andanacceptable
method for installing a sutface water pipe inlet to an opendrain
S-25. Transition Sectiom-Changes in the channeldepth or bottom width
shouldnot be made abruptly, but over a distanceof 3 meters (10 feet) or more,
dependingupon the extent of the change.Where the depth changes,the slopeof
the transition should be gentle enoughto prevent scouring.Transition sections
shouldbe locatedabovethe entranceof any side drains.
5-26. Design Capacities.-Suhce dmin channelsshould be designedfor
stormflow only with no allowancefor irrigation wastebecausethe magnitudeof
stormflow usually is so much greaterthan the magnitudeof irrigation wastethat
0 1
a.’ \
E \
Blend excavated materlal smoothly mto EDitch s Blend excavated material s
terrain or spread an raadwoy as dwected

Existmg ground surface Existing ground surface

Sped bank as required tJperatlng rood 1.5 m (5’) min. from toe.
1.5m (5’) Mm. from
~’ l/m ;“‘I or as directed
R.0.w. Line

Move back about I.6m (6’) to for Extsting ground surface

berm far stablkty. If dwected


-Sped bank as required

‘Existing ground surface


Figure 5-15.-Typical drain and collecting ditch sections (sheet 2 of 2). Drawing 103-D-1661.
os shown on profile. 5
/some type surfacing 0s ,/Station and Invert c

Dia. ‘\
FLOW _ ‘\
NOTE: Pipe lengths shown on profiles
ore hosed upa~ roodwoy widths, METAL CUTOFF COLLAR

Station ond Invert elevation

os shown on profile. Stotlon ond Invert elevation
I -Existing around surface , I

Precast concrete pipe


Figure 5-16.-Typical culverts and drain inlets (sheet 1 of 2). Drawing 103-D-1662.
Riprop or gravel blanket required only where
field or other erosion is anticipated.

ure mamtenance.
Centers bath


DIAMETfiR f Nominal t C&I&

mm 1 (in.)meters feet mm (in.) Reid.
460 1(18) 0.460 1.50 65 2.50 #3
530 l(21) 0.460 1x1 ‘70 2.75 #3
II) For near soit free soil,heavy gTe galvanized C.M.P may be used
(2) For soline or alkaline soils, golvonized pipe should not be used
(3)Minimum pipe diameter is 0.45 m.


~*C.M.l? or PC.P


NOTE: For protection details at ends of culverts,use depth for storm
flow to determine type and extent of protection.

Figure 5-16.-Typical culverts and drain inlets (sheet 2 of 2). Drawing 103-D-1662.

the impact of irrigation waste would be negligible.In general,stormflows should

be estimatedfor 5-year frequency storms unlessavailableinformation justifies
use of other flows. The minimum capacity of surfacedrains shouldbe 0.08 to
0.14 cubic meters (3 to 5 cubic feet) per second.Pondingfor stormflows in the
field shouldbe consideredin surfacedrain capacity estimates.But ponding on
arableland shouldnot be permitted for periodsexceeding48 hours.Most crops
submerged over 48 hours suffer reduced production, and many crops are
Capacitiesof openinterceptorand relief drainsintendedprimarily for control
of ground-waterlevels shouldbe sufficient to carry the estimatedground-water
accretionplus the estimatedfarm waste, with the water surface elevationof the
drain at or below the requiredeffective drainagedepth, Storm water from fields,
which may enter thesedrainsthrough regular drain inlets, will not be considered
in design unless stability is a problem, becauseneither the quantity nor the
duration of flow would normally adverselyaffect the efficiency of the drain.
Capacitiesfor open collector drains shouldbe sufficient to carry normal flow
of ground-water accretions,irrigation surfacewaste, estimatedstormflow, and
the quantitiesdeliveredto the collector drainsby relief and interceptor drains.
Capacitiesfor open outlet and suboutletdrains shouldbe sufficient to carry
the flows from the collector drains.
Wastewatersin canalwastewaysare sometimesturnedinto opendrainsrather
than being carriedseparatelyto a point of disposal.In this case,the capacity of
the drain must be designedto include the expectedamount of waste, which is
usually the capacityof the canal.
S-27. Structures.--Open drain structumsconsistof inlets to the drain; drops
and chutes; and road, railroad, and canal crossings. Actual stmcturaI design
shouldbe made in accordancewith Reclamationpolicy and standards.
(a) Inlets.-Inlets should be made of corrugatedmetal pipe with a design
coefficient of roughness,II, of 0.021.The pipe canbe galvanized,asphaltdipped,
or polymer coated,dependingon the corrosivity of the soil. The corrosivity can
be best determinedby experiencein the area with highway culverts, existing
drainage stn~ctures,or similar means. The minimum pipe size should be
450 millimeters (18 inches)in diameterto minimize operationand maintenance
costs.Velocity in the pipe shouldnot exceed3 meters (10 feet) per second,and
the minimum pipe slopeshouldbe 0.01. The outlet end of the pipe shouldextend
300 millimeters (12 inches)beyondthe edgeof the normal water surfacein the
drain so that water from the pipe will not drain onto and erode the bank of the
drain. This end of the pipe should also be at least 450 millimeters (18 inches)
abovenormal water surfaceelevationin the drain, seefigure 5-16. Multiple pipes
may be used if required. Headwalls are not necessary,although riprap may be
requiredon larger struchues.Earth backfill shouldbe compactedaroundthe pipe
for its full length and for 300 millimeters (1 foot) above the pipe. One collar is
requiredfor eachpipe, as shown on figure 5-16.

(!I) Drops and Chutes.-Conventional chute structuresmay be used where

appropriate.Drop structuresshouldbe usedas follows:

Differential drop in water

surface Structure
meters feet
0 to 0.6 0 to 2.0 No structurebut someripmp
0.3 to 1.5 1.0 to 5.0 Rock cascadedrop with sheetpiling
1.5 and over 5.0 andover Baffled apron or rectangular-inclined
(R.1.) drops

(c) Crossings.-Cmssing structures can be of either metal or concretepipe

dependingon the importanceof the crossing,which is measuredby the capital
loss that would result from its failure. In chemically active soils and waters that
would be corrosive to the pipe, the pipe shouldbe protected with an asphaltor
similar coating. Crossing structures for major highways, railroads, and canals
shouldbe designedfor flows from a 25-yearstorm; for lessmajor crossings,flows
from a lo-year storm can be used;and flows from a 5-year storm can beusedfor
roadswithin a field or for farm ditches.Circular pipe culverts canbe placedwith
a maximum of 50 percentof their diameterbelow gradeline;however, 25 percent
or 0.3 meter (1 foot) maximum is thepreferredlimit. Pipe-arch,corrugated-metal
culverts, if justified, canbeplacedwith about20 percentof the “rise” valuebelow
gradeline.The pipe shouldextend beyondthe toe of the fill, and collars should
be placedon the pipe as required. h4aximumvelocity for a full pipe shouldbe
about 1.5meters (5 feet) per second.A siphon-typestructureshouldnot be used
for drainagecrossingsbecauseof the variation in flow. During low flows, any
transported sediment will be depositedin the siphon, and without scheduled
maintenance,the crossingwill becomeplugged.
5-28. Natural Channels.-In many instances,a natural channel(Kouns and
Pemberton, 1963)is usedas an open drain for conveyanceof irrigation surface
wastewaterand storm water. The addition of irrigation surfacewaste (or in some
cases,subsurfacedrainageflow) will often changea normally dry streamto one
with a continuousflow, at leastfor the irrigation season.This changecorresponds
to a changefrom an ephemeralstreamto an intermittent or perennialstream.The
continuous wetting of the natural channel banks may result in an unstable
condition when a floodflow occurs.
The stability of the natural channelusedas an open drain shouldbe checked
by a tractive force analysisbasedon particle-sizeanalysesor plasticity indicesof
soil textures.Stability shouldbe determinedfor 5-year frequencyfloodflow, plus
irrigation waste flow. The tractive forces usedto check stability, in addition to
being affected by wetted banks, am also adjusted for the type of sediment
transportedby the channel.If instability is indicated, control structureswill be

-l-l \
k__ --_2:‘:
_-____ t.;:




Figure 5-17.Joint design for @id pipe drains. Drawing 103-D-1663.


S-29. Stage Construction.-Stage construction is sometimesused when an

open drain must be excavatedin saturatedunstablematerial suchas fme sands,
fine sandy loams, silts, and silt loams. In stageconstruction, the portion of the
drain sectionthat will remainrelatively stableis excavatedandthe banksallowed
to drain and stabilizebefore the next stageof excavationis started.This process
is continueduntil designgradeis reached.Drains requiring this type of construc-
tion can be readily anticipatedduring the initial investigationsof an area when
casingsmust be installedto keephand-augeredholes,below the water table,open.
Estimating costs for stage construction presentsproblems for the engineer
becauseof the difficulty in determininghow many stageswill berequiredandthe
time requiredbetweenstages.If constructioncanbe scheduledfor the noniniga-
tion season,drawdown canberelatively rapid andthe drain will stabilizequickly.
If the nonirrigation seasonis short and the water table is constantly being
recharged,the stageconstructionmight extendover a l- or 2-year period.For this
situation, it would probably be more economicalto make eachstagea separate
contractor schedulethe work to be doneby O&M (operationand maintenance)
personnelwhen excavationconditionsam suitable.
Stageconstructioncostsfor open drainsvary with many factors but could go
as high as 50 percentover what the drain would cost if completedin one stage.

D. Pipe Drains
5-30. Introduction.-No&y, pipe drainsareusedwhen they are lower in
capitalandannualcoststhan opendrains.The computationof annualcostsshould
include, in addition to the construction and maintenancecosts, values for the
right-of-way costs and for the loss of project income from land in open drains.
Comparisonof the environmental and esthetic valuesbetween open and pipe
drainsshouldalso be made.
In general,pipe drains shouldonly collect and remove ground water, but in
specialinstances,they may haveto carry storm water or excessirrigation surface
waste. When waters other than ground water are collected,larger pipe must be
usedto carry the increasedflow andto preventcloggingfrom surfacedebris.Pipes
shouldbe designedto flow only half full when surfacewater is collected.
S-31. Pipe for Drains.-Pipe drainsconsistof buried pipe with sometype of
openingsin the pipe through which water can enter. The water is then carried in
the pipe to a point of disposal. The pipe is usually manufactured from clay,
concrete,plastic, or any of the suitablematerial that will not deterioraterapidly
with time.
Ordinarily, clay and concretedrainpipeis placedwith 3millimeter (l/%inch)
openingsor cracksbetweenthe pipelengthsthroughwhich water entersthe drain.
Somerigid pipes are manufactured with holes or similar specialprovision for
water entry, but they are usually too expensivefor generaluse.
Pipe joints ate sealed when pipe drains are laid under canals, railroads,
highways, or near trees. Any one of the standardsealingmethodsusedin laying
sewer pipe is appropriate.Sealingprevents piping soil into the drain that may

result in damageto the overlying structure, and keepsroots from entering and
clogging the dram
Concreteand clay drainpipeis manufacturedwith plain tongue-and-groove,
or bell-and-spigotends. With the latter two end types, the adjoining sections
interlock, making them easier to place and hold to grade and alignment than
sectionswith plain ends.For all types of pipe ends,the openingsbetweenpipe
sectionsmust be maintainedat about 3 millimeters (l/8 inch). To ensurethat the
joint spacingwill be maintained,the bell and-spigotandtongue-and-groovepipe
shouldbe provided with wedgesfor centering,andlugs for spacing.A suggested
arrangementfor placing thesewedgesandlugsis shownon figure 5-17, but other
methodscan be usedif approvedby the ContractingOfficer. It is suggestedthat
3-millimeter (l/8-inch) spacerlugs beusedbecausesmalleropeningsmay not be
sufficient and larger openingscould allow entry of soil and envelopematerial.
Corrugated plastic pipe is manufactured in long rolls, or 6-meter (20-foot)
joints, the length dependenton the diameter.Water entersthe pipe through slots
or holescut in the valley portion of the corrugations.The openingsare generally
evenlyspacedaroundthe circumferenceof thepipe andmust provide aminimum
of 2,120 squaremillimeters of openinlet areaper meter (1 squareinch per foot)
of pipe. A seriousproblem occurs when the pipe is stretchedduring the laying
process,causingthe slots or holesto widen, which allows the gravel envelopeto
enter the pipe. Stretching the pipe also has the disadvantageof reducing its
strength.Figure 5-18 showsa typical sectionof corrugatedplastic pipe. Nonper-
forated corrugatedplastic pipe is usedin those areaswhere sealedjoints would
be specifiedif concreteor clay pipe were used.Successivelengthsof plasticpipe
are connectedby manufactured splicers or by splitting a length of the same
diameterpipe and laying it around abutting ends of pipe, seefigure 5-18. The
split pipe is then wrappedwith plastic tape or otherwisetied in place.
Corrugatedplastic pipe is currently being manufacturedin sizesfrom 75 to
9OOmillimeter (3- to 36-inch) nominal diameter.This sizerangeis adequatefor
most agricultuml drainageapplications.The costsof constructionat the drainage
site will usually determinethe type of material usedfor drainpipe.
S-32. Pipe Specifications.-Unreinforced concretepipe specificationsfor
closeddrainsmay be either ASTM C 14,C 412, C 118,or C 444, latestrevisions.
In additionto therequirementsof thesespecifications,the following requirements
must be met:
(a) A minimum of 10 sacksof cementper cubic meter (7-l/2 sacksper cubic
yard) of concretemust be used. A low-alkali cement is required for dminpipe
except where it is positively known that the aggregatesto be used are not
sufficiently reactive to require the low-alkali limitation. When concreteaggm-
gatesam reactive,a low-alkali cementshouldbeusedto protect againstdisruptive
(b) All pipe shouldbe steamcuredfor a minimum of 48 hoursbetween38 and
60 “C (100 and 140“F) or shouldbe kept moist cured for not lessthan7 days.All
surfacesof the pipe shallbe kept moist continuouslyfrom the time of completion

of molding to the completion of the curing period. The ambient temperature

within the curing enclosureshall not exceed38 “C (100 OF)within 2 hours after
completion of molding: thereafter, the temperature shall be brought to the
specifiedcuring temperatureand maintainedfor the specifiednumberof hours.
The ambienttemperaturerise within the steamcuring enclosureshall not exceed
17 “C (30 OF’,)per hour. Pipe shall be protected from temperaturesbelow 5 “C
(40 “P) before and during curing operations.
(c) A maximum absorptionof not more than 6.5 percent,5-hour boiling test,
in accordancewith paragraph18, ASTM C 14, is required.
(d) Pipeshall be air-dried for not less than 30 daysprior to placementin the
groundunlessotherwisedirectedby the Contracting Officer.
(e) Calcium chloride shall not be usedin the cementfor concretepipe.
Theseadditionalrequirementsare considerednecessaryto producepipe that
will have a long, useful life. When concretepipe is usedfor manholesor when
reinforcedconcretepipe is usedunderrailroadsor whereit is known that concrete
pipe drains will be exposedto sulfate concentrationsamounting to more than
0.2 percent in soils or 1,000 p‘artsper million dissolved in ground water, the
concreteis to bemadewith type V cement.If the aggregatesto be usedare known
to be reactive,low-alk‘alitype V cementshouldbeused.In areaswhere the sulfate
environmentis not severe,cementother than type V may be used.
Clay pipe specificationsfor closeddrainsmay be either ASTM C 4, C 13, or
c 200.
Plasticpipe for usein Reclamationdrainagesystemsshall conform to Bureau
of ReclamationStandardSpecificationsM-19 for CorrugatedPolyethyleneand
Polyvinyl-Chloride Drainage Pipe, July 1992. Specialconsiderationmust be
given to limiting the stretch of corrugatedpipe to 5 percentduring installation to
preventfailure by collapse.Also, the slots or holesin the pipe shouldbe carefully
inspectedto ensurethey arefree of tagendsor othermaterial. Tagendsandpoorly
cut slots or holes offer collection points for silts, clays, mineral deposits,and
bacteriathat often sealoff water inlet areas.
S-33. Collectors-Deep, opendrainsor naturaldminagewaysnormally serve
asthe collectordrain for pipedrain systems:however,pipedrainsmust sometimes
be dischargedinto a sump and the drainagewater disposedby pumping into
shallow surfacedrains. A thorough study of collector and suboutlet conditions
andrequirementsis M important considerationin planninga pipe drainagesystem
which will function satisfactorily.
5-34. Depth of Pipe Drains.-The depth of pipe drains is always a major
consideration,becausethe successor failure of the entire drainagesystemmay
dependupon this factor. The depthwill usuallydependupon the outlet elevation,
the generaltopographyof the ground surface, and the position of the aquifer or
water-bearingstrata in the soil ptofil-all in relation to the required ground-
water elevation. Becausethe primary function of a pipe drain is to collect and
remove ground water, the pipe should be placed, if possible, in a relatively

In casesof deep, uniform profiles, depthsof drains can be determinedby

analyzingcosts.To accuratelyapplythis method,drainageengineersshouldhave
experiencedata to draw from regarding costs for excavation, gravel envelope,
andfurnishingandlaying pipe. Anotherdatafactor needed,andprobablythemost
important, is the travel speedof the drain-layingequipmentusedin the area.
If drainshavebeen previously built in the area,analysesof the bid abstracts
on those drains are a good starting point. Weighted average costs could be
determinedandtabulatedto arrive at an estimatedcost per foot of dram.
Thetabulationcould be simplified by combiningrelateditems andexpressing
the costsasa percentof the total as in the following example:

Summary of cost by item

Item Percent
Earth work 42
Gravel envelope 2
Total 100

Expressingthe costsas a percentageof the total may be useful in projecting

coststo nearbyareaswheredrains havenot beenconstructed;however, estimat-
ing costsbasedon constructionestimatesis more reliable.
Next, someideaof the rate of installingdrainsmust be developed.Figure5-19
shows the rates of installation by drain depth for three different trenchersas
experiencedon variousReclamationprojects. The information from this figure,
along with the drainagerequirementper hectare (acre) drained,can be usedto
determinethe cost per hectare(acre)relatedto the depth of drain. The following
examplea illustmte typical procedures:

Example 1: High-speedtrencher.

(a) Averagetotal cost of a 2.4-meter @-foot) deepdrain is $11.52per linear

meter ($3.51 per linear foot) and this cost is distributedas follows:

(1) Excavation-42 percent

(2) Pips-42 percent
(3) Gravel envelope16 percent

mhe given costsmay be different from current costs;however,the procedure

in the examplesis still valid.




0 3 6 9 12 15
Figure 5-19.-Rate ofinstallation of drains by drain depth forthree different types of trenching
machines. Drawing 103-D-1664.

(b) The drainagerequirementvaries with drain depthas shownbelow:

Length of Length of
Drain depth, Drain spacing drain per drain per
meters feet meters feet hectare, meters acre, feet
1.4 4.5 108 355 92.6 123.0
1.5 5.0 152 498 65.8 87.5
1.7 5.5 184 605 54.3 72.0
1.8 6.0 211 693 47.4 62.9
2.0 6.5 234 768 42.7 56.8
2.1 7.0 255 835 39.2 52.2
2.4 8.0 288 945 34.7 46.1
(c) Cost per minute basedonbid abstractsof operating&high-speed trencher
canbe calculatedas follows:

Excavationcost = ($11.52/m)(O.42) = $4.84/m ($1.47/ft)

Cost per hectare (acre) for excavation = (4.84/m)(34.7 m/hectare) =
Rate of installation from figure 5-19 = 3 m/min (10 ft/min)
Cost of excavationper minute = ($4.84/m)(3 m/min) = $14.7O/min

(d) Cost per meter (foot) of gravel envelope = ($11.52/m)(O.16) = $1.84/m

Cost per meter (foot) of pipe = ($11.52/m)(O.42) = $4.84/m ($1.47/ft)
Using similar assumptionsandmethodsfor eachdrain depth,table5-7 canbe
Table 5-7,Cost relationships for drains installed with high-speed equipment.U

Drain Drain Length Time cost,

depth, spacing. per hectare, per hectare, Cost in dollars per hectare dollars
meteni meters meters minutes Excavation Pipe Envelope Total per meter
1.4 108 92.6 9.22 136 450 170 756 8.16
1.5 152 65.8 7.22 106 321 121 548 8.33
1.7 184 54.3 6.60 96 264 99 459 8.46
1.8 211 47.4 6.47 96 230 86 412 8.70
2.0 234 427 7.02 104 208 79 391 9.16
2.1 255 39.2 7.59 111 190 72 373 9.51
2.4 288 34.7 11.39 168 168 64 400 11.53

Drain Drain Length Time cost,

depth, SPacinp, per acre, per acre, Cost in dollars uer acre dollats
feet feet feet minutes Excavation Pipe Envelope Total per foot
4.5 355 123.0 3.73 55 182 69 306 2.49
5.0 498 87.5 2.92 43 130 49 222 2.54
5.5 605 72.0 2.67 39 107 40 186 2.58
6.0 693 62.9 2.62 39 93 35 167 2.66
6.5 768 56.8 2.84 42 84 32 158 2.78
7.0 835 52.2 3.07 45 77 29 151 2.89
8.0 945 46.1 4.61 68 68 26 162 3.51

l/ These costs and relationships may vary from correct values, but the procedures are similar.

From table5-7, the drainagecost per hectare(acre)is at a minimum for drains

placedabout 2.1 meters(7 feet) below groundsurface.The table also showsthat
the cost per meter (foot) increaseswith depth but givesno indication as to what
optimum depth to place the drains. Figure 5-20 shows thesecost relationships
for a high-speedtrencher.

g 800

g 60C I-
a /

K 4oc I- r
00 2oc -
1.2 1.6 2.0 2.1
Figure 5-20a-Cost relationships by drain depth for drains installed with
ahigh-speed tren&er (metric units). Drawing 103-D-1665.

6 B


Figure S-2Ob.-Cost relationships by drain depth for drains installed with
a high-speed trencher (U.S. customary units). Dewing 103-D-1665.

Four other analyseswere made using the same basic assumptionsused in

example 1 with the following alternatives:

Example2Xonventiona.l trencherwith variablespeeds.

Example 3-Constant speedtrencher.
Example4-Conventional trencherwithhalf the unit pipe costsof example1.
Example SConventional trencher with half the unit excavation costs of
example 1.

Figm 5-21 showsthe relationshipsbetweencostper hectare(acre)anddepth

to drain for examples1,2, and 3. This figure indicatesthat drainsinstalledwith


6 8 IO

400 L$



300 5

“7 b !OO


$ Least
i cost
1.8 2.4 3.0 i


Figure 5-21.Aost relationships by drain depth for three different trenchers. Drawing 103-D-

high-speedtrenchersat depthsof about 2.1 meters (7 feet) will cost the least.If
conventional trenchers are used, drains should be placed about 2.6 meters
(8.5 feet) below ground level.
Figure 5-22 showsefiects of reducingexcavationandpipe costsby one-half,
based on drains installed with a conventional trencher, examples 4 and 5.
Reducingexcavationcostsby 50 percentdoesnot affect selectionof dmin depth.
However, reducingpipe costs by 50 percentchangesoptimum depth of drain to
2.4 meters(8.0 feet) insteadof 2.6 meters (8.5 feet).


4 6 8 IO 12
875 150



250 lo0
1.2 1.8 2.4 3.0 3.6
Figure 5-22.-Cast effects by drain depth as a result of reducing excavation and pipe costs by
onehalf for aconventional trencher. Drawing 103-D-1667.

Resultsfrom the precedingexamplesindicatethat the rate of installing drains

influencesdrain depthsandcostsmore thanany other singlefactor. Reducingthe
unit costof excavationwould havegreatereffect on reducingthetotal per-hectare
(acre)cost than reducingthe cost of pipe.
S35. Grade and Alignment.-The proper installation and functioning of
pipe drainsrequirerigid control of gradeandalignment.The minimum gradefor
a closeddrain should be l/1,000; however, steepergradesare more desirable.
With steepergrades,the control requiredduring constructioncanbe lessexacting
andlesschanceof drain cloggingexists.With the low flows that occur at various
times in many pipe drains, any departurefrom establishedgrade will result in
solid material collecting in the lows which may eventually clog the drain. The
maximum allowable departurefrom gradeshould not exceed 10 percent of the
inside diameter of the drainpipe, and in no case should the departure exceed
0.03 meter (0.1 foot). Where departuresoccur, the rate of return to established
grade shouldnot exceed2 percent of the pipe diameterper joint of concreteor
clay pipe orper 0.9-meter(3-foot) lengthof plasticpipe. Indetemuning the grade
of a proposeddrain, use a slopeeasyto work with in the field. For example,it is
easierfor theContractor to establishandfor theinspectorto checkgradeif a slope
of 0.002 is usedinsteadof 0.00213.
Themaximum allowabledeparturefrom alignmentshouldnot exceed20 per-
cent of the insidediameterof the drainpipewith a rate of return to the established
line not to exceed5 percent per joint of concrete or clay pipe, or a 0.9-meter
(3-foot) length of plastic pipe.
5-36. Envelope Material.-Because all closeddrains are pipe and may be
located in all kinds of material, it is good practice to lay the pipe in a suitable
envelope.Suchan envelopeis usedto providea permeablepath for water to move
into the pipe openingsfrom the basematerial and to hold the basematerial in
place.Thegradedenvelopematerialalsoprovidesneededsupportfor the flexible
plasticpipe. This supportin turn reducesthe chancesof excessdeflection of the
pipe and possible crushing during backfilling operations. The top of joints
betweenplain-endpipe sectionsshouldbe coveredwith asphaltbuilding paper
or plastic strips to preventthe finer particlesof the envelopematerial from falling
through the joint openings under the action of gravity. This covering is not
recommendedfor bell-and-spigotor tongue-and-gmovepipe, or perforatedplas-
tic pipe. An envelopelessthan 100millimeters (4 inches) thick aroundthe pipe
probably would be sufficient, but becauseof the physical difficulty in placing
envelopematerialuniformly to a smallthiclmess,it is more economicalto specify
a NO-millimeter (4-inch) thickness.
Envelopegradationrequirementsfor basematerialsof silt loams, sandyclay
loams, and loamscan usually be more flexible than for basematerialsthat have
textures of fine or very fine sands.Basematerial is that zone of soil material in
which the drainpipeis physically located.The velocity at the interfacebetween
the finer textured base materials and the envelopematerial is so low that the
fme-texturedbasematerial will not move into the envelopeevenunderexcessive

leachingconditions. It hasbeenobservedthat basematerialshaving a predomi-

nanceof particleswhich rangein sizefrom 0.05 to 0.4 millimeter tendto be easily
moved.As a rule of thumb, this material will passthe No. 40 sieveandberetained
by the No. 200 sieve. Velocities as low as 0.03 meter (0.1 foot) per secondwill
movethis sizeof material.For thesesoils,it is critical thatplacementof a properly
designedand installedgradedgravel envelopebe a part of the drain construction
The gradationrequirementsshouldnot be changedevery time a different tex-
tured soil is encountered.From borings taken about every 180meters (600 feet)
along the centerlineof a drain, the most permeablebasematerial for significant
lengths of the drain should be determinedand the envelopedesignedfor this
material. Different gradation requirementscan be specified if there are long
sections of drain where the gradation and hydraulic conductivity of the base
material indicatethat a less expensiveor easierto obtain envelopematerial can
beused.However, a properenvelopematerialmust bedesignedandusedfor these
sectionsor the overall effectivenessof the drain might be impaired.
The envelopeshouldbe well graded,free of vegetablematter, clays, andother
deleterioussubstanceswhich could, in time, changethe hydraulic conductivity
of the envelope.For sieveanalysisof the envelopematerial, 100percent should
passthe 38.l-millimeter (l- l/Xnch) clear, squarescreenopenings,andnot more
than 5 percent shouldpassthe 0.297-millimeter (No. 50 United StatesStandard
Series)sieve. Becausefew pit-run sandsand gravels meet theserequirements,
most envelopematerial must be machinesorted.Washingis required only when
cleansandandgravel arenot plentiful andthe only sourceis from pits containing
silt- or clay-coatedmaterial.
An envelopematerial is consideredto be well gradedwhen all particle sizes
from the largestto the smallestare present.To determinewhether a material is
well graded,coefficients describingthe slope and shapeof the gradationcurve
havebeendefined as follows:

Coefficient of uniformity, C, = 2
Coefficient of curvature,C, =

D~o,&o, and060 = diameter of particles in millimeters (mm) passing the
lo-, 30-, and 60-percent points on the envelope
material gradationcurve.

To be well graded,the coefficient of uniformity must be greater than 4 for

gravelsand greaterthan 6 for sandsand, in addition, the coefficient of curvature
must be between 1 and 3 for both gravelsand sands.

In somelocations,availablesourcesof envelopematerial make the previous

gradationlimits uneconomicalbecausethe majority of the pit run material would
passthe No. 30 sieve. For these locations,material passingthe No. 200 sieve
shouldberemovedand ahydraulicconductivity testrun on theremainingsample.
Table5-8 showsthe gradationrelationshipbetweenthe basematerial and gravel
envelopefor most soils. Theserelationshipsare basedon both field observations
and laboratory work and have been found to work satisfactorily under the
low-headconditionsfound nearagricultural drains.

TableS-k-Gradation relationship between base material and

diameters of graded envelope material.

Base material,
40 percent Gradation limitations for envelope (diameter of particles, mm)
retained Lower limits, Upper limits,
(diameter of percent retained percent retained
particles, mm) 0 40 70 90 95 100 0 40 70 90 100

0.02-0.05 9.52 2.0 0.81 0.33 0.3 0.074 38.1 10.0 8.7 2.5 0.59
0.05-0.10 9.52 3.0 1.07 0.38 0.3 0.074 38.1 12.0 10.4 3.0 0.59
0.10-0.25 9.52 4.0 1.30 0.40 0.3 0.074 38.1 15.0 13.1 3.8 0.59
0.25-1.00 9.52 5.0 1.45 0.42 0.3 0.074 38.1 20.0 17.3 5.0 0.59

Figures5-23a, 5-23b, and 5-24 show excavationamountsfor variouswidths

and depthsof trenchesand the lOO-millimeter(4-inch) gravel envelopeamounts
for variouspipe sixes.
5-37. Determining Hydraulic Conductivity of Envelope Material.-In
most cases,the hydraulic conductivity of the envelopematerial will be adequate
when all the material is retainedon the No. 30 screen.However, the presenceand
effect on hydraulic conductivity of any deleterioussubstancesnot readily visible
can be determinedby the following hydraulic conductivity test:

(a) Equipment.-Equipment required is as follows:

(1) 300millimeter (1Zinch) lengthof 200-millimeter (g-inch) irrigation pipe.

(2) StandardNo. 30 screen.
(3) Four small metal screws.
(4) Siliconecaulking.
(5) Constant head device such as an overflow pipe inserted 50 millimeters
(2 inches)below the top of the itrigation pipe.

The irrigation pipe shouldfit easilyinto the standardscreen.Fastenit in place

with screwsandsealwith siliconecaulk.Etch a line on the insideof the irrigation
pipe 180millimeters (7 inches) abovethe screen.


‘meters) 40 cm 50 cm 6Ocm 70 cm 80 cm 90 cm 100 cm
0.05 0.020 0.025 0.030 0.035 0.040 0.045 0.050
0.10 0.040 0.050 0.060 0.070 0.080 0.090 0.100
0.15 0.060 0.075 0.090 0.105 0.120 0.135 0.150
0.20 0.080 0.100 0.120 0.140 0.160 0.780 0.200
0.25 0.100 0.125 0.150 0.175 0.200 0.225 0.250
0.30 0.120 0.150 0.180 0.210 0.240 0.270 0.300
0.40 0.160 0.200 0.240 0.280 0.320 0.360
0.50 0.200 0.250 0.300 0.350 0.400 0.450 ::2
0.240 0.300 0.360 0.420 0.480 0.540
E 0.280 0.350 0.420 0.490 0.560 0.630 %i
0:80 0.320 0.400 0.480 0.560 0.640 0.720 0:800
0.90 0.360 0.450 0.630 0.720 0.810 0.900
1.00 0.400 0.500 Kz 0.700 0.800 0.900
1.50 0.600 0.750 0:900 1.050 1.200 1.350 ::%i
2.00 0.800 1.000 1.200 1.400 1.600 1.800
2.50 1.000 1.250 1.500 1.750 2.250 ;Ez
3.00 1.200 1.500 1.800 2.100 GE 2.700 3:OOo
3.50 1.400 1.750 2.100 2.450 2:800 3.150 3.500
4.00 1.600 2.400 2.800 3.200 3.600
4.50 1.800 E 2.700 3.150 3.600 4.050 tii
L500 L2000 2:500 L3000 3.500 L4000 L4500 L5’000


10cm 15 cm 20cm 25cm 30cm 37.5cm 45cm 52.5cm 60cm
0.095 0~123 0.153 0.181 0.213 0.264 0.319 0.376 0.439


10 cm

cl- Of

Figure 5-23a.-Excavation amounts forvarious trench widths and depths and lOO-millimeter
gravel envelope amounts for various pipe sizes (metric units). Drawing 103-D-684.




4in. I 6in. 1 Bin. 1 loin. 1 l2in. I l5in. I IBin. 1 21/n. 24in.
0.030 1 0.049 1 0.061 1 0.072 1 0.085 1 0.105 1 0.127 1 0.150 0.175

* Yardages are approximate but satisfactory for estimating purposes.


‘i r’&+

‘0,’ ;. ‘, ‘.., ‘0’

. . . .”
.‘. :
.’ :‘@I
:. 0
;i;; : : .‘,.’
Eb .o. .’


Figure 5-23b.Gxcavation amounts forvarious trench widths and depths and 4-inch gravel
envelope amounts for various pipe sizes (U.S. customary units). Drawing 103-D-684.

Q = Rate of inflow through one

longitudinal gop (ft. /d)
K = Hydraulic conductivity of gravel
envelope (ft. Id)
fl=Average potential difference (ft.)
Gap width
m-Proportionality constant-7
brave1 envelope

Figure 5-24.-How entering a spaced drain from a gravel envelope for concrete or clay pipe.
Drawing 103-D-1668.

(b) Procedure.-

(1) Fill the irrigation pipe to the etchedline with the envelopematerial. Drop
it on a hard rubber pad 10 times from a height of about 25 millimeters (1 inch).
Refdl to the line with envelope.
(2) Slowly immersethe apparatusinto a larger containerof water until water
risesabovethe envelopematerial and all air has beenremovedfrom the sample.

(3) Apply water to the top to maintain a constanthead above the envelope
material while the water outsidethe apparatusis removed.
(4) Maintain the constant head under free-flow conditions for a 5-minute
(5) Catch, measure,and record the effluent for a l-minute interval. Hold a
constanthead for another25 minutes and again catch, measure,and record the
effluent for 1 minute. Repeatthis procedureafter another30 minutes of constant
head. By the end of an hour, the presenceof any material that might causea
reduction in hydraulic conductivity should be evident. In some of the less
permeableenvelopematerials, a reduction in hydraulic conductivity may not
becomeevidentfor 24 hours or more. Therefore,the test on any material that has
a hydraulic conductivity of lessthan about 750 millimeters (30 inches)per hour
at the end of 1 hour should be continuedand measurementstaken at the end of
12 and 24 hours. If a substantialreduction occurs in the hydraulic conductivity
betweenthe 12thand 24th hour, the test shouldbe continuedanda measurement
taken at the end of 36 hours. If another substantialreduction in the hydraulic
conductivity occurs between the 24th and 36th hour and the causecannot be
readily determined,the material should not be used for envelopematerial. To
avoid difficulties from air bubbles,the water shouldbe deaerated,especiallyif
test is for extendedperiods.
(c) Calculations.-Use the Darcy flow equationin the form:

K=$ (14)
K = hydraulic conductivity in centimeters(inches)per hour;
Q = volume of water passingthrough the material in cubic centimeters
A = cross-sectionalareain squarecentimeters(inches);
t = time in hours for which sampleis collected(1/6Othof anhour for most
L = length of material column in centimeters(inches);and
h = height of water level abovebaseof cylinder in centimeters(inches).

As a generalguideline,a hydraulic conductivity rate of an envelopematerial

which is 10 times the rate of the basematerial is adequate.It has also been
observed that envelope materials which have hydraulic conductivity rates in
excessof 150meters (500 feet) per day [635 centimeters(250 inches)per hour]
are difficult to placewithout segregation.If segregationoccurs,voids developin
the envelopewhich allow fines from the basematerial to move into the drain.
5-38. Gap Width, Length of Pipe Sections,and Hydraulic Conductivity
of Envelope.-In designinga closeddrain, it is assumedthat: (a) the pipe will
accept the drainagewater when it arrives at the dminline, and (b) the pipe will
carry away the water without a buildup of pressurewithin the pipe. Unless these

assumptionsam met, the drain will not function as intended,and the land may
not be effectively drained.To meet the first assumptionrequiresconsiderationof
the relationship among the hydraulic conductivity of the gravel envelope,the
length of pipe sections,and the gap width betweenpipe sections.To meet the
secondassumptionrequiresthat the pipesizeanddrain slopebe sufficient to carry
the water away after it entersthe pipe. The designfor the secondassumptionis
explainedin sections5-46 and 547.
The theoreticalrelationshipbetween rate of flow, hydraulic conductivity of
the gravel envelope,and the head loss due to convergenceof flow to the gap
openingsbetween lengthsof pipe has beendeterminedby W. T. Moody of the
Bureauof Reclamation(Moody, 1960).His relationshipis valid for all conditions
of thecloseddrain, from empty to flowing full, but is not valid if the drain is under
pressure.Moody concluded that increasing the hydraulic conductivity of the
gravel envelopewas a more effective method for increasingthe rate of inflow
than increasingthe gapwidth. The curvesand equationson figure 5-24 provide
a meansof analyzingthe aboverelationships.
For corrugatedplastic pipe having close, uniformly spacedslots or perfora-
tions throughout the length of the dram, figure 5-25 can be usedto analyzethe
relationshipsdevelopedby Moody. The curveson this figure were derived from
electricanalogstudiesperformedby Reclamationpersonnel(Mantei, C. L., 1971,
The designcurves in this sectionCM be used in severalways. Generally, the
rate of designinflow will be known before using thesecurves.If a certain length
of pipe is more readily availablethan others, the minimum required hydraulic
conductivity of the envelopecan be determined.If the envelopematerial to be
usedis known and its hydraulic conductivity determined,the maximum permis-
siblepipe lengthcanbe determined.Wherethe basematerialis highly permeable,
it should be testedto determineif its hydraulic conductivity meets the requim-
ments. If it does, there is no need to import envelope material becausethe
excavatedmaterial will servethe purpose.Drams constructedof plasticdrainpipe
with a trencherrequire envelopematerial to be installedwith the pipe to provide
supportfor it during backfilling operations.For theseconditions, it may be less
costly to provide a gradedenvelopethan to use excavatedmaterials.
As anexample,assumethat a RIO-millimeter(4-inch), corrugatedplastic drain
is to be installed and that it will run three-fourths full. The design inflow is
0.000013cubic meter per secondper meter (0.00014cubic foot per secondper
foot) of dram. Assuminga 100~millimeter(4-inch) gravelenvelope,thehydraulic
conductivity neededfor the drain can be determinedand the suitability of the
availableenvelopematerial canbe checkedin the laboratory.

0 sRate of inflow per meter (ft.) of pipe,m’/d (ft?/d)

K = Hydraulic conductivity of gravel envelope in
m/d (ft./d)
H = Average potentiol difference, meter (ft.)
n = e/b

IO.5 3.2

5 10.0 \

2 9.5


6.0 - I.6


- 1.6


Figure 5-25.440~ entering a spaced drain from a gravel envelope for plastic pipe. Drawing

Using the relationshipsshown on figure 5-25:

Q = 0.000013ms/s/m (0.00014fts/s/ft) = 1.12ms/d/m (12.1 ftW/ft)

b = 57.2 millimeters (2.25 inches) = 0.0572meter (0.1875foot)
e = 102millimeters (4.00 inches)
= 5 1 millimeters (2.00 inches)
i = 0.75 (102) = 76 millimeters (3.00 inches)
H =b+e= 159millimeters (6.25 inches)

& (22 + 29 $ = 127millimeters (5.02 inches) =

0.127meter (0.418 foot),

n = ; = 1.78

cp= (9.5) [from lOO-millimeter(4-inch) pipe curve on figure 5-251, and

K=-e= 1.12 = 16.2meters (53.2 feet) per day =

bjjq (0.0572)(0.127)(9.5)

67.6 centimeters(26.6 inches)per hour.

The gravel envelopematerial requiresa hydraulic conductivity of 67.6 centi-

meters(26.6 inches)per hour [ 16.2meters(53.2 feet) per day] if a lOO-millimeter
(4-inch) envelopeis used.The smallestdiameterpipe usedin a drainagesystem
will alwaysrequire the greatesthydraulic conductivity for the envelopematerial.
If the pit run material had a hydraulic conductivity of only 51 centimeters
(20 inches)per hour [12.2 meters (40 feet per day)], the material shouldhave to
be processedto remove someof the fines to increasethe hydraulic conductivity
or elsethe thiclmessof the envelopewould haveto be increased.This increased
thicknesscanbe determinedby substitutingthe measuredhydraulic conductivity
into the previousequation:

HdL 1.12
= 0.169 meter (0.556 foot) = 169milli-
Kbq (12.2)(0.0572)(9.5)
meters (6.7 inches).

andH = 201 millimeters (7.9 inches).


Assumingthe water level canbe allowedto standjust at the top of the envelope
with the pipe running full:

H = b+e = 57.2+e = 201,and

e = 143.8.Use an envelopethickness,e, of 150millimeters (6 inches).

Thedesignershouldcomparethecostof usingthisextraenvelopematerialagainst
thecost of processingthe pit run materialbeforemakinghis recommendations,
Many possiblecombinationsof pipe diameter,pipe length, envelopethick-
ness,and envelopehydraulic conductivity will satisfy the inflow requirements.
All reasonablepossibilitiesshould be investigatedto determinethe most satis-
factory and least expensive combination. However, compensatingfor low
hydraulic conductivity by increasing the envelope thickness should be done
cautiously.Never use envelopematerial having lesshydraulic conductivity than
the basematerial.
In the previous example,if the lOO-millimeter (4-inch) diameter pipe were
selected, it would be necessaryto process the envelope material so that a
lOOmillimeter (4-inch) envelopecould be used,and a 250-millimeter (lo-inch)
envelopewould be requiredif the material was not processed.Also, a 150-milli-
meter (6-inch) diameterpipe could be usedwith a lOO-millimeter(4-inch) gravel
envelopeof pit run material. Cost comparisonscan be made on these different
combinationsas follows:

Furnishingand laying lOO-millimeter

(4-inch) pipe . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $1.57 per meter
($0.48 per foot)
Furnishingand laying 150-millimeter
(6-inch) pipe . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $2.13per meter
($0.65 per foot)
Furnishingandplacing pit run material . . . . . . . $5.56 per cubic meter
($4.25 per cubic yard)
Fumishing and placingprocessedmaterial . . . . . $7.65 per cubic meter
($5.85 per cubic yard)
The gravel envelopeyardagewould be:

lOOmillimeter (4-inch) pipe, lOO-millimeter

(4-inch) processedenvelope . . . . . . . . . . . 0.095 ms/m
lOOmillimeter (4-inch) pipe, 250-millimeter
(lo-inch) pit run envelope . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.376 ms/m
(0.15 yds/ft)
15Omillimeter (6-inch) pipe, lOO-millimeter
(4-inch) pit run envelope . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.123 ms/m
(0.049 yds/ft)

CosWfor 100meters(328 feet) and 100feet (30 meters)of drainline are:

100 meters 100 feet

lOOmillimeter (4-inch) pipe . . . . . . . . . . . . $157.00 $48.00

lOOmillimeter (4-&h) processedenvelope . . . 72.(i8 LZ.2.3
Total $229.68 $70.23
lOOmillimeter (4-inch) pipe . . . . . . . . . . . . $157.00 $48.00
250millimeter (lo-inch) pit run envelope . . . . 209.06 63.75
Total $356.06 $111.75
15Omillimeter (6-&h) pipe . . . . . . . . . . . . $213.00 $65.OO
lOOmillimeter (4-inch) pit runenvelope . . . . . 68.38 20.82
Total $281.38 $85.82

Kurrent costsmay be different but the procedureof comparisonis the same.

For this example,the most economicalselectionwould be the lOO-millimeter

(4-inch) diameterpipe witha lOOmillimeter (4-inch) processedgravelenvelope.
S-39. Stability of a Pipe Drain Bed.-For a pipe drain to be as effective as
predictedby the designdata,it shouldbe placedon a stable,undisturbedbed.This
placementcan be accomplishedby installing the pipe in a dry trench where the
basematerialremainsundisturbed.However, pipe drainsusuallyarenot installed
until after the ground-watertablehasrisenhigher thanthe bottom of the proposed
drain, and many of the drainableagricultural soils becomeunstablewhen satu-
There are a number of ways to stabilize a pipe drain bed, but only by
dewateringthe basematerial andinstalling the drainsin stablesoil conditionswill
the drain function at maxims effectiveness.When the base material in the
vicinity of the pipe drain is disturbed,it usually becomeslesspermeable.Since
most of the water enteringthe drain entersthroughthe bottom portion of the pipe,
any lossof hydraulic conductivity in this region increasesheadlossesaroundthe
drain. This headloss causesa higher water table midway betweenspaceddrains
or upslopefor interceptordrains.Unstablesoils in the vicinity of the drain can be
dewateredusing well points. This method is expensive,but may be necessaryfor
an effective concreteor clay drain.
Using a modem trenchingmachine,lightweight plastic pipe, and backfilling
behind the trencher, there is seldom a need for dewatering the basematerial.
However, when the basematerial is highly unstable,the shield may not prevent
the base material from mixing with the envelope. This mixing results in an
envelopewith an indetetminatehydraulic conductivity andmay causethe drain
to malfunction.
When necessary,stabilizationof drain bedscan be accomplishedwith coarse
gravel. In someinstances,this method will requireoverexcavation;in others,the
coarsegravel will work itself down into unstablematerial. Usually, the mixed
material will have a lower hydraulic conductivity than the undisturbed base

material, and the drain efficiency will be reduced.As a result, stabilizationwith

coarsegravel couldbe lessdesirablethan usingwell points when consideringthe
life of the drainagesystem.
Stabilizingmaterialsshouldconform to the following gradation:

Gradation of stabilizing material Percent

Retainedon 127millimeter (Sinch) screen 0
Retainedon 102~millimeter(4-inch) screen oto20
Retainedon 76.2~millimeter(3-&h) screen oto30
Retainedon 50.8~millimeter(2~inch)screen 20 to 50
Retainedon 19.1~millimeter(3/4-inch) screen 20 to 50
Passing4.76-millimeter (No. 4) screen Lessthan

S-40. Laying Pipe Drains-The ftished bed for all pipe should be made
smooth, including removal of material underthe bell end of the bell-and-spigot-
type joint, to ensurethat the full length of pipe will be evenly and uniformly
supported.Whenthe bell-and-spigot-typejoint is used,the bell endshouldalways
beupgrade.Thepipe shouldbe laid with the adjacentendscloselyabuttedagainst
the spacinglugs. A drainpipelengthshouldalwaysbeheldinplace by mechanical
or other meansuntil the next length of pipe is readyto be placed.Any pipe which
is broken, cracked, or objectionablein any way should be discarded.Trenches
that have been inadvertently overexcavatedshould be refilled with selected
material and carefully compactedto original density or brought to grade with
envelopematerial. During placementof the pipe, the water level in the trench
shouldnot exceed50 percent of the pipe diameterabove the invert of the pipe.
Water may beremovedfrom thetrenchby permitting it to flow throughpreviously
installedpipe. A screencover shouldbe placedover the exposedend of the pipe
until the next length of pipe is placed.This screenshouldhavea maximum mesh
openingof 3.2 millimeters (l/8 inch).
Corrugatedplastic pipe requiresspecialprecautionsduring laying operations.
Theplasticpipe must be well beddedandthe beddingmaterial shouldcompletely
surroundthe pipe. The strengthof the pipe dependsupon the beddingmaterial in
addition to the designof the pipe corrugations.Care must be taken when laying
the pipe to keepfrom stretchingit more than 5 percent.Any greaterstretch could
causedeformation of the corrugations and permit collapseof the pipe during
backfilling of the trench. Plasticpipe tendsto float in water, so the trench should
bebackfilled assoonaspossibleafter pipe installation.At siteswhereplasticpipe
is being installed 0.6 meter (2 feet) or more below the water table, it may be
necessaryto addblinding material at the rear of the trenchersto prevent floating
of the drainline.
When a portion of a pipe drain is not neededas a subsurfacedram, such,as
under roads,laterals,and surfacedrains, or where roots could enter dram op/n-
ings, the drams should be constructedwith sealedjoints. All joints should be
sealedby hot-pouredjoint compounds,factory-fabricatedjoining connections,or
rubber gaskets.Trenchesmust be kept free of water whenjoints arebeing sealed

with the hot-pouredcompound.Whenplastic pipe is used,unperforatedpipe with

tapedjoints shouldbe specifiedwhen sealedjoints am required.
The upper end of pipe drains requires protection. Pipe drains can end in a
manholewhen the drain might be extended.If the drain will not be extendedor
if a manholewould be poorly located,a standardpipe plug packedwith oakum
should be used for terminating concrete or clay drains. Specialend plugs are
availablefor plastic pipe.
5-41. Inspecting and Testing Pipe Drains.-More pipe drains haveproven
to be ineffective becauseof poor inspectionduring constructionthan from poor
location or design. The drain should be inspectedfor proper elevation below
ground surface, grade, alignment,joint spacing, collapsing,broken or cracked
pipe, and thiclmessof gravel envelopebefore backfilling. The inspector should
ensurethat the pipe drains and all manholes(including existing manholesused
for outlets for new drains) are free of depositsof mud, sand, gravel, or other
foreign matter, and are in good working condition. Unstable soils may preclude
all but spot checksbefore backfilling.
Before being acceptedas completed,eachdrain shouldbe testedfor obstmc-
tions. If a cleanandunobstructedview of the completeboreof the pipe cannotbe
obtainedbetweenmanholesby use of a high-poweredlight, a test plug having a
diameterabout 25 millimeters (1 inch) less than the drainpipeshouldbe drawn
throughthe drain. When a test plug is used,it shouldbe rigid andtaperedat both
ends.The lengthof the plug, excludingtaperedends,shouldbe twice the diameter
of the pipe. The plug shouldbe pulledby handwith a steadypull. A rope should
be tied to both endsof the plug so that the plug can be backed out if necessary
becauseof an obstruction. The rope also servesas a meansfor determiningthe
location of the plug and obstruction if one is encountered.Pipe 380~millimeter
(15inch) diameterand larger shouldbe inspectedwith a plug having a diameter
which is 90 percentof tbe pipe diameter.For pipe 610millimeters (24 inches)and
larger, the useof a plug for inspectionbecomesdifficult. This sizepipe is seldom
usedfor agriculturaldrainagesystems.Visual inspectionof large diameterpipe is
recommendedwhen practical. If not practical, then other meansof ensuringno
crushed,broken, separatedjoints or other obstructionsexist will have to be used.
When concreteor clay pipe are used,an airfilled ball may be flushed through
the drain in lieu of a rigid plug. Normally, the ball is usedto locateobstructions,
but dueto thejetting actionaroundthe ball, smallquantitiesof sandcanbeflushed
out of the pipe. A waterheadof no more than 0.6 meter (2 feet) shouldbe used
when using this flushing method. The ball shouldfloat through the pipe and not
be pulled. If pulled, the ball can passthrough areasof pulledjoints andpartially
filled pipe without being detected. The ball method does not work well on
perforatedplastic pipe.
S-42. Backfilling Pipe Drain Trench.-During backfilling, care shouldbe
takento ensurethat the drain is not disturbedeithervertically or horizontally. The
earth backfilling of the trenchesshould be done with material from the trench
excavation.Backfill should be pusheddiagonally into the trench and placed in
concurrenthorizontal lifts on both sidesof the trench.

About 0.3 meter (1 foot) of fill shouldbe carefully placedover the envelope
before starting the generalbackfiiing operations.This procedureensuresthat
backfill material doesnot drop directly onto the gravel envelopecausingpipe
displacementor failure. No more than about 300 meters (1,000 feet) of trench
shouldbe openat any one time. In unstablesoils, this opentrench length should
be reduced to 8 meters (25 feet) or less. Rocks larger than 130 millimeters
(5 inches)in diametershouldnot bepermitted within 0.3 meter (1 foot) abovethe
pipe, and frozen earth clods shouldnot be permitted within 1.2 meters (4 feet)
abovethe pipe. Specialcompactionof the backfill is not requiredexcept where
pipe drainscross below irrigation or surfacewater drainageditchesor roads. At
theselocations,earth backfill shouldbe compactedto a depthof 1meter (3 feet)
below the bottom of the ditch or roadbedbeing crossed.The compactionshould
be carried for such lengthsalong the trench that settlementor erosionunder the
road or ditch will not occur.
The top 0.6 meter (2 feet) of a trenchina field shouldbebackfilled with topsoil
that has been laid aside during the excavation of the trench. Excess backfill
material, with all rocks, caliche, and other such material removed, should be
depositedin a uniform windrow over the trench. Puddlingthe trench to restore
the windrow to normal ground surfaceis permitted when carefully done.Under
certainsoil conditions,puddlingcancausechannelingof thewater andmovement
of fine soils into the drain.
Upon completionof the drain all canal,lateral,andfarm ditch linings; fences;
and concreteor asphaltroads should be restored to their original or improved
-3. Manholes.-Manholes are located in pipe drains to serveas junction
boxes, silt and sandtraps, observationwells, dischargemeasurementfacilities,
entrancesto the drain for maintenance,and to permit easy location of the drain
Theream no setcriteria for the spacingof manholes.In general,a manholeshould
beusedat junction points on a drain or at major changesin alignmenton collector
and suboutlet drains. Manholes are not required at every junction of closely
spaced[less than 210 meters (700 feet)] relief or interceptor drainsor collector
drains.Manholesare usuallynot requiredat gradechangesif the gradebecomes
steeper.Specialeffort should be made to locate manholeswhere they will not
interfere with fanning operations.
If a manhole cannot be justified for the purposesdescribedabove,a simple
Y-section, T-section, or holes made in the collector pipe can be used to tie the
relief or interceptordrainsto the collector drain Changesin pipe diametershould
be madeat a manhole,if convenient.
Manholes should extend a minimum of 300 ‘millimeters (12 inches) and a
maximum of 600 millimeters (24 inches) abovethe natural ground surfacefor
easyrecognition.They shouldbe placedin fencerows or at other out-of-the-way
locations if at all possible. Neither a manholenor a cleanoutis required at the
upper endof a line, but this end of the line must be plugged.The location of the
plugged end should be recorded both in fieldbooks and on as-built drawings.

When cleanoutrisersareusedat the endof the line, they shouldbe on a sufficient

angleto permit entranceof cleaningequipment.
To compensatefor the headlosseswithin a manhole,the generalpractice has
beento provide a drop at the invert elevationbetweenthe inlet and outlet pipes.
This practice is satisfactorybut not absolutelynecessaryand sometimescreates
problemson level landswherethe gradelineshaveto begreaterthan thegradients
of the land surface.For this condition, the top of the inlet and outlet pipescan be
placedat the sameelevation.If designdata show the inlet pipe to be at capacity
at the manhole,the outlet pipe size will be increasedandthe necessarydrop will
be availablein the larger pipe. If a size changeis not required at the manhole,
neither pipe will be at capacityandthe slight headlossrequiredwill be available
in the unusedcapacity of the pipes.
The baseof the manholeshould be about 450 millimeters (18 inches)below
the bottom of the effluent pipe to form a trap that will catch any debristhat may
enter the line. Upon completion of a new drain, all traps should be cleanedout
and the manhole covers set. Traps should also be cleanedperiodically as a
Figure 5-26 shows a standarddesignfor a manhole.Manholesmay also be
constructedof asphalt-dippedor polymer-coatedcorrugatedmetal pipe (CMP)
where salinity of the soil and water is low and stability is a problem for heavy
concretepipe. Plasticmanholeshavealso beensuccessfullyused.
S-44. Surface Inlets-In general, surface water should not be allowed to
enter a closeddrain In someinstances,however, it may be necessaryto dispose
of small amountsof surfacewater in this manner.Even then, specialprecautions
shouldbe taken to remove weedand silt load from the surfacewater.
Topographymay be such that an open drain can dischargedirectly into the
closeddrain,but more often the opendrainwill dischargeinto a manhole.Ineither
case,every possibleprecaution shouldbe taken to keep material from entering
thecloseddrain which might clog it. The minimum precautionshouldbe to install
a self-cleaningtrashrackin the opendrain, which will prevententry of largerocks,
brush, and debris. A desilting pond should be provided if the water contains
significant amountsof sediment.
S-45. Outlet Structures.-The outlet end of a closeddrain, if not properly
protected,will be undercutby the action of dischargingwater. This undercutting
will causethe drain to shift out of proper gradeand alignmentand createcostly
maintenanceproblems. Complete blockage of the outlet may also occur. To
preventmisalignment,3.6 to 4.6 meters (12 to 15feet) of heavy-gauge,asphalt-
dipped, or polymer-coated CMP should be placed at the outlet end of closed
drains.Corrugated,high-density polyethylenepipe is alsousedfor drain system
outlets.A screenshouldbeplacedon thepipe to keeprodentsfrom entering.Some
drain outletsrequire flap valvesto keephigh flows in the opendrain from entering
the pipe drain. All drain outlets shouldhavea rodent screeninstalledover the end
of the pipe. Figure 5-15 showsa typical closeddrain outlet.

Handle - a4 bar-,
Note: Use chain or other locking
device between hondles.
..- .

60 cm 124’) max.

cm (36”) min. for droin

ee or more large size pipe an

boxes receiving larger thon
cm pipe should hove a
ens/on of 107cm W”).
Stondord precast
reinforced concrete pipe.


Concrete bose, precast or

fieM so tit myh circular cost in place, square or
fwmc?d to recite pipe. After s
fitt8d h ptoce, gwt carefaWy
t0 Mngpip to Fade tnd pbce
mkiq aroaimip& as directed


Figure 5-26.-Typical manhole design for a closed drain. Drawing 103-D-686.


546. Strength of Drainpipe.--(u) General.-Since closed drains in irri-

gatedareasare usually placedat considerabledepth below the ground surface,
the ability of the pipeto carry the backfill loadis an important consideration.Both
concreteand clay pipe are madein severaldifferent strengths,so designsfor the
properstrengthpipe arenot only necessaryto ensurethepermanenceof the drain
but also to permit use of the most economicalpipe.
Figure 5-27 shows the load per linear meter (foot) on pipe from different
backfilling materials for varying backfill depths and trench widths. The loads
shownwill vary slightly with the diameterof the pipe, so they am not exact,but
they are within the limits of accuracyof other factors that affect the load and are
satisfactoryfor usein design.The loadsarebasedon Marston’s formula asshown
on figure 5-29. Note that trench widths are measuredat the top of the pipe, and
thesevaluesare used whether the trench sidesare vertical or sloping. A nomo-
graph for solving the Marston formula for rigid pipe is given on figure 5-28. A
safety factor of 1.5 shouldbe usedto determinethe strength of concreteor clay
pipe requiredwhen strengthsare determinedby physicaltesting.
(b} Rigid&e.-Table 5-9 showsthe allowable crushingstrengthof various
pipe laid in a gravel envelope.For pipe not laid in a gravel envelope, only
75 percentof thesevaluesshouldbe used.The tabular valuesshown in table 5-9
assumethat a classC beddingwill result whenusinga gravelenvelope.A classC
beddingdesignatesa shapedbed fitted to the lower part of the pipe. If a different
classof beddingis provided, the tabular valuescanbe adjustedaccordingly.For
more information on beddingclassifications,seeASTM C 12.
Thefollowing procedurecanbeusedto determinethe strengthof piperequired
for a particular installation:

(1) Knowing the unit weight of soil, depth of trench, and width of trench at
top of pipe, usefigure 5-27 or 5-28 to determinethe loadper linear meter (foot)
on the pipe.
(2) Knowing the diameter and type of pipe, use table 5-9 to determine the
quality of pipe requiredto supportthe load.
Example: Assume the preliminary design indicates a 250-millimeter
(lo-inch) diameter concrete pipe is required and the depth of
backfill over the pipe will be 2.6 meters (8.6 feet). For a
25Omillimeter (lo-inch) pipe with a lOO-millimeter (4-inch)
gravel envelope,a 610-millimeter (24-inch) wide ditch should
be satisfactory;however,this groundis not expectedto be stable,
so a ditch width of 0.8 meter (2.5 feet) at top of the pipe is
estimated.The backfill material will be saturatedtopsoil weigh-
ing 1,760kilogmms per cubicmeter (110 poundsper cubic foot).

From figure 5-27, for a 2.6-meter(8.5-foot) cover, the load is:

(1990)(1.1) = 2,189kilogramsperlinearmeter(l,472poundsperlinearfoot)
Trench Width at Top of Pipe Trench Width at Top of Pipe
4Scm 525cm 6Ocm 62.Scm7Scm 82.Scm9Ocm 1OSm 120 cn 18in 21 in 24in 27iin 3Obt 33b1 Mht 42in 48 in

1.5 7600 9440 11360 13280 15120 16960 18720 22720 264GU S 475 590 710 830 945 1060 1170 1420 1650
1.8 8480 10560 12720 14880 17200 19360 21760 26240 30880 6 530 660 795 930 1075 1210 1360 1640 1930
3 2.1 9120 11520 13920 16480 19040 21680 24160 29WO 34880 7 570 720 870 1030 1190 1355 1510 1850 2180
j 2.4 9680 12320 15040 17760 20720 23600 26400 32560 38720 8 605 770 940 1110 1295 1475 1650 2035 2420
4 2.7 10160 12960 15920 19040 21760 25280 28640 35280 42000 =8 9 635 810 995 1190 1380 1580 1790 2205 2625
; 3.0 10480 13520 16720 20080 23520 26%0 30560 37600 452RO ti 10 655 845 1045 1255 1470 1685 1910 2350 2830
, 3.4 10800 14000 17440 20880 24720 284CO 32320 4OWO 481~ u 12 675 875 1090 1305 1545 1775 2020 2500 3010
L 3.1 11040 14400 18ooO 21680 25760 29760 33920 42320 509~1 .$ 12 690 900 1125 1355 1610 1860 2120 2645 3185
: 4.0 11280 14720 18560 22400 26640 30880 35280 44320 5344~ “0 13 705 920 1160 1400 1665 1930 2205 2770 3340
’ 4.3 11440 14960 18880 22960 27360 21840 36560 46080 55840 14 715 935 1180 1435 1710 1990 2285 2880 3490
: 4.6 11520 15200 19280 23520 28160 32800 37600 47680 57~?4O 8 1s 720 950 1205 1470 1760 2050 2350 2980 3615
. P
i b
] 1s 8480 10320 12240 14080 16240 18ooO 19760 23920 27680 530 645 765 880 1015 1125 1235 1495 1730
! 1.8 9520 11760 14CGO 16240 18560 22240 23360 276CG 32480 2 6S 595 735 875 1015 1160 1290 1460 1725 2030
10480 12960 15600 18160 20800 23440 26080 31760 36560 3 ‘I 655 810 975 1135 1300 1465 1630 1985 2285
1 21
2; 11280 14080 16960 19420 22960 25760 28460 34480 41440 m 8 705 880 1060 1245 1435 1610 1790 2155 2590
j 2.1 11920 15040 18240 21440 24800 23080 31520 38240 44800 “0 9 745 940 1140 1340 1550 1755 1970 2390 2800
j 3.0 12560 15920 19360 22880 26560 30240 33680 41360 48960 9 10 785 995 1210 1430 1660 1890 2105 2585 3060
$ 3.4 13040 16880 204lM 24160 28080 32080 35300 44320 52240 8 11 515 1055 1275 1510 1755 2005 2260 2770 3265
1 3.7 13440 17280 21280 25440 29600 33760 38160 47200 56080 n 12 MO 1080 1330 1590 1850 2110 2385 2950 3505
4.0 13840 17760 22LWO 26320 30880 35440 40240 49760 59200 13 865 1110 1375 1645 1930 2215 2515 3110 3700
4.3 14160 18320 22720 27280 32180 36880 41920 52000 62240 14 885 1145 1420 1705 2010 2305 2620 3250 3890
4.6 14480 18720 23360 28080 33200 38320 43520 54320 65280 1s 905 1170 14@l 1755 2075 23% 2720 3395 4080

* For backtill weighing 1500 kilograms per cubic metw multiply load sbownby 0.94. l For backfill weighing 90 pounds per cubic fcc& multiply load shownby 0.9, for backfill
for backfiil weighing 1700 kilograms per cubic meter. multiply load shownby 1.06 etc. weighing 110 pounds per cubic fmr multiply load sbownby 1.1 etc.

Basedon the h4arstmformula for loadsin treches: W = CwL?

W = Load on pipe in kilogramsper linearmeter(poondsper linearfoot),
C = Coefficient of load on pipe,
P = Weight of fill in kilogramsper cubic meter(poundsper cubicfoot),
B = Width of ditch at top of pipe in meters(feet),and
H = Height of till abovetop of pipe in feet

Figure 5-27.-Loads on concrete or clay pipe per linear meter (foot) for various backfill materials. Drawing 103D689.
Table S-9a.-Allowable crushing strength in kilograms per linear meter
for rigid pipe drains in a avel envelope (Getric units). Drawin 103-D-1670.
Clay ye’“’ ZiiG Sewe
Clav Drain Tile4
n Concrete6Drainagc
Diameter F A - 2c
- (3
Clas! class i&UK&t ala
itrengtl ggil
T 3 Heavy
2 Duty
100 (4) 26.2 43.8 33.0 43.5 17.5 24.0 24.0 26.2 30.7
_____ ----- -_-__ _-__- 17.5 24.0 24.0 27.0 30.7
:;; g 26.2 43.8 33.0 43.5 17.5 24.0 24.0 28.5 30.7
200 (8) 30.6 48.9 33.0 43.5 17.5 24.0 24.0 29.2 33.0
250 (10) 35.1 52.5 35.2 43.5 17.5 24.0 24.0 30.7 33.7
39.4 56.8 39.0 49.5 17.5 24.0 24.0 33.0 37.5
z?i iif{ _---- _____ ----_ ----- 18.4 24.0 24.0 35.2
375(15) 43.8 63.4 43.5 57.0 19.0 25.0 24.0 36.0 2
-_--_ _____ ----_ ----_ _--_- 26.2 24.0 37.5 4517
% I::{ 48.1 72.3 48.0 66.0 -____ 28.5 26.2 39.7 51.0
500(20) _-_-_ _____ -____ _____ ----_ _---- 29.2 54.7
525(21) 52.5 84.3 52.5 72.0 ---_- 31.6 32.2 2; 58.5
600 (W 56.8 96.3 57.0 78.7 _____ 34.9 35.2 43:5 66.0
675 (27) 61.3 102.9 61.5 86.2 -_--- 39.3 _____ -__-- -----
750(30) 72.3 .09.5 94.5 _---- 43.6 43.5 --___
825(33) 78.3 .20.4 z-z 96.0 -____ ----- -_--_ _--_-
!WO(36) 87.6 .31.4 72'0 98.2 ----- _---- -____
A -
*i io Pertorated c0ncrete Qe
** I 0 Special Quality
I The valueslisted in this table are 1.5 times the valuesgiven in the respectiveASTM Specitiitions listed
below which we minimum 3 edge bearing s&qths.
2 c700-91 5 C412M-90
3 C14M-90 6 C118M-90
4 a-62 (Reapproved 1986) ’ C444M-90

NOTE : When the crushing strength of the pipes listed will not
meet an unusual load condition, reinforced concrete
sewer or culvert pipe should be considered. See Federal
Specifications No. SS-P-371, Type II, and ASTM C76-90.
Table S-9b.-Allowable crushing strength in pounds per linear foot for
rigidpipe drains in a gravel envelope (U.S. customary units}. Drawing 103-D-1670.

Ext ro Standard stra ** Hw
St remth St renMh Ys Gloss Standard
Ext ro
Qwlity guality blity Standard out:

s I.800 3.000 2.260 3.000

21: 1.m

6 ::Ei x%i 2.260
2: 100
I.200 I%

t:%l 3:600
3.900 X:% 3:E tsl
I.200 1.660
1.s I:%
I6 3.m 4.360 3.m 3.600 2:970
3. I60 p5& 2:660
IX 3.300 4.950 3.300 4.500 3.610 2.700

6.115 3.600 4.950 4.020
x: 6.600 3.600


36 g.oa’ 4.660 6.760 a.606

*Also Perforotad Concrate Pipe‘

**Also Special Chml i ty

NOTES: When tb crushing strength of the Dips listed will not maat
an unusual Iced condition, rainforced concmte sonar or
culvert pipa should be considwed. Sea Fader01 Specifications
No. SS-P-371. Type II and ASlU C76-74.

The thru-w bowing strength values how bwn ultipliod by

o Iood factor of I.5 orsuing Class C baddirm.

Using table 5-9, the allowable crushing strength of all pipes listed, except
standardclay and standardconcretedraintile, will exceedthe requiredstrength.
(c) Plastic pipe.-For corrugatedplastic pipe, the strengthdependsupon the
bedding material. All plastic pipe drains should be surroundedby at least a
lOOmillimeter (4-inch) gravel envelope.The loading capacity shouldbe deter-
minedby Marston’s methodfor flexible pipe.Figure5-29 showsloadcoefficients
for various soils basedon the ratio of the depthof fill to the trench width.
Flexible pipe deflects when loaded,which results in a transfer of the load to
thebeddingmaterial. Safeloadsfor corrugatedplasticpipethat meetReclamation
materialsspecificationsam thoseloads that will cause10 percentor lessdeflec-
tion as determinedby:

A= (16)
EI + 0.061E’r3

A = Ripe deflection in millimeters (inches),
D = Deflection lag factor of 1.5,
c = Beddingconstantof 0.10,
WC= Vertical load on pipe as determinedfrom figure 5-3 1,
= Mean radius of pipe in millimeters (inches),
L = Modulus of elasticity of pipe in kilospascals(Roundsper squareinch),
E’ = Modulus of soil reaction [4,826 kilopascals(700 pounds per square
inch) for drams in gravelpack)], and
I = Moment of inertiaof pipecorrugationsinmilluneters (inches)per linear
millimeter (inch).

The product for El is calculatedusing the equation:

El = 0.14&

F’ = Load per linear inch on a parallel plate test apparatus(sand-bearing
strengthis 1SF’)
Ay = Vertical deflection of pipe in millimeters (inches)

Figure 5-30 showsthe backfill loadingson flexible and rigid pipe according
to depth to top of pipe for a 450-millimeter (l&inch) wide trench. This figure
shows loadings by pipe size and backfill material. The following tabulation
shows the weight of backfill causinga lo-percent deflection on pipe meeting
Reclamation specificationsfor corrugatedpolyethylene pipe, with a stiffness
equalto 275 kilopascals(40 poundsper squareinch) (sandbearing):

1 w,=CdwBt (Fir rigi’d pipe)

w,=Lood on pipe, kg/m (Ib/ft)

C,j=LOOd coefficient
w=Unit weight of fill, kg/m’ (Ib/ft3)
B,= Outside diameter of
pipe. m tft)
G=Width of ditch at top
of pipe, m (ft)

0 I 2 3 4 5 6 7 6 9 IO II 12 I3 I4 15

Figure 5-29.-Load coefficients for computing weight of backfill, based on Marston

formula. Drawing 103-D-1671.

(5) (101 (15) (20) (25) (30)





fi 900
(600) i=

Y v500) g
= 700 5




300 (200)


I 3 5 7 9


Figure 5-30.-Backfill loads on pipe in a 450-millimeter @-inch) wide trench, based on

Marston formula. Drawing 103-D-1672.

Inside diameter ofpipe Deflection A Vertical load

millimeters inches millimeters inches W,, lblin WC,lblft
100 4 10.2 0.4 125 1,500
125 5 12.7 0.5 156 1,872
150 6 15.2 0.6 188 2,256
200 8 20.3 0.8 250 3,000

The aboveloadingsassumethat the pipe is laid without any stretchingof the

corrugations.Fifteen percent stretch has beenobservedto causecollapseof the
pipe when the stiffness was more than double that specified by Reclamation
specifications.Reclamationspecificationslimit stretchingof pipe upon installa-
tion to lessthan 5 percent.
-7. Size of Pipe.-Using the formulas for ground-water accretion given
in sections 5-12 and 5-13, the pipe drain is designedto run full. Pipe with
less than a lOO-millimeter (4-inch) inside diameter is not recommended.The
lOOmillimeter (4&h) size shouldbe usedonly in the upperreachesof a drain
that will not have future requirementsfor extensionsor branches.
Pipe sizesare determinedfrom calculationsinvolving the required discharge
and the hydraulic gradient of the pipe drain Using the required dischargeand
knowing the gradientof the line, the pipe sizecan be determinedfrom the curves
shown on figure 5-3 1. Thesecurves are basedon Manning’s formula, equation
(14) in section5-18, using n = 0.015. This valuehasbeenfound satisfactoryfor
drams constructedwith concrete,clay, and corrugatedplastic pipe up to about
300~millimeter(1Zinch) diameter.Manning’s it valuesshouldbe increasedfor
larger diameter corrugatedplastic pipe. An 12value of 0.018 is recommended
for 300- and 375millimeter (12- and 15-inch) pipe and an n value of 0.020 for
450- and 600-millimeter (18- and 24inch) pipe. Table 5-10 shows a sample
pipe-sizingcomputation.Figure5-32 showsa plan andprofile of a typical closed

Table 5-IO.--Sample pipe-sizing computation.

Project Upper John Day -Dram System Member 26- 13-34 D
Date May 11.1992 - Computed by GDS
Cal. 1 Cal. 2 Cal. 3 Cal. 4 Cal. 5 Col. 6 Cal. 1
sta. to sta. Length 4 0 OT Sloue Pipe size
19+00-14.90 410 .000379 .155 .155 .OOl 6
14+90-lO+lOO 490 .000095 .047 .202 .002 6
(Right subdrain entering the main at Sta. lO+OO)
Dr. 26-13-30-D-l.ORT
7+50-0+00 750 .000189 .142 .142 .OOl 6
(Left subdrain entering the main at Sta. lO+OO)
Dr. 26-13-34-D-1.067 enters at Sta. lO+OO
5+25-0+00 525 .OOQ189 .099 .099 .OOl 6
lO+OO-5+00 500 .ocQo95 .048 .49 1 .003 8
5+oo-o+00 500 .OcOO95 ,048 .539 .002 10

1 Stations that define the section of pipe to be sized from upstream down.
2 Length of pipe defined.
3 Accretion rate usually in f?/s per foot.
4 Accmtions to the defined length of pipe col. 2 x col. 3.
5 Total accretions to downstream end of defined length of pipe, including all upstream contributions.
6 Slope of the defined length of pipe.
7 Pipe size in inches based on figure 5-31b.

5-48. Capacity of Pipe Drains.-The capacityof pipe drainsusually has to

be sufficient to carry ground-wateraccretiononly. Collectorandoutletpipedrains
must, of course,alsocarry the flows deliveredto them by other drains.In the rare
case where open drains dischargeinto pipe drains, the pipe drains should be
designedto run only haIf full, including the flow from the opendrains.In studies
involving capacities,areas,andvelocities,the information shownon figure 5-33
is useful for designingpipe drainsflowing partially full.
5-49. Design of a Drainage Sump and Pumping Plant.-Many areas
requiring drainagedo not have a gravity outlet; theseareascan be drainedusing
pumping plants at reasonablecost. Pumping plants are also usedto provide an
adequategrade in pipe systems.Drains can be excavated2.7 to 3 meters (9 to
10 feet) deep at an economicalcost, but the cost increasesrapidly for greater
depths.By excavatingdrains to about 3 meters (10 feet) and then pumping the
water up 1.2 or 1.5 meters(4 or 5 feet), adequategradescanbe obtainedin large,
flat areas.The main stepsin the designof a drainagesump and pumping plant
are: (a) determiningmaximum inflow into the sump; (b) determiningamount
of storagerequired; (c) determiningpumping rate; (d) determining start, stop,
anddischargelevels; (e) determiningtype of storagerequired; and(j‘) selecting
the pump andpower unit.
,e,e~ lad s,e,ay( U! ed!d IO adois
Figure 5-31a.-Flow in drains ofvarious diameterbasedon slop (metric units). Drawing
0.01 0.03 0.03 0.07 a09 a? a3 0.7 09 I 3 3 7 SK) 30 30 7osomo 300 3007009m

Figure 5-32.-Plan and profile of a typical closed drain. Drawing 103-D-667.



0 IO 20 30 40 80 60 70 a0 90 100 110 I20 I30


Figure. 5-33.-Hydraulic pmpxties of drainpipe. Drawing 103-D-687.


The maximum inflow into the sumpmust be determinedfor the total drainage
requirementof the areato be drainedby the sump.For example,if the pumping
plant must relift water from a drainagesystemwith a total area of 259 hectares
(640 acres),the following data must be known and computationsmade:

Drainagearea= 259 hectares(640 acres)

Drain spacing,L = 183meters (600 feet)
Hydraulic conductivity, K = 0.37 meter (1.2 feet) per day
Hooghoudt’sequivalentdepth,d = 5.5 meters (18 feet)
Maximum distancebetweendram and root zone,y0 = 1.5 meters (5 feet)

Averageflow depth,D’ = d +F = 6.25 meters (20.5 feet)

Find: Maximum flow q into the sump in liters per second (gallons per
Using equation(6) from section5-13:

q = 0.6
(86,400)(183) I[ 183
2x(0.37)(1.52)(6.25) (254)(10,000)
= 0.01186m3/s(0.415ft%)

q = 11.86liters per second(188 gallonsper minute)

The cycling operation of the pump and motor to determine the amount of
storagerequired is the next considerationin the sump design.The length of a
completecycleinminutes is equalto the standingtime plus the running time. The
pump and motor aremost efficient if operatedcontinuously,but 8- to 12-minute
cyclesare almostasefficient. For generaldesign,a 12-minutecycle or five cycles
per hour is consideredsatisfactory.
Using five cyclesper hour meansthere will be five starts per hour with even
on-and-off times of 6 minutes eachfor maximum inflow. During low flows, the
off-time will be much longer than the running time, but as long as the running
time doesnot drop below about3 minutes,the plant efficiency is satisfactoryand
motor breakdownsam kept to a minimum.
For the motor to have equalon-and-off times, the storagemust be equalto the
amountthat would run into the sump in one-half the cycling time, which would
be 6 minutes when 1Zminute cycles areused.Therefore, the sumpmust have a
storagecapacity, V, of:

V = 6 x 60 x 9 = 6 x 60 x 11.86= 4,270 liters (1,128 gallons)=

4.27 cubic meters (151 cubic feet)

The pumping mte cannow be determinedfrom the equation:

P = Pumping rate at maximum inflow in liters per second (gallons per
t = Runningtime of pump andmotor in minutesfor maximum inflow based
on the selectedcompletecycling time with equalon-and-off times
S = Sumpstoragevolume in liters (gallons)
I = Inflow rate in liters per second(gallonsper minute)

Then p = 4,270 + 11.86x 60)

7 = 23.7 L/s (376 gal/min)

The minimum andmaximum water levelsin the sumpmust be determinedfor

individual outlet conditions.In general,the maximum water level for startingthe
pump shouldbeat aboutthe top of thepipe draindischarginginto the sump.Never
should it exceed one-half the pipe diameter over the top of the drain. The
minimum elevationshouldbe from 0.6 to 1.2 meters (2 to 4 feet) abovethe base
of the sump.Rumplifts are the differencein elevationbetweenwater level in the
sumpand the dischargeelevation,seefigure 5-34.
The volume of requiredstorageplus the criteria that the minimum water level
shouldbe 0.6 to 1.2meters (2 to 4 feet) abovethe bottom of the sumpdetermines
the sizeof the sump.Generally,the sumpwill becylindrical andplacedvertically,
but can also be placed horizontally. Assuming the pipe drain enters 3 meters
(10 feet) below the ground surfaceand that the sump will be bothcylindrical and
vertical, the distancebetweenthe start and stop elevations,D, shouldbe small to
keep the depth of the sump reasonable.For example, assumeD = 0.6 meter
(2 feet). Knowing the volume of required storage, V, to be 4.27 cubic meters
(151 cubic feet), the diameterof the sump, d, is computedfrom:

dz = 0.78540

= 97.5 m2 (9.06 ftz), and

dz = (0.7$(0.6)

d = 3.01 meters (9.9 feet) [use a 3-meter (lo-foot) diametersump]


Chsl tar

J El.396m (1300’)

Pipe collector

‘-Round sump
- Stilling chamber

Concrete hose>
Figure 5-34.-Typical arrangement of an automatic drainage relift pumping plant. Drawing

Figure 5-34 shows the required designelevationsand arrangementof equip-

ment for an automatic drainagepumping plant.
For planningestimates,thepump andpowerunits canbe selectedfrom reliable
pump andmotor manufacturers,using their literature andchartsto determinethe
most efficient pump and motor. For constructionspecificationson small units,
seethe Bureauof Reclamation’s Ground Water Manual (1977).
Multiple pumps can be used for large areas.When pumps of equal size are
used, they can be operated to cycle only one pump at a time. The storage
requirementis computedusing the capacityof only one pump. If the pumps are
not of equalcapacity,the storageshouldbedesignedfor the capacityof the largest

E. Special Drain Types

S-SO.Introduction.-Certain conditions require special types of drainage
methods.Thesemethodsincluderelief wells, inverted wells, and pumpedwells.
Detailedinstructionsfor investigating,planning,andinstallingwells are given in
Reclamation’sGround WaterManual (1977).

S-51. Relief Wells.-In someareas,confininglayersof a deepartesianaquifer

may be sufficiently permeableto allow water to move upward and causea high
water table.Removalof this water by a normal drainagesystemusually requires
very closely spaceddrains and is generallyuneconomical In somecases,relief
wells drilled into the artesianaquifer andoutletting in the bottom of a deepdrain
will relieve the artesianpressuresufficiently to lower the ground-watertable to
safelevels.Ordinarily, a single well of this type doesnot relieve enoughheadon
the system to be effective over a large area. The investigation for relief well
systemsmust be thorough to ensuresuccess.Artesianpressuresmust be located
and identified, and pressurereductions must be estimatedand verified before
undertakinga relief well program.
S-52. Pumped Wells.Under certain conditions,pumpedwells in anuncon-
fmed water tableoffer an efficient solutionfor a drainageproblem.In somecases,
the pumped wells may provide all the drainagenecessary,while in others the
wells may furnish only supplementaldrainagefor critical areas.Pumpedwells
may be locatedto dischargewater directly into an irrigation systemfor reuse,or
they may dischargeinto a drainagechannel.Drainageby pumpingis feasibleonly
in localitieshaving extensiveunderlying aquifersof amplethickness.The wells
must have large areasof influence with nominal drawdown to be effective and
economical. Pumped wells in artesian areasmay prove especially effective.
Artesian pressurescanbe lowered over a widespreadareaby pumping.
Power costs are a critical factor in determiningthe feasibility of drainageby
pumping, and the possibility of obtaining more favorablerates by using power
only during low demandperiodsshouldbe investigated.
5-53. Inverted or Recharge Wells and Infiltration Galleries.-In an
inverted or rechargewell, water flows into the earth insteadof flowing from it.
When usedfor drainage,the inverted well is the outlet for the drainagesystem.
The inverted wells must penetratea permeablezonecapableof acceptingthe
quantitiesof drainagewater either by storageor by carrying it away by natural
flow. Extensivelyfractured basaltsor cavernouslimestonesare typical examples
of suchpermeablezones.Coarsesandsand gravelsmay be suitableif they have
good hydraulic properties.
Typical well construction is used for inverted wells, but sedimentmust be
removed from the drainagewater before it enters the inverted well. Sediments
will clog the aquifer in the vicinity of the well and will gradually reduce the
effectivenessof the well. Dissolved gas causedby turbulent flow or chemical
reactionsbetween the aquifer and the rechargewater can also clog the aquifer
and reducewell efficiency. Studiesto determinemethodsof prolonging the life
of rechargewells are being made with increasingfrequency becausethe subject
of artificial rechargein restoringwater levelsin overpumpedbasinsor in stopping
the encroachmentof seawateris becomingmore important. Care must be taken
to ensurethat existing aquifersam not pollutedby the invertedwell systems.
Infiltration galleriescanbe usedfor the samepurposesasrechargewells. They
are most often used to restore ground-waterlevels for pumping at a later time.

They are constructedsimilarly to agriculturaldrainsusingperforatedplasticpipe

installed in a gradedgravel envelope.Depth and spacingof the system depend
on the physicalcharacteristicsof the site.
As with rechargewells, sedimentmust be removedfrom the water to prevent
cloggingof the galleries.All local, State,and Federalwater-quality criteria must
be met to preventpollution of the ground-watersystem.

F. Investigation and Layout for Drains

S54. Introduction.-Ananalysis of a “samplefarm” will beusedto illustrate
the methods and proceduresused in drainageinvestigations.The samplefarm
developedwaterloggedconditions after about 3 yearsof irrigation. Figure 5-35
shows the layout, surface topography, and irrigation facilities of the farm.
Although this illustration uses a kunple farm,” a more typical Reclamation
drainagesystemwould include severalfarm units or ownerships.
S-55. Investigation Procedure.-The first stepin investigationis to lay out
a grid system covering the waterlogged area. A 120- to MO-meter (400- to
600-foot) grid is generallysufficient to provide a detailedground-watercontour
map and adequatehydraulic conductivity data. The grid should be designedto
includeany suspectedsourceof seepagefrom canalsand adjacentareas.
On the sample farm, ground surface elevations were determined at each
120-meter(400-foot) grid point, and elevationswere taken at the bottom and at
the indicatedwater surfacesof the wasteway,irrigation canals,andfarm laterals.
Holes were augeredat each of the grid points to a depth of at least 3 meters
(10 feet) and to a depth of 6 meters (20 feet) at the 240-meter (800-foot) grid
points. The depthof the water tablewas measuredat eachgrid point. Figure 5-36
showsthe water table conditions at the time of the investigation.Each hole was
loggedfor texture, structure, and any other pertinent information such as color
changes,mottling, plasticity, stickiness,visible salt crystals,andunstablecondi-
Basedupon water table location and soil profile data, three generaltypes of
conditionswere recognized,eachrequiring a different combinationof hydraulic
conductivity test methods.Figure 5-37 shows the location of the test sites and
the combinationof hydraulic conductivity methodsrequiredat eachsite. Typical
soil profiles of subareasA, B, and C are shown on figure 5-38.
The water tablein subareaA was about2.1 meters (7 feet) from the surfaceat
the time of the investigation,but the farmer reportedthat it roseto within 0.3 to
0.6 meter (1 or 2 feet) of the surfaceduring theperiodof heaviestirrigation. These
high water table conditions indicatedthe needfor horizontal hydraulic conduc-
tivities under saturated conditions in the 0.6- to 2.1-meter (2- to 7-foot),
sandy-clayloam zone. Becausethis zone was dry, a shallow well pump-in test
would be used.Below 2.1 meters (7 feet), in the sandyloam layer, the horizontal
hydraulic conductivitiesunder saturatedconditions could be determinedby the
auger-holetest. For the pump-in tests, three additional l&meter (6-foot) deep
holeswere augeredat grid points D- 1, C-3, and B-4. For the auger-holetest, the
original 3-meter (lo-foot) deepholes at theselocationswere used.


Figure 5-37.Samplefarm grid system and location of test sites. Drawing 103-D-672.


SCL Wotrr tobl. 1.46m(4.6’)

SL = Sandy loam
LS = bxny sand
SCL = Sandy cloy loam
S = Sand

-I 4
SL SL 3.0Sm(idl ,“Lz=2iy loam

L = Loam
- 3.66 IIn (12’1
- 3.96 I (13’)
03’) 3.90m (128’1

- 4.87 m IIS’1
4.67 II57 CL 4.37m (IS’1
- 4.06 m IIS’)

CL S.IBm (17’)
- 6.42 m ll7.6’)
- 6. I 111(261 -I,.,rn (2dl

Figure 5-38.-Typical soil profiles

pm of sample farm subareas. Drawing 103-D-673.

The water table in subareaB was at about 1.46meters (4.8 feet); the clay layer
from the 1.2- to 2.0-meter (4- to 6.5foot) level could causea perchedwater table
during the irrigation season.To check this possibility, the vertical hydraulic
conductivity of the clay layer was measured.This measurementrequireduse of
the ring permeametertest, and tests were run at grid points D-2 and E-3. During
the tests,the water tableat E-3 roseinto the 15Omillimeter (6-inch) test zoneand
the test had to be abandoned.Becausethe clay layer appearedhomogeneousand
isotropic at E-2, the piezometertest was substitutedfor the ring penneametertest.
This test gave a value for horizontal hydraulic conductivity, and in view of the
homogeneity of the clay, the vertical hydraulic conductivity could then be
assumedto be about the same.
Becausethe 1.2- to 2.7-meter (4- to g-foot) profile in subareaC was homoge-
neousand the water table was at 1.46 meters (4.8 feet), the auger-holetest was
usedfor determiningthe hydraulic conductivity in this zone, andthe piezometer
test wasusedfor determiningthe hydraulicconductivity of the clay loam andclay
zonesbelow 4.1 meters (13.5 feet).
Pointson the 240-meter(800-foot) grid were usedto determinethe probable
barrier layer. This determinationrequiredmeasuringthe hydraulic conductivity
of the various layers below the prospective dmin depth. At these depths, the
auger-hole test was not practical becauseof the depth of the layers, so the
piezometer test was used and tests were run at C-2, C-4, E-O, E-2, and G-4.
Figure 5-39 shows the location of all test sites and the hydraulic conductivity
S-56. Moisture Holding Capacity in the Root Zone.-The three subareas
of the samplefamr were examinedfor themost critical moisture-holdingcapacity
within a 1.Zmeter (4-foot) root zone.SubareaC wasfound to be the most critical.
In this subarea,the availablemoisture was 29.5 millimeters (1.16 inches) in the
first 0.3 meter (1.Ofoot), 31.75millimeters (1.25 inches)in the second0.3 meter
(1.0 foot), 36.83 millimeters (1.45 inches)in the third 0.3 meter (1.0 foot), and
36.83 (1.45 inches)in the fourth 0.3 meter (1.0 foot).
The total readily availablemoisture (TRAM) in the 1.2-meter (4-foot) root
zonewas calculatedasoutlinedin section26 of this manual.The critical quarter
in this caseis the first 0.3 meter (1.Ofoot), and the TRAM in the sampleprofile

TRAM = (29.5 x 0.70)/0.40 = 51.6 millimeters (2.03 inches)

S-57. Annual Irrigation Schedule.-The irrigation schedulefor the sample

farm, as for any fame, variesfrom year to year becauseof crop rotation, size of
farm, weather,andplanting dates.However, for a specificclimate, irrigation and
cropping practices usually follow a pattern. Over the long term, the features
determiningirrigation schedulestend to be about the sameeachyear. Therefore,
anaverageirrigation scheduleoften is usedindraindesign. Aninigation schedule
for the crop most generallygrown andhaving the greatestdrainagerequirement
is usedin the drain design.On the samplefarm, that crop is alfalfa.
T_rsle7 -*- -*- 9.Ol=l.40 --‘6
(7.3,9.01=l.95~(a~ (6.3,10.9r1.25 I

~7.~1O.OHkpth tatap and bottom
of me tested
...-...-.- ..-
= I .90- Hydraulic conductivity of zone tested’ ‘- @%2~(6&,11.5):2.20 (7.~~i%J,/

E I3 E B A

Figure S-39.~In-place hydraulic conductivity data for sample fanu. Drawing 103-D-674.

Usingmethodsshownin section2-6 of this manual,the consumptiveuse(CU)

and irrigation schedulefor various crops grown on the farm are shown in the
following tabulations:

Calculations for average consumptive use and

irrigation requirement for sample farm
Average Percentof moisture
percent extractedper quarter
Brown of root zone
crops per year Growing season 1st 2nd 3rd 4th
Alfalfa 40 May 15 to Sept. 21
Corn 20 May 15 to Sept. 15
Beans 20 May 15to Aug. 15 40 30 20 10
Small grains 20 Mav 15 to Aug. 15

Consumptive use and irrigation requirementfor alfalfa

Growing cu Dailv CU
Month days Millimeters Inches Millimeters Inches
&Y 16 53.8 2.13 2.29 0.09
June 30 123.7 4.83 4.06 .16
July 31 138.7 5.46 4.32 .17
August 31 123.4 4.86 1.52 .06
Sentember 15 45.7 1.80 1.52 .06

Consumptive use and irrigation requirement for beans and small grains
Growing cu Dailv CU
Month davs Millimeters Inches Millimeters Inches
WY 16 54.1 2.13 2.29 0.09
June 30 122.7 4.83 4.06 .16
July 31 138.7 5.46 4.32 .17
August 15 59.9 2.36 1.02 .04

Typical irrigation schedulesfor the atea of concernmay have already been

developedby commercial irrigation schedulingservice companies.From an
historicalperspective,this type of irrigation scheduleshouldbe adequatefor drain
S-58. Irrigation Deliveries and Deep Percolation From Irrigation.- Re-
cords show that irrigation deliveriesare made to the samplefarm at the rate of
0.14cubic meters(5 cubicfeet) per second,or 504 cubicmeters(4.96 acre-inches)
per hour, andthat 84hoursareneededto irrigate the 50.6-hectare(125~acre)farm.
The depthof water deliveredis:

- = 85 millimeters (3.33 inches)

The soil moisture was assumedto be at field capacity after snowmelt in the
spring, May 15. The irrigation schedulefor alfalfa is shown becausethis will be
usedin estimatingthe dram spacing.

Irrigation schedulefor alfalfa

Date Farm deliverv
millimeters inches
5115 84.6 3.33
6l3 84.6 3.33
6114 84.6 3.33
6/Z 84.6 3.33
715 84.6 3.33
7115 84.6 3.33
7i25 84.6 3.33
814 84.6 3.33
8115 84.6 3.33
S/2 84.6 3.33
9/9 84.6 3.33
Total 930.6 36.63

Becausethe soil holds5 1.6millimeters (2.03 inches)of total readily available

moisture at field capacity,the irrigation efficiency is:

Fatm efficiency = 84.6 x 100 = 61 percent

Of this, about 10percent,or 8.4 millimeters (0.33 inch), runsoff assurfacewaste,

leaving 76.2 millimeters (3.00 inches) to infiltrate the soil. This meansabout
24.6 millimeters (0.97 inch) will deeppercolateto the ground-water table upon
eachirrigation. Deeppercolation= 76.2 - 5 1.6 = 24.6 millimeters (3.00 - 2.03 =
0.97 inch) per irrigation. The total annual deep percolation for 11 irrigations,
assumingthat rainfall is negligible,will be about 271 millimeters (10.7 inches).
Observation well data from the site may also be useful in estimating deep
percolationfrom an irrigation event.Changesin water table elevationbeforeand
after an irrigation event can be used to calculate deep percolation amounts.
NeutronProbedata,which indicatedeeppercolationvalues,alsomay be available
from irrigation schedulingservicecompanies.
5-59. Other Water Sources Causing High Water Table Conditions.-
Precipitationin the samplefarm areais low anderratic, so it was not considered
a contributing sourceto the ground water. The remainingsourcesof high ground
water during the irrigation seasonam: (a) ground water moving into the area

as subsurfaceflow from the adjacentfarm to the south and (b) seepagefrom

unlinedcanalsand laterals.
(a) Deep percolation from adjacent areas.-The ground-water contours on
figure 5-37 indicate that subsurfacewater is moving into the samplefarm from
the south. An estimateof the volume of this water canbe madeusing the Damy

Q = KiA (19)

Q = Flow in cubic meters (feet) per secondper linear meter (foot)
K = Hydraulic conductivity in meters (feet) per second
i = Slopeof the water surfacein metersper meter (feet per foot)
A = Cross-sectional area in square meters (feet) of the water-bearing
stratum for a 1 meter (foot) width

A hydraulic conductivity of 12.7 centimeters(5 inches)per hour [3.05 meters

(10 feet per day)] was indicatedby the auger-holetest at grid point E-O.A slope,
i, of 0.004 meter per meter (foot per foot) and an area,A, of 2.44 squaremeters
per linearmeter (8 squarefeet per linear foot) of boundarywere determinedfrom
information taken from the north-south profile on the E-line shown on figure
5-40. Then, Q = 3.05 x 0.004 x 2.44 = 0.0298 cubic meter per linear meter
(0.32 cubicfoot per linear foot) per day. As the southboundaryof the samplearea
was about 792 meters (2,600 feet) wide, the total water moving into the farm
could be 0.0298 x 792 = 23.6 cubic meters (0.32 x 2,600) = 23.6 cubic meters
(832 cubic feet) per day, but flows up to 31.7 cubic meters (1,120 cubic feet) per
day can be expectedaccordingto records. This is equivalentto 0.00317 hectar-
meter (0.31 acre-inch)per day. Assumingan averageirrigation cycle of 12 days,
and that this flow would occur under the entire farm area of 50.6 hectares
0.00317 x 12 = o 75 mil-
(125 acres),the drainagerequirementwould be about
50.6 ’
limeter per hectare(0.03 inch per acre)per irrigation. This small amountof water
can be easily removedthrough the spaceddrain system.If the amount is on the
sameorder of magnitudeas deeppercolationfrom irrigation, an analysisshould
be madeto determinewhether an interceptor drain shouldbe constructedat the
upperboundaryof the samplefarm.
c Irrigated form on south
side of somple farm.
c Lined irrigo tion lateral

I I I I -- I
3600 1 1
El00 &O E-l E-2 E-3 E-4 E-5 E-6

Figure 5-I0.-North-south profile on E-line of sample farm. Drawing 103-D-675.


(b) Deeppercolationfromfarm ditches.-The seepagefrom farm ditchescan

be estimatedfrom equation(8) of section5-15:

Kl (B +w
41 =

With irrigation deliveriesat the rate of 0.14 cubic meters (5 cubic feet) per
second through V-shaped farm ditches constructed in sandy loam soils, the
velocity shouldnot exceedabout0.61 meter (2.0 feet) per second.Assumingthat
the side slopesare l-1/2 to 1, the cross-sectionalarearequiredcan be computed
from the formula:

A = Cross-sectionalareain squaremeters (squarefeet)
Q = Irrigation delivery rate in cubic meters (cubic feet) per second
V = Velocity in meters (feet) per second

A = -‘*14 - 0.23 squaremeters (2.5 squarefeet)

0.61 -

From table 5-6, the depth of water, d, in the V-shapedfarm ditch would be
about 0.4 meter (1.3 feet), and the width of the water surface, B, would be
1.2 meters (3.9 feet). From the in-place tests, the hydraulic conductivity in the
farm ditch section would be about 3.05 centimeters (1.2 inches) per hour or
0.73 meter (2.4 feet) per day.


0.73 (1.2 +0.8)

41 = = 0.4 17 cubic metersper day per linear meter
(4.45 cubic feet per day per linear foot) of channel

Seepagein cubic feet per secondper mile:

0.417x 1,000
- 0.00483ms/sper kilometer (0.272 fts/s per mile)
86,400 -

The time requiredfor irrigation of the samplefarm is 88 hours, andduring this

time about 1.21 kilometers (0.75 mile) of farm ditch is carrying water. The
seepageloss from the ditch during each irrigation over the 50.6 hectares
(125 acres)is:

Metic-O.OO483 x 1.21 x 88 x 3,600x 1,000 = 3.66 millimeters (0.14 inch)

10,000x 50.6

x x x x 12
English- 0.27 0.75 88 3,600 = 0.14 inch (3.66 millimeters)
43,560 x 125

The total deep percolation, including that from adjacentareasand the farm
ditch, is 24.6 (0.97) + 0.76 (0.03) + 3.66 (0.14) = 29.0 hectare-millimetersper
hectare(1.14 acre-inchesper acre) for eachirrigation.
5-60. Determination of Barrier Zone.-An accurate appraisalof barrier
zonesis important in the drain spacingsolution, but barrier zoneidentification is
not alwayseasyor clearcut. The definition given in section46 definesa barrier
zone as a layer which has a hydraulic conductivity value one-fifth or less than
that of the weighted averagehydraulic conductivity of the layers above it.
Table 5-l 1 shows the barrier layer computationsfor six subareasof the sample
farm as shown on figure 541.
S-61. Depth of Drains.-Figure 5-41 shows areaswith similar drainage
conditionsand the m-placehydraulic conductivity data for each area. Study of
thesedata indicatesthat drains about 2.75 meters (9 feet) deep would be in the
most permeablematerial. Also, the benefits for drain depthsover 2.75 meters
(9 feet) deepstart decreasingwhen comparedto constructioncosts. Seesection
5-33 for methodsof analyzingeconomicdram depths.
5-62. Drain SpacingDeterminations and Drain Locations.-Drain spacing
is determinedby the methodsdescribedin part A of this chapter.The following
tabulation shows calculated drain spacingsrounded to the nearest 3 meters
(10 feet) for eachof the subareas:

Drain sDacinns on sample farm

Drain spacing
7 meters eet
A-l 73 240
A-2 107 350
B 52 170
C-l 76 250
c-2 91 300
c-3 107 350
i?. 0-Ti(SL)=Z.O in/h
2-l’f(SCL)=OB in/h
: SUBAREA C-I 7-12k(SL)=l.2 in/h
--a -w IZ-16’f(L)=0.6 in/h

0-9’Yf(SL)=i.Z in/h
\ 9-14’f(SCL)=O.Sin/l.,
I 14-19’f(CL)f0.2
\ IS-20’f(C)=0.1 in/h
-e ______


16-20’k(C)=o.1 in/h


04k(SL)=1.9 in/h
~-I~~(SCL)=O.S in/h EHC
‘4’-H’=l.Z in/h i SUBAREA C-

----- : -----
---_ +,,,------e--s,
b-$*(SL)=Z.O in/h
/2-7’f(SCL)=I.O in/h
.2 1 I-12’f(SL)=2.2 in/h
1 13-17’f(CL)=O.2 in/h /h
I 12-16’&(L)= 0.6 in/h
,- ,--- 4, ll-2O’f(C)=O.l in/h i 16-ldf(CL)=0.3 in/h
\ i 16-2df (C)- 0.1 in/h
‘. :
‘. ---e-_-e- /’
HC-Weighted hydraulic ’ A
conductivity SUBAREA A-2
\ /

200 0 400 800

I*~~1 I

Figure 541.Subareas of the sample farm having similar drainage conditions. The weighted, average, in-place hydraulic conductivity data are shown for
each subarea. Drawing 103-D-676.
Table 5-l 1,Computations showing selection of barrier layer.

K2, weighted K1x5

SUb- Kz, hydraulic hydraulic compared with K2
area Depth Texture conductivity conductivitv of layers above Remarks
meters feet cm/hr in/h annlr in/h
1.2-2.7 4-9 SL 3.05 1.2 3.05 1.2
2.74.3 9-14 SCL 1.27 0.5 2.16 0.85 1.27 (0.5) x 5 = 6.35 (2.5) > 3.05 (1.2)
C-l 4.3-1.6 14-15 CL 0.51 0.2 2.01 0.79 0.51 (0.2) x 5 = 2.55 (1.0) > 2.16 (0.85)
4.6-6.1 15-20 c 0.25 0.1 1.42 0.56 0.25 (0.1‘) x5= 1.25 (0.9 <2.01 (0.79) Barrier
1X2.7 4-9 SL 4.06 1.6 4.06 1.6
2.74.3 9-14 SCL 1.27 0.5 2.67 1.05 1.27 (0.5) x5 = 6.35 (2.5) > 4.06 (1.6)
c-2 4.34.6 14-15 CL 0.51 0.2 2.49 0.98 0.51 (0.2) x 5 = 255 (1.0) < 2.67 (1.05) Barrier
4.6-6.1 15-20 c 0.25 0.1 1.78 0.70
1X2.1 4-7 SCL 1.52 0.6 1.52 0.60
2.1-3.7 7-12 SL 3.05 1.2 2.46 0.97 3.05 (1.2) x 5= 15.25 (6.0) > 1.52 (0.60)
A-l 3.74.9 12-16 L 2.03 0.8 2.34 0.92 2.03 (0.8) x 5= 10.15 (4.0) > 2.46 (0.97)
4.9-5.5 16-18 CL 0.76 0.3 2.11 0.83 0.76 (0.3) x 5= 3.80 (1.5) > 2.34 (0.92)
5.5-6.1 18-20 C 0.25 0.1 1.88 0.74 0.25 (0.1) x 5= 1.25 (0.5) < 2.11 (0.83) Barrier
1.2-2.1 4-7 SCL 2.54 1.0 2.54 1.0
2.1-3.7 7-12 SL 5.58 2.2 4.45 1.75 5.58 (2.2) x5= 27.9 (I 1.) > 2.54 (1.0)
A-2 3.74.9 12-16 L 2.03 0.8 3.63 1.43 2.03 (0.8) x5 = 10.15 (4.8) > 4.45 (1.75)
4.9-5.5 16-18 CL 0.76 0.3 3.23 1.27 0.76 (0.3) x5 = 3.80 (1.5) > 3.63 (1.43)
5.5-6.1 18-20 C 0.25 0.1 2.87 1.13 0.25 iO.ii x5= 1.25 i0.s) < 3.23 il.Zti Barrier
1.2-1.8 4-6 C 0.25 0.1 0.25 0.10 Barrier
1.84.0 6-13 SL 3.81 1.5 3.05 1.20 3.81 (1.5) x 5 = 19.05 (7.5) > 0.25 (0.1)
B 4.0-5.2 13-17 CL 0.51 0.2 2.26 0.89 0.51 (0.2) x5 = 2.55 (1.0)
. < 3.05 (1.2) Barrier
5.2-6.1 17-20 c 0.25 0.1 1.88 0.74
1X2.7 4-9 SL 4.83 1.9 4.83 1.90
2.74.3 9-14 SCL 1.27 0.5 3.05 1.20 1.27 (0.5) x 5 = 6.35 (2.5) > 4.83 (1.90)
c-3 4.34.6 14-15 CL 0.51 0.2 2.79 1.10 0.51 (0.2) x 5 = 2.55 (1.0) < 3.05 (1.2) Barrier
4.6-6.1 15-U) c 0.25 0.1 2.03 0.80

For maximum effectiveness,the drains shouldbe locatedin the more perme-

ablelayers.The in-placehydraulic conductivity data were usedto determinethe
most desirabledrain locations. For example,if spacingrequirementscould be
satisfactorily met, a &am shouldnot be locatedthrough the lesspermeablearea
representedby grid points D-3 and E-3. In this case,the drainscould be located
on either side of this less permeable area and still meet the drain spacing
requirements.Figure 542 showsthe location of the drainsfor the samplefarm.

563. Bibliography.-
Amer, N. N., andJ. N. Lmhin, 1967, “ProposedDrain SpacingEquationand
an Experimental Check on Transient Equations with the Hele-Shaw
Model,” InternationalSoil Water Symposium,Proceedings No. 2, Czechos-
lovak National Committee, International Commission on Irrigation and
Bureauof Reclamation,1951, “Inigation Advisers’ Guide,” table 10, p. 117.
Bureau of Reclamation, 1957, “Hydraulic and Excavation Tables,” Elev-
enth edition.
Bureauof Reclamation,1974,Earth Manual, secondedition.
Bureau of Reclamation, 1977, Ground Water Manual - A Water Resources
Technical Publication, U.S. Department of the Interior.
Bureauof Reclamation,1987,“Construction InspectorTraining -Buried Pipe
Christopher, J. N., and R. J. Winger, Jr., August 1975, “Economical Drain
Depth for Irrigated Areas.” Paperpresentedat the American Society of
Civil EngineersMeeting, Logan UT, pp. 263-272.
Donnan,W. W., 1946,“Model Testsof aTile-SpacingFormula,” Proceedings,
Soil ScienceSocietyof America, vol. 11,pp. 131-136.
Dumm, L. D., October 1954, “Drain-SpacingFormula,” Agricultuml Engi-
neering,vol.35, pp. 726-730.
Dumm, L. D., December 1960, “Validity and Use of the Transient-Flow
Conceptin SubsurfaceDrainage.” Paperpresentedat the AmericanSociety
of Agricultural EngineersWinter Meeting, Memphis TN.
Dumm, L. D., February 1962,“Drain SpacingMethod Used by the Bureauof
Reclamation,” Paperpresentedat ARS-SCS DrainageWorkshop, River-
Dumm, L. D., October 1967,“Transient-Flow Theory and Its Use in Subsur-
face Drainage of Irrigated Land,” American Society of Agricultuml
EngineersWater ResourceConference,New York.
Dumm, L. D., and R. J. Winger, Jr., June 1963, “Designing a Subsurface
Drainage Systemin an Irrigated Area through Use of the Transient-Flow
Concept.” Paperpresentedat the American Society of Agricultural Engi-
neersMeeting, Miami BeachFL,
Hooghoudt,S. B., 1937,“Contributions to the Knowledgeof CertainPhysical
Propertiesof the Soil,” BrodenkundigInstitute, Groningen, The Nether-
lands,bulletin No. 43 (13)B, pp. 461-676.
Hooghoudt, S. B., 1940,“Bijdragen tot de Kemris van EenigeNaluurkundige
Gmothedenvan den Gmnd Versiagenvan LandbourkundigeOnderzoek-
ingen,” No. 46(14)B, Algemeene Landsdurkbery, The Hague, The
Israelsen,0. W., 1950, “Irrigation Principlesand Practices,” secondedition,
JohnWiley and Sons,Inc., New York, Chapmanand Hall, Ltd., London.

Kirkham, D., October 1958, “Seepageof SteadyRainfall Through Soil into

Drains,” TransactionsAmericanGeophysicalUnion, vol. 39, pp. 892-908.
Kouns,R. H., and E. L. Pemberton,August 1963,“Criteria for SurfaceWater
DisposalSystems,Definite PlanReport,CedarRapidsDivision, Nebraska-
Missouri River Basin Project,” Travel Report.
Ligon, J. T., H. P. Johnson,andD. Kirkham, June1962,“Glass-Bead-Glycerol
Model for Studyingthe Falling Water TablebetweenOpenDitch Drains.”
Paperpresentedat the AmericanSocietyof Agricultural EngineersAnnual
Meeting, WashingtonDC, No. 62222.
Luthin, J. N., and J. C. Guitjens,October 1965,“TransientSolutionsfor Drain
Spacingon SlopingLand as Determinedby the Hele-ShawViscousFlow
Model.” Presentedat the Billings, Montana, Conferenceof the Irrigation
and DrainageDivision, American Society of Civil Engineers.
Maasland,M., January1956,“The RelationshipBetweenPermeabilityandthe
Discharge, Depth, and Spacingof Tile Drains,” bulletin No. 1, Ground
Water and Drainage Series,Water Conservationand Irrigation Commis-
sion, New SouthWales, Australia.
Mantei, C. L. (1971, 1974), Interoffice Memorandums dated December 6,
1971,and July 151974, reporting resultsof analogstudies.
Moody, W. T., June 7, 1960, “Effect of Gap Width on Flow into Draintile,”
UnpublishedMemo to Chief, Office of Drainageand Ground Water Engi-
Talsma,T., andH. C. Haskew,November 1959,“Investigationof Water-Table
Responseto Tile Drainsin Comparisonwith Theory,” Journalof Geophysi-
cal Research,vol. 64, No. 11, pp. 1933-1944.
Talsma,T. (compiled by), November 1959,“Detailed Recordson Tile Drain
Design and Performance,” Addendumto “Investigations of Water-Table
Responseto Tile Drains in Comparison With Theory,” Joumal of Geo-
physicalResearch,vol. 64, No. 11.
Winger, R. J., Jr., June 1960, “In-Place Permeability Tests and Their Use in
SubsurfaceDrainage.” Paperpresentedat the International Commission
on Irrigation and Drainage,Fourth Congress,vol. III, pp. 11.417 - 11.469,
Madrid, Spain.
Winger, R. J., Jr., December 1969, “Drainage Design for Managing Saline
Pollutants,” American Societyof Agricultural EngineersWinter Meeting,
Winger, R. J., Jr., December 1970, “Gravel Envelopes for Pipe Drains -
Design,” American Society of Agricultural EngineersWinter Meeting,
((Chapter VI



6-l. Introduction. -Efficient drainagesystemsmust ultimately be provided

on all irrigation projects when natural drainageconditions are inadequateto
remove surpluswater and salt. This surpluswater may include waste from the
irrigated farms, surfacerunoff from snow andrainfall, seepageand leakagefrom
project canalsand distribution systems,artesianwater, andpercolationfrom farm
irrigation. Timely performanceof preventiveandregularmaintenanceon project
drainage systems is absolutely necessaryif the systems are to perform their
intended functions. Project drainage systemsshould be thoroughly examined
periodically to determineif they are functioning properly and if maintenanceis
Occasionally,operation and maintenanceforces on Bureau of Reclamation
projects are required to designand construct openand pipe drains.Thesedrams
shouldbe designedand constructedunder the samecriteria usedwhen the work
is doneby Reclamationengineers.
6-2. Buried Pipe Drainage Systems.-Buried pipe drainagesystems,pmp-
erly installed, generally need little care to keep them operating satisfactorily;
however,newly constructedsystemsrequireclosevigilanceduring theearly years
of operation.Propercare of the systemduring this early period will increasethe
effectivenessof the drains and will often eliminate the need for future costly
maintenance.Drainage systemfailures or partial failures are usually associated
with unstable soil conditions which causeshifts in pipe alignment and grade;
collapsedpipe; pulledjoints; and pluggedoutlets, pipes,and manholes.
(a) Pipe drain outlets.-All pipe outlets shouldbe inspectedin the springand
after heavyrainstormsto ensurethat the pipe still hasa freefall into the opendram
and that no erosionhasoccurredon the sideslopeswhich could causethe outlet
pipe to be displaced.
Flap gates, when required on the pipe outlet to keep floodwater in the open,
dram from backing up into the pipe, shouldbe inspectedat leastonce a month\
Rodent screensthat have been installed on pipe outlets should be checked

periodically to be sure they are in place. Rodent screensmay require periodic

cleaningto removemossand algaegrowth. Placingthe screenin the outlet pipe
so that it is out of direct sunlight may reduce the problem. Also, self-cleaning
models are availablethrough plastic pipe manufacturers.Where rodent screens
havenot beeninstalled,thepipe outlet shouldbeinspectedperiodicallyfor rodent
nests.All pipe outletsshouldbeprotectedby fencingif farm animalsam allowed
(b) Manholes or sand traps.--Manholes areusedat anypoint on a pipe drain
where they can be justified, and at junctions and major changesin alignment. It
is very important that the manholesbe kept clean; particularly during the initial
operation of the system.Manholes should be inspectedonce a week when the
drains are first laid, becausefailure to clean them has causedmany drainage
systemsto becomeplugged.Pumpscan be usedto remove sandfrom manholes.
Any erosionor settlementaround the outsideof the manholeshouldbe repaired
immediately.Manholesshouldnot beusedassurfacewastedisposaloutlets, and
no one shouldbe permitted to remove the top LO-meter (3-foot) section,replace
the cover, and thereby bury the structure without written consentof the control
agency.Water levels shouldnot be allowed in the manholeshigher than the top
of the inlet pipe.
When using mechanicalcleaningrods in manholes,care shouldbe taken so
that the whipping motion of the cleaningcabledoesnot damagethe endsof the
inlet and outlet pipes. Silt and sand trappedin the manhole shouldbe cleaned
following any drain-cleaningupstmam.
Manhole covers should be fastened securely at all times, except during
cleaningoperationsor inspection,to keep trashout and to prevent small children
and animalsfrom falling into the manhole.
(c) General maintenance of pipe drains.-A record should be established
immediately after a drain is completed to track the amount of flow at each
manholeandat the drain outlet. This tracking canbedoneby measuringthe depth
of water in the pipes that dischargeinto the manholesandby actuallymeasuring
dischargeat the drain outlet. A suddendrop in dischargeat any of the measuring
points warrants additional investigationsbecausethere is a good possibility a
segmentof the drainhasbeencompletelyor partially plugged.The areaalongthe
pipe dmin shouldbe inspectedfor sinkholes,wet spots,or tree growth, which are
good indicatorsof potential trouble locations.
If a small sinkholeis discovered,it should be backfilled and inspectedlater
for anyadditionalsettlement.If a largesinkholeis found,a fairly largehole should
be dug down to the drain becauselarge sinkholesoften developover brokenpipe
or over joints that have separated.Broken pipe shouldbe replacedimmediately.
Joints that have pulled apart can be repairedsatisfactorily by placing pipe butts
(brokenpiecesof pipe) over thejoint andbackfilling aroundthejoint with gravel.
Crushed pipe is a problem with plastic drains, and is usually the result of
problems during construction. The most common problem is excessivestretch

during construction;also, trencherbreakdownor getting stuck allows the box to

settle on the pipe. All collapseddrainpipeshouldbe removedand replaced.
Wet spots that suddenlyappearover pipe drains are good indicators that the
drain has been completely or partially plugged. If the drain is only partially
pluggedwith sediment,theplug canoften be removedby placinga ball somewhat
smallerthan the pipe into the pipe upstreamfrom the wet spot. This method has
beenused very successfullyto flush sandand silt from pipe drains. Sewerrods
can also be usedboth in concreteand clay pipe to probe and clear the drain. In
recentyears,high-pressurejets havebeendevelopedthat havebeenparticularly
useful in cleaningplasticpipe drains.In somecases,a plug in the drain will have
to be locatedand removedby uncoveringand replacinga sectionof the drain
Broken pipe, pulled joints, or plugged drains should be repaired as soon as
possibleso that the drainagesystemwill function asintended.Plugsin older pipe
drains am usuahy causedby tree or plant roots. Copper sulfate injected into the
drain systemwill usuallykill the roots, andby usinga cleaningtool operatedfrom
the downstream side, the dead roots can be broken off and washedout to the
nearestmanholefor removal When manholesarenot available,a hole shouldbe
excavatedto the drain downstream from the plug and one or more pipe joints
removedso that the cleaningequipmentcanbe insertedinto thepipe. When using
this method, a screenshould always be placed over the pipe opening on the
downstreamside to prevent roots or other material from entering this portion of
the drain.
Corrugatedplastic drainpipecan easily be replacedusing couplersand wire
or tape. In caseof an obstruction, insteadof removing the pipe, it is often easier
to cut an opening or window in the top of the pipe. After the obstruction is
removed or other work performed, the hole is easily repaired. A cover piece is
cut from a sparepiece of pipe and then fastenedin placewith wire or tape. The
window or joint areasare then coveredwith plastic sheetandthe gravelenvelope
material replaced.Regardlessof material, the disturbedarea of pipe should be
beddedin and coveredwith a minimum of 10 millimeters (4 inches)of gravel
similar in gradationto the original envelope.(Sandersand Crooks, 1985).
Periodicchecksshouldbe madealong the pipe drainsto ensurethat treesand
shrubshave not startedto grow over or near the dmins. New growth shouldbe
killed by sprayingwith acceptablechemicals,if practicable.If trees and shrubs
are growing near the drains that cannotbe removed,the drain shouldbe treated
with copper sulfate to kill the roots. The first treatment shouldbe madein April
or early May, and if the roots are a seriousproblem, a secondtreatment should
be made in August. The copper sulfate will not stop new root growth, so this
treatment will have to be made annually. State water-quality standardsmust be
followed closely when drainsare treatedwith coppersulfate or other chemicals.
6-3. Open Drainage System.-Open drains require regular maintenanceto
keepthemfunctioning asdesigned.The frequencyanddegreeof this maintenance
dependupon the climate, amountof rainfall, and the depththat the ground-water
table must be kept below the ground surface. Shallow surfacedrains in stable

material generallyrequire only spot cleaningannually and a complete cleaning

about every 5 years. In unstablesoils, annualcleaningmight be required along
the bottom of the drains to maintain design depth, particularly if pipe drains
dischargeinto the open drain. In the more stable soils and deep open drains,
chemicalsusedperiodically will prevent or kill weeds,willows, and tules. The
weedsshouldbe removedafter they have beenkilled by chemicalsso that the
drain section is kept clean. All open drainswill require somedegreeof mainte-
nanceafter a large storm. A special problem is keeping open drains clear of
tumbleweeds,which cancauseseriouserosionproblemsaroundstructures.
All spoil banks should be planted to grass and should be releveled and
replanted after bank cleaning. This replanting is done mainly to stabilize the
excavatedmaterial to keepit from blowing or washingback into the drain and to
provide a suitableroadway for maintenance.The side slopesof the open drain
particularly the sidesabovethe water surface,shouldalsobeplantedto grassand
fertilized every 2 years. Maintenanceroadsrequire spot repair in the spring and
after large storms.
Inlet openings,made through open drain banks for surface water, should be
installedusingpipeinlets or linedchannels.Properlyinstalled,theseinletsusually
require inspections only after large storms or when the open drain is being
cleaned.Under no condition shouldan unlined cut be allowed through the drain
bank. When pipes smaller than 45Omillimeter (l%inch) diameter are used for
thesesurfaceinlets, they shouldbe inspectedfrequently during the spring to see
if weedshavepluggedthe pipe. All gradecontrol structuresshouldbe inspected
periodically to check for undercutting or settlementand to determine that the
trashracksandbaffles are not pluggedwith weeds.
All livestock wateringaccessesto the drain shouldbe coveredwith rock ripmp
or pavedwith concreteand fenced.All f ricesacrossthe drain sectionshouldbe
inspectedand cleanedof weedsand trasiI eachspring and after large storms.
Wide-bottomed,shallow floodway channelsshouldbe grassedon the bottom
and sides.The grassshouldbe clippedto a height of about 10centimetersat least
oncea year.The banksandsidesshouldbe fertilized asneeded.Grazingon these
grassedareasshouldbe controlled, particularly in early spring.
Natural waterwaysusedas drainsshouldbe left in their natural stateasmuch
as possible.Spot filling of erodedsectionswith rock or gravel shouldkeep the
channelstable, and smaller sectionsthat erodeunder perennialflows shouldbe
rock lined. All inlets for surplusirrigation or rainfall runoff shouldconsistof pipe
inlets with riprap placedunder the pipe.
6-4. Wastewater Disposal Ponds.-Wastewater disposalpondsam effective
only in areaswhere the ponds can be bottomed in permeablesandsand gravel
with an adequatenatural outlet or can be of such sizeas to store and evaporate
drainwatersenteringthe pond. The ponds will operateas intendedprovided the
silt which accumulatesin the bottom is removedperiodically.A recordshouldbe
kept on the dischargeof ponds.Staff gaugescan be installedand readingstaken
at regular intervals to determinehow fast the water seepsout of the pond. When

the rate of dischargedecreasesconsiderably,it is time to cleanthe ponds.A good

grasscover should be maintainedon the dikes aroundpondsby periodic fertili-
zation and watering if required.
Inlet structures,which havebeenconstructedto bring surfacewastewaterfrom
thefields into the ponds,shouldbekept in goodrepair. Settlingbasinsor silt traps
aheadof the inlet structum shouldbe kept cleanto minimize theneedfor cleaning
the ponds.
6-5. Drainage Observation Wells.-Gbservation wells, properly installed,
requireminimum maintenance.However, any suddenchangein the water-table
depthor a constantwater-tabledepthovera 3- or4-month periodusuallyindicates
a pluggedwell. The work involved in cleaningthe well can vary from pumping
silt andsandfrom the well to pulling the pipe in the well and installingit in anew
hole. The most common needfor maintenanceresults from the pipe in the well
being bent or pulled out by farm or highway equipment.To keep a reliable and
completerecord of the water table,thesedamagedwells shouldbereinstalledand
protectedby a lOO-by lOO-millimeter(4- by 4-&h) paintedpost. All automatic
recordersinstalledon observationwells requireconstantmaintenanceto keepthe
clock and recorderoperatingproperly.
6-6. Policy and Basic Requirements.-For additionalinformation, seeRec-
lamation Instructions Series 520 Drainage, Part 521, Policy and Basic
67. Bibliography.-
Sanders,G. D. and Crooks, T. J., 1985, “You Need More than a Plumber’s
Helper,” 1985ASCE Irrigation and DrainageConference.
((Chapter VII


7-l. Return Flow Analysis Using the Transient Flow Concept.-A study
of ground water hydrographsin an irrigated area generally shows that a water
table risesduring the irrigation seasonand reachesits highestelevationafter the
last irrigation of the seasonor, in an area of year-roundcropping, at the end of
the peak portion of the irrigation season.The water table thenrecedesduring the
slack or nonirrigation portion of the year and rises again during the irrigation
seasonthe following year.
If the annualdischargefrom anirrigatedareadoesnot equalrecharge,thetrend
of the cyclic water table fluctuation will be progressivelyupward from year to
year. When annualdischargeand rechargebecomeequal, the highestlevel and
therangeof water tablefluctuation becomereasonablyconstantfrom yearto year.
This condition is defined as “dynamic equilibrium.” The method of drainage
analysisdevelopedby the Bureauof Reclamationtakesinto accountthe transient
regimenof the ground-waterrechargeand discharge.
Figure54, basedon theBureau’smathematicaltreatmentof the transientflow
concept,showsgraphicallythe relation (at the midpoint betweenparallel drains)
between the dimensionlessparameters.The curves on figure 5-4 for these
parametersrepresentthe solution for the casewhere drams are abovea barrier
and on a barrier, respectively.
The dischargeformulas for parallel drains am:

q,2!wL (dramsabovebarrier)

4’ y (drainson barrier)
4 = dramdischargein cubic meters(feet) per linearmeter (foot) of drain
per day,
K = hydraulicconductivity in cubic meters(feet) per squaremeter (foot)
per day [meters (feet) per day], and


y, D, L, andH are as definedin sectionS-4.

Thesedischargeformulas are combined with dmin spacingcomputationsin
the developmentof area dischargecurves for use in the design of drams and
analysis of return flows. The discharge formulas, together with the spacing
computationsor ananalysisof naturaldrainagein the<area,
canbeusedto compute
the monthly distribution of dischargefrom a subsurfacedrainagesystem andto
check whether dynamicequilibrium exists.
An alternateapproachto determiningoutflow is accomplishedby calculating
the change in volume between successivedrops in the water table and then
dividing by the time period betweenreadings:

Volume=0.8(y, -y)xLxS

YO = initial water tableheight,
Y = final water table height,
L = drain spacing,and
S = specific yield.
The following is an exampleof drain spacingcomputationsand the develop-
ment of areadischargeand monthly distribution dischargecurves.The pertinent
soil, crop, irrigation, drain design, and climatic characteristicsare briefly de-
(a) Dram depth is 2.4 meters (8 feet); maximum permissibleheight of water
table midway betweendrams,yO,is 1.2 meters (4 feet) abovedrain. This height
providesa minimum root zoneof 1.2 meters (4 feet).
(b) Hydraulic conductivity of the subsoil,in the zone where the water table
will fluctuate, is 38 centimeters(15 inches)per hour [9.1 meters(30 feet) per day]
with a correspondingspecificyield of 23 percent.
(c) The depthfrom the drain to the impermeablebarrier, d, is about 10meters
(33 feet). This depthcorrespondsto anequivalentdepth,d’, of 9.1 meters(30 feet)
when spacing computations are corrected for convergency by Hooghoudt’s
method, discussedin section5-S.
(d> The weighted averagehydraulic conductivity in the zone between the
maximum allowable water table and the impermeablebarrier is 48 centimeters
(19 inches)per hour, or 11.6 meters (38 feet) per day.
(e) Soil texture of the root zoneis sandyloam. Deeppercolationundernormal
irrigation practices on sandy loam soils amounts to about 28 percent of the
irrigation application.
(jj The tabulationbelow showsthe crops grown in the area,amountof water
for each crop per irrigation, runount of deep percolation for each crop per
irrigation, and the buildup in the water table causedby eachirrigation.
(g) The irrigation schedule,shown on figure 7-1, shows the number and
timing of irrigations for each crop as reported by the farmers in the <area.
Safflower-vegetableand barley-vegetablecropsare doublecroppedon the same

land. In the computations,assumethat a 5-year crop rotation is practiced in the

order shownfrom top to bottom on figure7-1. The daysbetweenirrigations,used
in the computations,are alsoshown on figure 7-l.
(h) Climatic conditions of the areaare arid with only about 7.6 centimeters
(3 inches) of annual precipitation. Deep percolation from precipitation can
therefore,be ignored.In areaswhere deeppercolationfrom precipitation canbe
expected,the amount andtiming of suchdeeppercolationmust be consideredas
recharge in the computations, as describedin sections 5-5 and 5-57 of this
(i) Assumethe water table hasreacheddynamic equilibrium.

Irrigation application, Deep percolation, Water table buildup,

crop millimeters inches millimeters inches meters feet
Alfalfa 140 5.5 39 1.54 0.17 0.56
Safflower 130 5.0 36 1.40 0.15 0.51
Vegetables 130 5.0 36 1.40 0.15 0.51
Cotton 130 5.0 36 1.40 0.15 0.51
Barley 115 4.5 32 1.26 0.14 0.46
Bermuda 140 5.5 39 1.54 0.17 0.56

The water table reachesthe maximum allowable height, yO,above the drain
immediatelyafter the last irrigation of the seasonor at the endof thepeakportion
of the irrigation season.Therefore, the averageflow depth,D, canbe computed
for the first drain-out period. With this flow depth and the valuesof K, t, S, and
a predeterminedvalue of L, the valueof the parameter- canbe computedfor
the fast time period. With this value, the correspondingparametert can be
obtainedfrom the curve for drains above barrier on tigure 5-4. Knowing the
initial water tableheight, v, at the beginningof the time period, the valueof y, the
height to which the midpoint water table falls during the time period, can be
computed. This procedure is repeated for each successivetime interval. If
dynamicequilibrium exists,the water tablemust againreach,but not exceed,the
initial height at the sametime in the following year. Seesection5-7.
Table7-l showscomputationsfor the following 5-year crop rotation: (1) al-
falfa, (2) safflower and vegetables,(3) cotton, (4) barley and vegetables,and (5)
bermuda.In table 7-1, the columnscontain the following information:
Column 1.-Crop under consideration.
Column 2.-Designation of each successiveincrement of ground-water re-
chargefor eachcrop, seefigure 7-l.
Column 3.-Length of drain-out period or time betweenrechargein days.
Column 4,Buildup of water table in meters (feet) dueto eachrecharge.

Column 5.-Water table height at midpoint betweendrains immediatelyafter

a rechargeor at the beginningof eachdram-out period (column 9 of preceding
period plus column 4 of current period).
Column 6.-D is the averagedepthof flow, d' + $ , where d' is the distance
from drain to barrier correctedfor convergencyby Hooghoudt’smethod.
Column 7.-Computed value for flow conditions during dram-out period
(&x colwnn 3 x column 6).
Column K-Taken from curve of figure 5-4 for correspondingvalue of
Column 9.-Midpoint water tableheight abovedrain at end of eachdrain-out
period (column 5 x column 8).
Figure 7-2 shows the water table fluctuation for eachcrop in the rotation as
producedby a 488meter (1,600-foot) drain spacing.This figure illustrates the
fact that a singledrain spacingcannotbe expectedto be the optimum for all crops
grown in rotation in the samefield. In this example,the maximum permissible
water table height occurs with two of the crops. Therefore, the 488-meter
(1,600-foot) spacingis the maximum allowablefor optimum production.
Table 7-2 shows how the discharge formula, q =2 K !a!!?
L is used with
calculatedwater table heights to compute dischargerates at the beginning and
end of eachdrain-out period.
Figure7-3 showsfluctuationsin dischargerateproducedfrom a crop of alfalfa
underthe following conditions:(1) entireareais irrigated at onetime (maximum
dischargerate), and (2) areais too large to be irrigated at one time, but portions
are irrigated alternatelyso that the entire areais irrigated within the time period
betweenirrigations (averagedischargerate).
The design capacity of individual drainlines should be the maximum rate
obtainedfrom the curve of figure 7-3 for condition (1) above,becauseall or any
portion of an individual line could be irrigated at one time. Collector andoutlet
drams which serveareastoo large to be irrigated at one time shouldbe designed
for the maximum rate obtainedfrom the curve of figure 7-3 for condition (2)
In this example,crops am in a 5-year rotation, and eachfarm unit has equal
areasin each of the crops. As mentionedpreviously, no drain spacingcan be
optimum for all crops; similarly, no d.rainlinecapacity can be optimum for all
crops, which meansthat both drain spacingand capacity shouldbe provided for
the crop with the greatestdrainagerequirement; in this example, safflower. The
maximum dischargerate for safflower, asshownin table7-2, is 2.01 cubicmeters
per day per meter (21.6 cubic feet per day per foot) of drain The Bureau of
Reclamationnormally expressesthis rate in cubic meters (feet) per secondper
kilometer (mile) of drain, as follows:

Table 7-la.-Drain spacing computations with convergence correction

included for the example j-year crop rotation program (metric units).
L = 488 meters, K = 11.6 meters per day, S = 23 percent,
and d’ = 9.1 meters. (Sheet I of 2.) 103-0-1679-l.

1 2 4 5 6 8 9
crop rrigation buildup, Yo. D, Y
Number Meters deters [eters YO reLs
A 0.171 1.219 I.754 1.0351 b.812 j.990
0.171 1.161 I.726 I.1690 I.220 I.255
0.171 I.426 j.357 3.0455 j.742 I.316
0.171 I.488 I.388 3.0556 I.673 I.328
0.171 I.499 p.394 3.0597 M45 I.322
0.171 I.493 b.391 3.0597 M45 I.318
0.171 I.490 P.388 3.0576 M65 I.326
0.171 I.498 b.388 D.0318 I.840 I.418
0.171 I.586 j.437 D.0300 I.850 I.498
0.171 3.668 b.479 D.0301 I.850 I.568
0.171 3.741 j.513 D.0302 I.850 I.630
Alfalfa 0.171 I.801 a.543 0.0303 I.850 I.681
0.171 3.850 P.571 0.0304 I.850 I.723
0.171 3.894 a.592 0.0305 I.850 I.759
0.171 3.930 a.610 0.0203 I.920 I.856
0.171 1.027 a.656 0.0204 I.920 I.944
0.171 1.113 P.702 0.0349 I.810 1.902
0.171 1.075 3.680 0.1680 I.225 I.242
0.171 3.412 a.351 0.0456 I.740 3.305
0.171 3.475 J.382 0.0556 1.670 I.318
0.171 D.489 J.388 0.0597 I.650 3.318
0.171 D.489 a.388 0.1310 1.320 3.157
0.155 D.311 a.299 0.0275 3.870 3.271
0.155 D.426 a.357 0.0237 3.893 3.380
0.155 D.536 a.412 0.0199 I.920 3.493
0.155 DA48 a.467 0.0200 I.920 3.596
0.155 D.752 ).519 0.0202 I.920 3.692
: 0.155 D.848 a.568 0.0202 3.920 3.780
0.155 D.934 a.610 0.0204 I.920 3.860
iafflower 1.016
0.155 a.653 0.0204 I.920 3.935
0.155 1.092 ).690 0.0205 I.919 1.003
0.155 1.158 a.723 0.0206 I.919
0.155 1.219 a.754 0.0206 I.919 E!l
0.155 1.275 a.781 0.0207 I.917 1:169
0.155 1.326 9.808 0.020E 0.917 1.216
0.155 1.375 9.830 0.240 0.330
0.155 0.484 9.385 FE: 0.851 0.412
4 0.155 0.568 9.427 0:021s 0.912 0.518
0.155 0.672 9.479 0.02oc 0.920 0.618
0.155 0.775 9.531 0.0202 0.920 0.713
0.155 0.867 9.577 0.0202 0.920 0.798
0.155 0.954 9.623 0.136c 0.313 0.299

Table7-la.-Drain spacing computations with convergence correction

included for the example j-year crop rotation program (metric units).
L = 488 meters, K = 11.6 meters per day, S = 23 percent,
and d’ = 9.1 meters. (Sheet 2 of 2.) 103-D-1679-2.

1 2 4 5 6 8 0

crop higatior 3uildup. Yo. D. L

Number Meters Meters YO *eLs
0.155 D.454 9.370 0.1770 0.205 0.093
0.155 D.248 0.0431 0.755 0.187

0.155 D.342 9.315 0.0276 0.870 0.298
0.155 0.453 9.370 0.0278 0.870 0.394
0.155 D.549 9.418 0.0279 0.870 0.478
0.155 D.633 9.461 0.0280 0.870 0.550
0.155 0.705 9.498 0.0281 0.866 0.611
0.155 0.766 9.528 0.0282 0.865 0.662
0.155 0.817 9.552 0.0283 0.865 0.707
0.155 0.862 9.577 0.0284 0.866 0.747

0.155 0.902 9.595 0.2032 0.145 0.131
0.140 0.271 9.278 0.0609 0.640 0.173
0.140 0.313 9.299 0.0414 0.770 0.241
0.140 0.381 9.336 0.0395 0.783 0.298
Barley 0.140 0.438 9.363 0.0297 0.860 0.377
0.140 0.517 9.403 0.0299 0.860 0.445
0.140 0.585 9.437 0.0299 0.855 0.500
0.140 9.464 0.1523 0.260 0.166
1 K2 9.226 0.1485 0.272 0.045
o.p55 0:200 9.245 0.0294 0.860 0.172
0.155 0.327 9.309 0.0296 0.860 0.281
t 0.155 0.436 9.363 0.0218 0.916 0.400
‘egetables 0.155 0.555 9.421 0.0199 0.924 0.513
0.155 0.668 9.479 0.0200 0.923 0.616
0.155 0.771 9.531 0.0202 0.921 0.710
J- 0.155 0.865 9.577 0.1785 0.188 0.163
0.171 0.334 9.307 0.0769 0.555 0.185
0.171 0.356 9.318 0.0296 0.860 0.306
0.171 0.477 9.379 0.0298 0.860 0.410
0.171 0.581 9.431 0.0300 0.850 0.494
0.171 0.665 9.472 0.0301 0.850 0.565
1 0.171 0.736 9.508 0.0322 0.840 0.618
Bermuda 0.171 0.789 9.535 0.0303 0.850 0.671
0.171 0.842 9.561 0.0304 0.850 0.716
0.171 0.887 9.583 0.0325 0.836 0.742
0.171 0.913 9.596 0.0305 0.849 0.775
0.171 0.946 9.613 0.0326 0.835 0.790
0.171 0.961 9.621 0.0306 0.849 0.816
0.171 0.987 9.633 0.0306 0.849 0.838
1 0.171 1.009 9.645 0.1879 0.180 0.182

Table 7-lb.-Drain spacing computations with convergence correction

included for the example j-year crop rotation program (U.S. customary units).
L = 1,600 feet, K = 38 feet per day, S = 23 percent,
and d’ = 30 feet. (Sheet 1 of 2.) 103-0-1679-l.
1 2 -3 4 5 6 8 9
rrigation ‘ime, hildup.
Number bays
- Feet 2 Feet
D, 1
YO F2t
0.56 4.00 I.0351 3.812 3.25
i; 0.56 3.81 ;z I.1690 3.220 0.84
23 0.56 1.40 ;g M455 3.742
D.645 :~~
it 0.56 1.61 0.665 1:06
0.56 1.62 :i% 0.840 1.36
:; 0.56 1.92 30:96 0.850
0.56 2.20 31.10 0.850 :-ii
:z 0.56 2.43 31.21 0.850 2:06
4lfalfa 0.56 2.62 31.31 0.850 2.23
:i 0.56 2.79 31.40 0.850 2.37
0.56 2.93 31.47 0.0305 0.850 2.49
:; 0.56 3.05 31.53 0.0203 0.920 2.80
10 0.56 3.36 31.68 0.0204 0.920 3.10
17 0.56 3.66 31.83 0.0349 0.810 2.96
0.56 3.52 0.1680 0.225 0.79
ii 0.56 1.35 %:f 0.0456 0.740 1.00
28 0.56 1.56 30:78 0.0556 0.670 1.05
30 0.56 1.61 30.80 0.0597 0.650
66 0.56 1.60 30.80 0.1310 0.320 A-E
14 0.51 1.02 30.51 0.0275 0.870 oh39
12 0.51 1.40 0.0237 0.893 1.25
0.51 1.76 %;I: 0.0199 0.920 1.62
:i 0.51 2.13 31:06 0.920 1.96
10 0.51 2.47 31.23 0.920 2.27
0.51 2.78 31.39 0.920 2.56
:i 0.51 3.07 31.53 0.920 2.82
0.51 3.34 31.67 0.920 3.07
:: 0.51 3.58 31.79 0.919 3.29
0.51 3.80 31.90 0.919 3.49
:: 0.51 32.00 0.919 3.68
10 0.51 ~~ 32.09 0.917 3.84
0.51 4:36 32.18 0.917 3.99
:‘: 0.51 4.50 32.25 0.1603 0.240 1.08
0.51 1.59 30.79 0.851 1.35
:: 0.51 1.86 30.93 8E 0.912 1.70
egetable 10 0.51 2.21 31.10 0:02Oa 0.920 2.03
0.51 2.54 31.27 0.0202 0.920 2.34
:: 0.51 2.85 31.42 0.0203 0.920 2.62
67 0.51 3.13 31.57 0.1360 0.313 0.98

Table 7-lb.-Drain spacing computations with convergence correction

included for the example S-year crop rotation program (U.S. customary units).
L = 1,600 feet, K = 38 feet per day, S = 23 percent,
and d’ = 30 feet. (Sheet 2 of 2.) 103-D-1679-1.

1 3- 4 5 6 8 9
crop ‘ime buildup, D, y_
lays Feet FEi Feet YO Fc%
89 0.51 1.49 30.74 0.1770 D.205 0.31
22 0.51 30.41 0.0431 D.755 0.62
14 0.51 E 30.56 0.0276 3.870 0.98
14 0.51 1:49 30.74 0.0278 D.870 1.30
I 14 0.51 1.81 30.90 0.0279 D.870 1.57
cotton 14 0.51 2.08 31.04 0.0280 3.870 1.81
14 0.51 2.32 31.16 0.0281 D.866 2.01
0.51 2.52 31.26 D.865 2.18
:44 0.51 2.69
31.34 OdE
0.51 31.42
&I 0.51 2.97 31.48 0.2032 0.145 0.43

0.46 0.89
30.44 0.0609
0.46 30.51
20 0.46 1.25 30.63 0.0395 0.783 0.98

0.46 2.10
31.05 0.1523 0.260 AC
1 30.27 0.1485 0.272 0:15


‘egetable: :tl 0.51 1.83 30.91 0:0199 0.924 1.69
10 0.51 2.20 31.10 0.0200 0.923 2.03

i Iii
0.56 1.17 30.58 0.0296 0.860 1.01
tz 0.56 1.57 30.78 0.0298 0.860 1.35
15 0.56 1.91 0.0300 0.850 1.62
0.56 2.18 3FZ8 0.0301 0.850 1.85
I :: 0.56 2.41 31:21 0.0322 0.840 2.02
Bermuda 15 0.56 2.58 31.29 0.0303 0.850 2.19
15 0.56 2.75 31.38 0.0304 0.850 2.34
16 0.56 2.90 31.45 0.0325 0.836 2.42
0.56 2.98 31.49 0.0305 0.849 2.53
:i 0.56 3.09 31.55 0.0326 0.835 2.58
15 0.56 3.14 31.57 0.0306 0.849 2.67
0.56 3.23 31.61 0.0306 0.849 2.74
;: 0.56 3.30 31.65 0.1879 0.180 0.59

#Ground Surface !.44
aa E
fi5 z
0 Z g
2 0
c c----c- r--1--;-+ +--,------p---$----“--.- ---.-- =-- 1.00
I 0 I r 1-w T E
s L-

a G 5 G cc f t%
A 3, ___- J -___--w-- -- ---- -----------------
____- ------- 50
Q, /louble lines indicate the zone where the woter
z A / . I ‘ *I L -I-- >. -.-
Toote TlucruoTes aurlng the primary irrigation. .22
F 4 /A /
c .oo


4 i

Figure 7-2.-Water table fluctuation for each crop in the example >-year crop rot&on program. 103-D-1675.
pu~uu 8 u!q#m
Apnueus~nkup PeP6!J!
kl38W30~ P3QW3AoN Ina l43ByT3ld3s 1snDnv AlfW- 3Nlw AVW 1Ilidv HNVN AWnt1933 AHvnNvP

= 0.023 ms/s per kilometer(l.3 fts/per mile)

Discharge can also be expressedas cubic meters (feet) per secondper hectare
(acne),as follows:

= 0.00048ms/s per hectare(O.O068fP/s per acre)

The maximum rate for safflower, 0.00048ms/sper hectare(0.0068fts/s per acre)

is usedin deriving the areadischargecurvefor smallareasup to about 16hectares
(40 acres).
The designof collector dramscanbe basedon the maximum weightedaverage
dischargerate producedby all crops usedin the 5-year rotation, seefigure 74.
Figure 7-4 showsthe averagedischargerate by crop at varioustime intervals. A
curvefor any distribution of cropscanbe derivedby weightingthe dischargefrom
each crop according to the acreagein that crop. In this example, figure 7-4
representsthe averagedischargerate from an areatoo large to be irrigated at one
time and with equal acreagesin the various crops of the 5-year rotation. The
maximum discharge,1.09cubicmeters(11.7 cubic feet per foot) of drain per day,
from figure 7-4 canbe usedto developthe designcapacityfor collector andoutlet
drams, asfollows:

= 0.00026m3/s per hectare(0.00369fP/s per acre)

This rate is normally consideredto apply to areaslarger thanabout200 to 240

hectares(500 to 600 acres).Anama dischargecurve for designingthe subsurface
drainagesystem can be developedby plotting the rate for individual drainlmes
for areasup to 16 hectares(40 acres)and the rate for collector and outlet drains
for areasabove200 to 240 hectares(500 to 600 acres).A smooth curve is drawn
to connect the 16- (40-) and 200-hectare(500-acre)curves. The atea discharge
curve of figure 7-5 was derivedin this manner.
Figure 7-4 can be used to derive the averagemonthly dischargerate and to
confii that the 488-meter (1,600-foot) spacingproducesdynamic equilibrium.
The dischargevolume for eachmonth of the year can be determinedas follows:
For January:

= 342.4 cubic metershectareper month
0.539 is the averagedischargerate in cubic metersper meter of drain per day
(5.8 cubic feet per foot of drain per day), and
10,000is the number of squaremeters in a hectare

Table 7-2a.-Discharge computations for the example J-year crop rotation

program (metric units). (Sheet 2 of 4.) 103-D-1680-2.

Ft;b; Avera e Discharg

&P Discharge (q), m?m/day
JMdaY l

8 (0.14!$‘(0.426)(9.351) = 0.594
(0.38Ojt9.334) = 0.528 0.561
9 (0.536)(9.412) = 0.752
(0.493)(9.391) = 0.690 0.721
10 (0.648)(9.467) = 0.914
(0.596)(9.442) = 0.838 0.876
11 (0.752)(9.519) = 1.067
(0.692)(9.490) = 0.978 1.023
12 (0.848)(9.568) = 1.209
(0.780)(9,534) = 1.108 1.159
13 (0.934)(9.610) = 1.337
(0.860)(9,574) = 1.227 1.282
14 (1.016)(9.653) = 1.416
iafflower (0.935)(9.612) = 1.339 1-400
15 (1.092)(9.690) = 1.577 1 509
(1.003)(9.646) = 1,441 *
16 (1.158)(9.723) = 1.678
(1.064)(9.676) = 1.534 lJXK
17 (1.219)(9.754) = 1.772
(1.120)(9.704) = 1.619 1.696
18 (1.275)(9.781) = 1.858
(1.169)(9.729) = 1.695 1.777
19 (1.326)(9.808) = 1.938
(1.216)(9.752) = 1.767 1.853
20 (1.375)(9,830) = 2.014
(0.330)(9.309) = 0.458 1.236
1 (0.484)(9.385) = 0.677
(0.412)(9.350) = 0.574 0.626
2 (0.568)(9.427) = 0.798
(0.5 18)(9.403) = 0.726 0.762
3 (0.672Jt9.479) = 0.949
egetables 0.910
(0.618)(9.453) = 0.870
4 (0.775)(9.531) = 1.101
(0.7 13)(9.501) = 1.009 1.055
5 (0.867)(9.577) = 1.237
(0.798)(9.539) = 1.134 1.186
6 (0.954)(9.623) = 1.368
(0.299)(9.294) = 0.414 0.891
1 (0.454)(9.370) = 0.634
(0.093)(9.191) = 0,127 0.381
I 2 (0.248)(9.269) = 0.343
(0.187)(9.238) = 0.257 o300
3 (0.342)(9.315) = 0.475
(0.298)(9.293) = 0.413 OM4
4 (0.453)(9.370) = 0,632
7 (0.394)(9.341) = 0.548 0.590

l For the timeperiodbetween irrigations

** 2&/L = 2x( 11.6)/488

Table 7-2a.-Discharge computationsfor the exampleS-year crop rotation

program (metric units). (Sheet3 of 4.) 103-D-1680-3.
Irrigatior Average Discharg
Crop Number Discharge(q), d/m/day
m3/m/dav *
5 0.149f?O.549)(9.418 = 0.770
(0.478)(9.383 I = 0.668 0.719
-I- 6 (0.633)(9&l) = 0.892
(0.550)(9.419) = 0.772 0.832
7 (0.75oji9.498j = 0.998
(0.611)(9.450) = 0.860 0.929
8 (0.766)(9.528) = 1.087
(O&2)(9.475) = 0.935 1.011
9 (0.817)(9.552) = 1.163
(0.707)(9.498) = 1.000 1.082
10 (0.862)(9.577) = 1.230
(0.747)(9.518) = 1.059 1.145
11 (0.902)(9.595) = 1.290
(0.131)(9.210) = 0.180 0.735
1 (0.271)(9.278) = 0.375
(0.173)(9.23 1) = 0.238 0.306
2 (0.3 13)(9.299) = 0.434
(0.241)(9.265) = 0.333 0.383
3 (0.381)(9.336) = 0.530
(0.298)(9.293) = 0.413 0.47 1
4 (0.438)(9.363) = 0.611
(0.377)(9.333) = 0.524 0.568

5 (0.517)(9.403) = 0.724
(O&5)(9.367) = 0.621 0.673
6 (0.585)(9.437) = 0.823
(0.500)(9.394) = 0.700 0.761
7 (0.640)(9.464) = 0.902
(O.MQ(9.227) = 0.228 0.565
(0.045)(9.167) = 0.061 0.145
(0.200)(9.245) = 0.276
(0.172)(9.230) = 0.237 0.256
(0.327)(9.309) = 0.454
(0.281)(9.285) = 0.389 0.421
(0.436)(9.363) = 0.608
(0.400)(9.344) = 0.557 0.583
egetrtbles (0.555)(9.421) = 0.779
(0.513)(9.401) = 0.719 0.749
(O&8)(9.479) = 0.943
(0.616)(9.452) = 0.868 0.906
(0.771)(9.531) = 1.095
(0.7 10)(9.499) = 1.005 1.050
(0.865)(9.577) = 1.234
I (O-163)(9.226) = 0.224 0.729
(0.334)(9.307) = 0.463
(0.185)(9.237) = 0.255 0.359

For the time period between irrigations

* 27tIUL = 2x( 11.6)/488

Table 7-2a.-Discharge computations for the example S-year crop rotation

program (metric units). (Sheet 4 of 4.) 103-D-1680-4.

Irrigation Average Discharge

QoP Number Discharge (q), m%n/day m%nJdav *
2 (0. 49f ?0.356)(9.3 18) = 0.494 0.459
(0.306)(9.297)= 0.424
3 (0.477X9.379)= 0.667
(0.410)(9.349) = 0.571 0.619
4 (0.581)(9.431) = 0.816
(0.494X9.391) = 0.691 0.745
5 (O&5)(9.472) = 0.939
(0.565)(9.427) = 0.794 0.866
6 (0.736)(9.508) = 1.043
(0.61W9.453) = 0.870 0.957
7 (0.789X9.535) = 1.121
(0.671)(9.480) = 0.948 1.034
8 (O&842)(9.561) = 1.200
(0.716)(9.502) = 1.014 1.107
9 (0.887)(9.583) = 1.267
(0.742X9.5 15) = 1.052 1.159
10 (0.9 13)(9.596) = 1.305
(0.775)(9.532) = 1.101 1.203
11 (0.946)(9.613) = 1.355
(0.790)(9.539) = 1.123 1.239
12 (0.961)(9.621) = 1.378
(0.816)(9.552) = 1.161 1.269
13 (0.987)(9.633) = 1.147
(0.838X9.563) = 1.194 1.305
14 (1.009)(9.645) = 1.450
’ (0.182)(9.235) = 0.250 0.850
* For the time Period between irrigations
** 2xK/L= 2x(1 1.6)/488

Table 7-2bAIischarge computations for the example S-year crop rotation

program (U.S. &stom&y units): (Sheet 1 of 4.) 103-D-1680-1.

T Discharge (q), f?/ft/day
~.149J*(4.00)(32.00 = 19.1
rverage Dischwz
ft?ftiday *

(3.25)(31.62 I = 15.3
1 (3.81)(31.91) = 18.1
(0.84X30.42) = 3.8
2 &4oj(30.7oj = 6.4
(1 LW(30.52) = 4.7
3 (1.60)(30.80) = 7.3
(1.08)(30.54) = 4.9
4 (1.64)(30.82) = 7.5
(1.06)(30.53) = 4.8
5 (1.62)(30.80) = 7.5 6.1
(1.04)(30.52) = 4.7
6 (1.61)(30.80) = 7.4
(1.06)(30.53) = 4.8
7 (1.62)(30.81) = 7.5
(1.36)(30.68) = 6.2 6.8
8 (1.92)(30.96) = 8.9
(1.64)(30.81) = 7.5
9 (2.20)(31.09) = 10.1
(1.87)(30.93) = 8.6
10 (2.43)(31.21) = 11.2
(2.06)(31.06) = 9.5
11 (2.62)(31.31) = 12.2
(2.23)(31.11) = 10.3
Alfalfa (2.79)(31.40) = 13.1
12 12.1
(2.37)(31.18) = 11.0
13 (2.93)(31.47) = 13.7
(2.49)(31.24) = 11.5
14 (3.05)(31.53) = 14.3
(2.80)(31.39) = 13.0 13.6
15 (3.36)(31.68) = 15.7 15.1
(3.10)(31.53) = 14.4
16 (3.66)(31.83) = 17.2
(2.96)(31.48) = 13.9
1 (3.52X31.76) = 16.6 10.1
(0.79)(30.40) = 3.6
2 (1.35)(30.67) = 6.2
(1.00)(30.50) = 4.5
3 (1.56)(30.78) = 7.1
(1.05)(30.52) = 4.8
4 (1.61)(30.81) = 7.4
(1.04)(30.52) = 4.8
5 (1.60)(30.80) = 7.3
(0.5 1)(30.25) = 2.3 4.8
7 (1.02)(30.51) = 4.6
(0.89)(30&l) = 4.0 4.3

1 Forthetimeperiodbetweenirrigations
c+ 27WL = 21c(38)/1600

Table7-ILb.-Discharge computationsfor the example S-year crop rotation

program (U.S. customary units). (Sheet 2 of 4.) 103-D-1680-2.

rrigation jvesageDischarge
Discharge ft /ft/daY l
8 ‘(1.40)(30.70) = 6.4 6.0
(1.25)(30.62) = 5.7
9 (1.76)(30.88) = 8.1 7.8
(1.62)(30.81) = 7.4
10 (2.13)(31.06) = 9.9 9.5
(1.96)(30.98) = 9.0
11 (2.47)(3 1.23) = 11.5 11.0
(2.27)(31.13) = 10.5
12 (2.78)(31.39) = 13.0 12.5
(2.56)(3 1.28) = 11.9
13 (3x)7)(31.53) = 14.4 13.8
(2.82)(31.41) = 13.2
14 (3.34)(31.67) = 15.8 15.1
afflower (3.07)(31.53) = 14.4
15 (3.58)(31.79) = 17.0 16.2
(3.29)(31&l) = 15.5
16 (3.80)(31.90) = 18.1 17.3
(3.49)(31.74) = 16.5
17 (4.00)(32.00) = 19.1 18.3
(3.68)(31.84) = 17.5
18 (4.19)(32.10) = 20.0 19.2
(3.84)(31.92) = 18.3
19 (4.36)(32.18) = 20.9 20.0
(3.99)(32.00) = 19.0
20 (4.50)(32.25) = 21.6 13.3
(1.08)(30.54) = 4.9
1 (1.59)(30.79) = 7.3 6.7
(1.35)(30.67) = 6.2
2 (1.86)(30.93) = 8.6 8.2
(1.70)(30.85) = 7.8
3 (2.21)(31.10) = 10.2 9.8
(2.03)(31.02) = 9.4
4 (2.54)(3 1.27) = 11.8 11.4
(2.34)(31.17) = 10.9
5 (2.85)(31.43) = 13.3 12.8
(2.62)(31.31) = 12.2
6 (3.13)(31.57) = 14.7 9.6
(0.98)(30.49) = 4.5
1 (1.49)(30.74) = 6.8 4.1
(0.31)(30.15) = 1.4
2- (0.82)(30.41) = 3.7 3.3
(0.62)(30.3 1) = 2.8
3 (1.13)(30.56) = 5.1 4.8
(0.98)(30.49) = 4.5
4 (1.49)(30.74) = 6.8 6.3
(1.30)(30.65) = 5.9
* For the time period between irrigations
** 2zK,/L = 2x(38)/1600

Table 7-2bAXscharge computations for the example S-year crop rotation

program (U.S. customary units). (Sheet 3 of 4.) 103-D-1680-3.

1y”g;g; m-age Discharge

crop Discharge (q), f&lay *
f?&/da y
5 :0.149~*(1.81)(30.90) = 8.3
(1.57)(30.79) = 7.2
6 (2.08)(31.04) = 9.6 9.0
Cotton (1.81)(30.90) = 8.3
7 (2.32)(31.16) = 10.8 10.0
(2.01)(31.00) = 9.3
8 (2.52)(3 1.26) = 11.7 10.9
(2.18)(31&I) = 10.1
9 (2.69)(31X) = 12.6 11.7
(2.33)(31.16) = 10.8
10 (2.84)(31.42) = 13.3 12.4
(2.46)(31.23) = 11.4
11 (2.97)(31.48) = 13.9 7.9
(0.43)(30.21) = 1.9
1 (0.89)(30.45) = 4.0
(0.57)(30.28) = 2.6
2 (1.02)(30.51) = 4.6 4.1
(0.79)(30.40) = 3.6
3 (1.25)(30.63) = 5.7 5.1
(0.98)(30.50) = 4.5
Bi :Y 4 (l&)(30.72) = 6.6
(1.24)(30.62) = 5.7
5 (1.70)(30.85) = 7.8 7.2
( l/%)(30.73) = 6.7
6 ( 1.92)(30.96) = 8.9 8.2
(1.64)(30.82) = 7.5
7 (2.10)(31.05) = 9.7
(0.55)(30.27) = 2.5
(0.15)(30.07) = 0.7
(O&)(30.33) = 3.0
(0.57)(30.28) = 2.6
(1.08)(30.54) = 4.9
(0.93)(30&i) = 4.2
(1.44)(30.72) = 6.6
.ble (1.32)(30&S) = 6.0
(1.83)(30.91) = 8.4
(1.69)(30.84) = 7.8
(2.20)(31.10) = 10.2
(2.03)(31.01) = 9.4
(2.54)(31.27) = 11.8
(2.34X31.17) = 10.9
(2.85)(31.42) = 13.3 7.9
(OSQ(30.33) = 2.4
(1.10)(30.61) = 5.0
(0.61)(30.33) = 2.8

@For the time Period between irrigations

‘8 21tKlL = 21t(38)/1600

Table 7-2bdischarge computations for the example 5-year crop rotation

program (U.S. customary units). (Sheet 4 of 4.) 103-D-1680-4.

Irrigation Aver;ge Discharge

crop Discharge (q), f&/day *
Number ft /ftldav
2 (1.01)(30.52) = 4.6
(0.149~+(1.17)(30.61) 5.3 5.0 t
3 (1.35)(30.68) == 7.2
(1.57)(30.80) 6.2 6.7
4 (1.62)(30.82) == 8.8
(1.91)(30.96) 7.4 8.1
5 (1.85)(30.94) == 10.1
(2.18)(31.10) 8.5 9.3
6 (2.02)(31.02) == 11.2
(2.41)(31.22) 9.3 10.3
7 (2.58)(3 1.30) = 12.0 11.1
Bermuda (2.19)(31.10) = 10.1
8 (2.75)(31.39)
(2.34)(31.18) == 12.9
10.9 11.8
9 (290)(31&i) == 13.6
(2.42)(31.21) 11.3 12.4
10 (2.53)(31.27) == 14.0
(2.98)(31.50) 11.8 12.9
11 (2.58)(31.29) == 14.6
(3X)9)(31.55) 12.0 13.3
12 (3.14)(31.57) == 14.8
(2.67)(31.33) 12.5 13.6
13 (3.23)(31.61) == 15.2
(2.74)(31.37) 12.8 14.0
14 (3.30)(31.65) = 15.6 9.2
v f (0.59)(30.30) = 2.8

* For the time Period between irrigations

+* 27WL = 2x(38)/1600

Assuming the areaunder considerationcontains 1510hectares(3,730 acres)

of irrigated land, then the dischargeduring Januaryis:

(342.4)(1510) = 5 16 860 cubic meters(419 acre-feet)

Table7-3 showsthe dischargefor eachmonth in the year,andtable74 shows

the ndarge for eachcrop.

Table 7-3.--Monthly distribution of dischargeffom 1510 hectares

(3,730 acres).

Discharge Discharge
Month hectare-meters acre-f& Month hectare-meters acre-feet

JatlUaty 51.8 420 July loo.5 815

February 41.0 332 August 88.2 715
Match 50.0 405 September 75.2 610
April 64.9 526 October 74.0 600
May 81.2 658 November 76.7 622
June 92.5 750 December 69.7 565

Total 865.7 7,018

Table 744echarge by crop.

Number of Per irrigation Annuahy
crop annual irrigations millimeters inches meters feet

Alfalfa 16 39.1 1.54 0.625 2.05

Safflower 14 35.6 1.40 0.497 1.63
Vegetables 6 35.6 1.40 0.213 0.70
Cotton 11 35.6 1.40 0.390 1.28
Barley 7 32.0 1.26 0.225 0.74
Vegetables 7 35.6 1.40 0.250 0.82
Bermuda 14 39.1 1.54 0.549 1.80

Total 2.749 9.02

Average per hectare (acre) annual = y =0.550 meter(l.80)

The annd rechargefor the 1510hectares(3,730 acres)is then 1510x 0.55

(3,730 x 1.80) = 830.5 hectaremeters (6,733 acre-feet), which comparesfavor-
ably with the computed annual discharge of 8657 cubic dekameters(7,018
acre-feet).The annualdischargeis within about4 percentof the annualrecharge,
which indicatesthat dynamic equilibrium essentiallyexists under the specified

The Bureau of Reclamation has developedcomputer programs using this

conceptto analyzewater tablebuildupfrom presentwater tablepositionsto levels
wheredynamic equilibrium is reached.This conceptallows the drainageengineer
to develophighly sophisticatedmodelsto estimatequantity andquality of return
flows from irrigation projects.
7-2. Two-Layer Aquifers .-Drains should always be installed in the most
permeablezone that is within an economicalexcavation depth, usually within
about 3 meters (10 feet) of the ground surface.Often fine-textured soils overlie
soilsof much higher permeability.When the more permeablezoneis too deepto
reach with normal drain construction equipment,the drain must be installed in
the lesspermeablematerial. However, this type of two-layer dminagecan work
efficiently. Sandtank modelshave shown that the water moves vertically down
to the more permeablelayer, horizontally through the permeablelayer, thenback
up almost vertically to the dmin, as shown on figure 7-6. On projects with
two-layeredconditions,Reclamationhasusednumericalmodelsto generatedrain
spacingsfor representativeconditions for the area. No general solution with
provenreliability over a wide rangeof conditionshasbeendeveloped.
7-3. Moody’s Nonlinear Solutions.-Chapter 5 presents the Bureau of
Reclamation’stransientdmin spacingmethodfrom a practicalapplicationstand-
point. For design purposes, the transient solution has been reduced to two
dimensionlesscurves,one for drain on barrier and one for dram abovebarrier.
Section5-3f gives criteria for choosingthe proper case(on barrier or above
barrier) for designpurposesand introducesthe conceptof “a family of curves”
betweenthe two limiting curvesbut suggestssuchrefinement is of little practical
W. T. Moody (1966) solvedthe generalnonlinearproblem using a numerical
solution based on finite difference methods for intermediate cases and for
drains on barrier. His results ate given as three families of curvesrepresenting:
(a) dimensionlesswater table height versusdimensionlesstime, (b) dimension-
lessdischargeversusdimensionlesstime, and(c) dimensionlessvolume of water
removed versusdimensionlesstime. Within a curve family, Moody introduced
the curve parameter, m, to representthe ratio of initial maximum water table
height abovedrain level to the correspondingheight abovebarrier. For drainson
barrier, m = 1, andfor drainsfar abovethe barrier, m = 0. Thus,in varying m from
zero to one, the entire rangeof possibilitiesis represented.
Moody’s work is a powerful extensionto Reclamation’sdrain-spacingmethod
asthe work contributesto theoverallunderstandingof hydraulicsof spacingwhen
the drainsare near the barrier. The three families of curvesare presentedhere in
supportof the practical applicationsdiscussedin chapter5.
7-4. Agricultural Drainage Planning Program (ADPP),ADPP is a
menu-driven computer program that assists drainage system design and
the analysisof existing drainagesystems.ADPP has two components: “Dmin-
age Design Under Uncertainty,” a risk aualysis program that uses Donnan’s




0.6 -

*[I os-

0.4 -


0.2 -

0.1 -


Figure 7-7.-Dimensionless curves of maximum water-table height, y, versus time, t, for
parallel drains at various distances above an impermeable barrier.

Steady-StateEquation;and “Transient-StateDrain Spacing,”aprogram that uses

the Glover tmnsient-stateequationto computedrain spacings.
“DrainageDesign Under Uncertainty” shouldbe usedto assessthe reliability
of a rangeof designsor a specificdesign.“Transient-StateDrain Spacing”should
be usedfor the drain systemdesign.
The programis basedon proceduresdescribedin this manual.ADPP is written
in FORTRAN and is compiled to run on MS-DOS computersystems.It can run
on an IBM XT, IBM AT, or larger compatiblepersonalcomputer.
The software is containedon threefloppy diskspackagedwith auser’smanual.
The complete packageis availablethrough the Superintendentof Documents,
U.S. GovernmentPrinting Office.
The “Transient-StateDrain Spacing”componentusesthe transient-stateequa-
tion for drain spacingas developedby Lee Dumm, Ray Winger, Jr., andRobert
Glover of the U.S. Bureauof Reclamation.Hooghoudt’sCorrection for Conver-
genceis usedto accountfor convergenceloss.

\ \
c- 4
\ \’
. \’

Figure 7-8.--Dimensionless curves of rate of discharge, q, versus time, t, for parallel drains at
various distances above an impermeable barrier.

The program will calculate a drain spacing and provide a table showing
computation of water table fluctuation. The table of water table fluctuation is
similar to tables 5-3 and 5-4. Using the drain spacing(computedor enteredby
user), the table showsthebuildup per irrigation, the height of the water table (Y,),
the flow conditionsduring a dmin-out period (KLMV4, and the midpoint water
tableheight abovedrain at the end of eachdrain-out period (Y). The user canuse
this table to determinethe drain spacingeffectiveness.
This program may be usedto obtaindrain spacingsbasedon the field dataand
the deeppercolation. In thosecaseswhere there are physical constraintson the
“ideal” drain design,this componentwill provide information on the water table
for different drain spacingsand/or depths, allowing the user to make a more
informed decision on design. It has also been found useful to calculate drain

0.1 1.0


Figure 7-9.-Dimensionless curves of volume of water removed, V, Venus time, t, for parallel
drains at various distances above an impermeable barrier.

spacingswith the transient-stateanalysiscomponent,andthen employthe uncer-

tainty componentto determinethe reliability of the spacing.
Data required to usethe program to computedrain spacingare:
(a) Permeability,in meters (feet) per day.
(b) The maximum allowable water table above the drain at the midpoint of
the drain in meters (feet).
(c) The distancefrom the dram to barrier, in meters (feet).
(d) Specific yield, a decimalnumber.
(e) The radius of the dram, including pipe and gravel envelope,in meters
cf) Depth to the drain, in meters (feet).
(g) Scheduleof deeppercolationeventsby month and day.
(h) Deeppercolationamount for eachevent in millimeters (inches).
The “DrainageDesign Under Uncertainty” componentis basedon Donnan’k
steady-stateequation. Normal design proceduresuse average site values for
hydraulic conductivity (K), depth of flow zone(D), andrechargerate (Qd). The
use of thesevaluesresults in a computeddrain spacingwhich shouldcontrol the
depth to water table at a desired level. A problem with using averagevaluesof

systemperformanceis that they give no information aboutthe expectedvariation

of actualperformancebut the averagevalue.
The risk approachto drain designaddressesthe uncertainties(normal vari-
ations) of K, D, and Qd, and expressesthem as the uncertainty of drain
performance.Drain performanceis measuredas its effectivenessin controlling
depth to water table. This analysisusesthe FOSM (first-order, secondmoment)
approach.TheFOSM methodassumesthat the information containedin themean
valueandthe varianceis sufficient to describethe uncertaintyin the problem.For
a more detaileddescription,the readeris referred to Garcia and Strzepek(1985)
and Strzepek,Garcia, and Christopher (1987).
The drain designapproachdevelopedin this packageallows the designerto
look at the reliability of the drain to meet the specifieddepthto water table given
the normal variation in the input parameters.The analytical packagewill also
provide for the leastcost designfor eachlevel of reliability. The cost model used
to developthe least cost designis describedin section5-34 of this manual.
The packagefor drain designassumesthat the designerhasperformed all the
datacollection andanalysis.The packagerequiresthe designerto have the mean
and varianceon soil parameters,a designvalue of the depth to the water table,
and all economicand physical datafor the designprocess.
(a) Field Da&-Eight data items are requested:
(1) Type of pipe-plastic, concrete,or clay.
(2) Drain radius in meters (feet).
(3) Depth to barrier from drain, d, in meters(feet).
(4) Standarddeviationof, d, in meters (feet).
(5) Hydraulic conductivity of soils, K, in meters/day(feet/day).
(6) Standarddeviation of K in meters/day(feet/day).
(7) Rechargerate, Q, in meters/day(feet/day).
(8) Standarddeviation of Q in meters/day(feet/day).
Reliableanalysisof a drainagesystemrequiresthat thesedatabe site specific
andbe basedon field measurements.
(b) Cost Data.Information requestedis:
(1) Interest rate to be used(percent).
(2) Lie of the systemin years.
(3) Cost of operationandmaintenanceper linear meter (foot).
The interest rate is to be enteredas a percentage,not a decimal number (i.e.,
if 8 percent,use 8, not 0.08). Thesedataareusedin cost analysisby the program.
(c) Pipe Cost.-Pipe costscan be computedas an averagecost of all sixesof
pipe, or as a distribution of various pipe sixes.
(d) Data for TrenchingMachines.-This screenrequeststhe type of machine
that will be used to install drains. Two types are used by the program: a
constant-speedmachineand a variable-speedmachine.
(1) Constantspeed.-If this option is chosen,the program requeststhe rate
of installation in meters/minute (feet/minute) and the cost per minute of

(2) Variable speed.-If this option is chosen,the program requeststhe

maximum depth of installationin meters (feet), the minimum rate of installa-
tion, the cost per minute of installation, and the slope of depth versus
installation rate (a decimal number). The normal range of values for most
trenchersis 0.10 to 0.20.
(e) Analysis Evuluation.-The user is given the option of entering a dram
designfor a risk analysisor requestingan analysisof a rangeof drain designs.
If the userdecidesto entera drain design,theprogramprompts for the spacing
to be considered,the depthto be considered,and the critical depth to water. The
critical depthto water is the allowableheight of water abovethe drain at midpoint
betweendrains. As used in the program, the critical depth to water may not be
exceeded.This techniqueresultsin a very conservativedrain spacinganda deeper
drain depth.
If the user requestsau analysisof a rangeof designs,the programprompts for
minimum depth,maximum depth, incrementsin depth,minimum spacing,maxi-
mum spacing,and incrementsin spacing.The smaller the incrementsgiven, the
longer the program will take to calculate.
fj) Uncertainty Analysis Option.-The user may requestthat the uncertainty
analysisbe calculatedon a risk analysisof the reliability of the dramsor on a loss
function analysis.
The risk analysis option looks at the reliability of the drainage design in
maintaininga water table that is kept within the critical depth to water. The user
is given an option of finding a given reliability or of producinga table andgraph
of reliability versus cost. If the user requests a given reliability, the program
prompts for the reliability. This reliability is a percentage,not a decimalnumber.
If the userrequestsa table of reliability versuscost, the program prompts for the
minimum reliability, the maximum reliability, and the incrementto be used.
When using the risk analysisportion of ADPP, the user shouldbear in mind
that the values am relative. Also, that the dollar value of crop loss for each
increment of water table rise above the control level is subjective. For the
traditional Reclamation drain system design, the reliability range is 55 to 65
percent.This rangemeansthat there is a 60-percentchancethat the water table
will never exceedthe designcontrol level.
Thisportion of the programis most usefulfor assistingdesignersandmanagers
in determiningtherelative level of risk they are assumingin using a given quality
of datafor systemdesign.The valueversuscostof collectingbetter quality design
data can be evaluated.Reclamationplans to use the Risk AnalysisProgramas a
tool to aid drainageengineersin evaluatingdata collectionneedswhich result in
a successfuldram systemdesign.
7-5. Bibliography.-
Dumm, L. D., October 1954, “Drain-Spacing Formula,” Agriculturul
Engineering, vol. 35, pp. 726-730.
Dumm, L. D., December 1960, “Validity and Use of the Transient-Flow
Conceptin SubsurfaceDrainage.”Paperpresentedat the AmericanSociety
of Agricultural EngineersWinter Meeting, Memphis, Term.

Dumm, L. D., Febuary 1962, “Drain-SpacingMethod Used by the Bureauof

Reclamation.” Paper presented at ARS-SCS Dminage Workshop,
Riverside, Calif.
Dumm, L. D., and R. J. Winger, Jr., June 1963, “Designing a Subsurface
DrainageSystemin an Irrigated Area ThroughUse of the TransientFlow
Concept.” Paper presented at the American Society of Agricultural
EngineersMeeting, Miami BeachFla.
Garcia, L. A., and K. M. Sttzepek, 1985, “A CAD Approach to Tile Drain
Design Under Uncertainty in Soil Properties,” TEESTechnicalReport.
Ligon, J. T., H. P. Johnson,andD. Kirkham, June1962,“Glass-Bead-Glycerol
Model for Studyingthe Falling Water TableBetweenOpen Ditch Drains.”
Paperpresentedat the American Societyof Agricultural EngineersAnnual
Meeting, Washington,D.C.
Maletic, J. T., M. S. Sachs,andE. S. Krous, November 1968,“DesaltingSaline
Irrigation Water Suppliesfor Agriculture-A Case Study-Lower Colorado
River Basin, U.S.A.,” Symposiumon Nuclear Desalination,International
Atomic Energy Agency, Madrid, Spain.
Moody, W. T., June1966,“Nonlinear Differential Equationof Drain Spacing,”
Journal of the Irrigation and Drainage Division, Proceedings of the
American Societyof Civil Engineers.
Strzepek,K. M., 1982,“Analysis of Tile DrainageDesignPoliciesin Egypt,”
ICID Bulletin No. 31, No. 2, pp. 39-44.
Strzepek, K. M., J. L. Wilson, and D. H. Marks, “Design of Agricultural
Drainage Under Uncertainty; A Multi-level Approach,” Ralph Parsons
Laboratory, MIT TechnicalReport.
Strzepek,K., L. A. Garcia, andJ. N. Christopher,December15-l&1987, “An
Expert System for Tile Drainage Design,” American Society of
Agricultuml Engineers,Winter Meeting, Chicago, Ill., ASAE Paper No.
87-2552, pp. 5.
Sazepek,K., L. Garcia, and J. N. Christopher, “A Computer Aided Design
Approachto Training Designersof Tile Drainageto ConsiderUncertainty
in Soil Properties,” 13th Congress,USCID TechnicalConference,Reno,
Strzepek,K. M., July 18-21,1988, “A ComprehensiveTool for Tile Drainage
Planning,” AXE Irrigation and DrainageConference,Lincoln, Neb..
Winger, R. J., Jr., June 1960, “In-Place Permeability Tests and Their Use in
Subsurface Drainage,” International Commission on Irrigation and
Drainage, Transactions of the Fourth Congress, vol. 111, pp.
11.417-11.469,Madrid, Spain.



To convert from To Multiply by

angstromunits nanometers(nm) 0.1

micrometers (pm) 1.0 x 10-4
millimeters (mm) 1.0 x 10-T
meters(m) 1.0 x 10-10
mils 3.937 01 x 10-G
inches(in) 3.937 01 x 10-9

micrometers millimeters 1.0 x 10-3

meters 1.0 x 104
angstromunits (A) 1.0 x 104
mils 0.039 37
inches 3.937 01 x 10-s

millimeters micrometers 1.0 x 103

centimeters(cm) 0.1
meters 1.0 x 10-3
mils 39.37008
inches 0.039 37
feet (ft) 3.280 84 x 10-3
centimeters millimeters 10.0
meters 0.01
mils 0.3937x 103
inches 0.3937
feet 0.032 8 1

inches millimeters 25.40

meters 0.0254
mils 1.0 x 103
feet 0.083 33

feet millimeters 304.8

meters 0.3048
inches 12.0
yards 64 0.333 33

meters 0.9144
inches 36.0
feet 3.0
meters millimeters 1.0 x 103
kilometers (km) 1.0 x 10”
inches 39.37008
feet 3.28
Yards 1.09361
miles (mi) 6.213 71 x 10-4
kilometers meters 1.0 x 103
feet 3.280 84 x 103
miles 0.621 37
miles meters 1.60934 x 103
kilometers 1.60934
feet 5280.0
Yards 1760.0
nauticalmiles (nmi) kilometers 1.8520
miles 1.1508

To convert from To Multiply by

squaremillimeters squarecentimeters(cm2) 0.01

squareinches(in2) 1.550x 103

squarecentimeters squaremillimeters (mm2) 100.0

squaremeters (m2) 1.0 x 104
squareinches 0.1550
squarefeet (ft2) 1.07639 x 10-3
squareinches squaremillimeters 645.16
squarecentimeters 6.4516
squaremeters 6.4516 x lo-4
squarefeet 69.444 x 10-4

squarefeet squaremeters 0.0929

hectares(ha) 9.2903x 10-6
squareinches 144.0
acres 2.295 68 x 10-S
squareyards squaremeters 0.836 13
hectares 8.3613 x 10-5
squarefeet 9.0
acres 2.066 12 x 10-4
squaremeters hectares 1.0 x 104
squarefeet 10.76391
acres 2.471 x 10-4
squareyards(yd2) 1.19599
acres squaremeters 4046.8564
hectares 0.404 69
squarefeet 4.356 x 104
hectares squaremeters 1.0 x 104
acres 2.471
squarekilometers squaremeters 1.0 x 106
hectares 100.0
squarefeet 107.6391x 105
acres 247.10538
squaremiles (mi2) 0.3861
squaremiles squaremeters 258.99881 x 104
hectares 258.99881
squarekilometers (km2) 2.589 99
squarefeet 2.787 84 x 107
acres 640.0

To convert from To Multiply by

cubic millimeters cubic centimeters(ems) 1.0 x 10-3

liters (L) 1.0 x 10-5
cubic inches(in3) 61.02374 x 106
cubic centimeters liters 1.0 x 10-3
milliliters (mL) 1.0
cubic inches 61.02374 x 10-3
fluid ounces(fl oz) 33.814x lo-3

milliliters liters 1.0x 10-3

cubic centimeters 1.0
cubic inches milliliters 16.38706
cubic feet (fts) 57.87037 x 10-S
liters cubic meters 1.0 x 10-3
cubic feet 0.035 31
gallons 0.264 17
fluid ounces 33.814
gallons liters 3.7854 1
cubic meters 3.78541 x 10-3
fluid ounces 128.0
cubic feet 0.133 68
cubic feet liters 28.316 85
cubic meters (ms) 28.31685 x 10-3
cubic dekameters(dam3) 28.316 85 x lo-6
cubic inches 1728.0
cubic yards (yd3) 37.03704 x 10-3
gallons(gal) 7.480 52
acrefeet (acre-ft) 22.95684 x 104
cubic miles cubic dekameters 4.168 18 x 106
cubic kilometers (km3) 4.168 18
acre-feet 3.3792x 106
cubic yards cubic meters 0.764 55
cubic feet 27.0
cubic meters liters 1.0 x 103
cubic dekameters 1.0 x 10-3
gallons 264.1721
cubic feet 35.314 67
cubic yards 1.30795
acre-feet 8.107 x 10-4
acre-feet cubic meters 1233.482
cubic dekameters 1.23348
cubic feet 43.560 x 103
gallons 325.8514x 103
cubic dekameters cubic meters 1.0 x 103
cubic feet 35.31467 x 103
acre-feet 0.810 71
gallons 26.417 21 x 104

cubic kilometers cubic dekameters 1.0 x 106

acre-feet 0.81071 x 106
cubic miles (mi3) 0.239 91

degreesCelsius(“C) E
kelvin (K)
degreesFahrenheit(T) t
degreesFQutkine@) G
t, = (tf - 32)/1.8
& = t, + 273.15
= (G + 459.67)/1.8
= G/1.8

G= 1.8t,
= 1.8 b + 491.68

To convert from To Multiply by
feet per second metersper second 0.3048
squared squared(m/s2)

G’s 0.03108
metersper second feet per second 3.280 84
squared squared(ft/s2)
G’s 0.10197
G's (standard meters per second 9.806 65
gravitational square
feet per second 32.17405

To convertfiom To Multiply by
feet per second meters per second(m/s) 0.3048
kilometers per hour (km/h) 1.097 8
miles per hour (n-G/h) 0.681 f 2

metersper second kilometers per hour

feet per second(ft/s) zo 84
miles per hour 2.236 94
kilometersper hour metersper second 0.27778
feet per second 0.911 34
miles per hour 0.62147
miles per hour kilometers per hour 1.60934
metersper second 0.447 04
feet per second 1.46667
feet per year millimeters per second 9.665 14 x 10-6
WY) tmm/s)
feet per day centimetersper second 3.505x 104

To convertfrom To Multiply by

pounds newtons (N) 4.4482

kilograms newtons 9.806 65
pounds(lb) 2.2046
newtons 0.224 8 1

dynes newtons 1.0 x 10-5

To convertfrom To Multiply by
grams ~ograms (kg) 1.0 x lo-3
ounces(avdp) 0.035 27
ounces(avdp) grams(g) 28.34952
kilograms 0.028 35
pounds(avdp) 0.0625
pounds(avdp) kilograms 0.453 59
ounces(avdp) 16.00
kilograms kilograms (force)- 0.101.97
meter (kgf&/m)
pounds(avdp) 2.204 62
slugs 0.068 52

slugs lcilograJns 14.5939

short tons kilograms 907.1847
metric tons (t) 0.907.18
pounds(avdp) 2000.0
metric tons kilograms 1.0 x 103
(tonne or megagram) pounds(avdp) 2.20462 x 103
short tons 1.10231
long tons kilograms 1016.047
metric tons 1.01605
pounds(avdp) 2240.0
short tons 1.120

Volume per Unit Time

To convert from To Multiply by
cubic feet per second liters per second(L/s) 28.316 85
cubic meters per second 0.028 32
cubic dekametersper day 2.446 57
gallonsper minute 448.831 17
acre-feetper day 1.98347
cubic feet per minute 60.0
gallonsper minute cubic metersper second 0.631 x 10-4
liters per second 0.0631
cubic dekametersper day 5.451 x 103
cubic feet per second 2.228 x 10-3
acre-feetper day 4.4192x 10-3

acre-feetper day cubic meters per second 0.014 28

cubic dekametersper day 1.23348
cubic feet per second 0.504 17
cubic dekameters cubic meters per second 0.01157
per &Y cubic feet per second 0.40874
acre-feetper day 0.81071

To convert from To Multiply by
centipoise pascal-second(pa0.s) 1.0 x 10-3
poise 0.01
pound per foot-hour 2.419 09
poundper foot-second 6.719 69 x lo-4
slug per foot-second 2.08854 x 10-s
pascal-second centipoise 1000.0
pound per foot-hour 2.419 09 x 103
poundper foot-second 0.671 97
slug per foot-second 20.8854x 10-3
poundper foot-hour pascal-second 4.133 79 x lo-4
poundper foot-second 2.777 78 x 10-4
centipoise 0.413 38
poundsper foot- pas&second 1.488 16
second slug per foot-second 31.0809x 10-3
centipoise 1.48816 x 103
centistokes squaremetersper second 1.0 x 104
squarefeet per second 10.76391 x 10-6
stokes 0.01
squarefeet per squaremetersper second 9.2903x 10-Z
second centistokes 9.2903x 104
stokes squaremetersper second 1.0 x 104
rhe 1 per pascal-second 10.0
( l/h4

Force per Unit Area

To convert from To Multiply by
poundsper squareinch kilopascals(kpa) 6.894 76
‘meters-head 0.703 09
hm of Hg 51.7151
lfeet of water 2.3067
poundsper squarefoot 144.0
std. atmospheres 68.046 x 10-s
poundsper squarefoot kilopascals 0.047 88
‘meters-head 4.8826 x 10-3
km of Hg 0.359 13
tfeet of water 16.0189x 10”
poundsper squareinch 6.9444x 10-3
std. atmospheres 0.472 54 x 10-3
short tons per kilopascals 95.76052
squarefoot poundsper squareinch 13.88889
‘meters-head kilopascals 9.806 36
2mm of Hg 73.554
lfeet of water 3.280 84
poundsper squareinch 1.42229
poundsper squarefoot 204.81
tfeet of water kilopascals 2.998 98
‘meters-head 0.3048
hm of Hg 22.4193
2inchesof Hg 0.882 65
poundsper squareinch 0.433 5 1
poundsper squarefoot 62.4261
kilopascals newtonsper squaremeter 1.0 x 10-3
‘hm of Hg 7.500 64
‘meters-head 0.101 97
2inchesof Hg 0.2953
poundsper squarefoot 20.8854
poundsper squareinch 0.145 04
std. atmospheres 9.8692 x lo-3

kilograms (f) per kilopascals 9.806 65 x 10-s

squaremeter ‘hm of Hg 73.556x 10-3
poundsper squareinch 1.4223x 10-3
millibars (mbar) kilopascals 0.10
bars kilopascals 100.0
std. atmospheres kilopascals 101.325
hm of Hg 760.0
poundsper squareinch 14.70
lfeet of water 33.90

Mass per Unit Volume

Density and Mass Capacity
To convert from To Multiply by
poundsper cubic foot kilograms per cubic meter 16.01846
slugsper cubic foot 0.031 08
poundsper gallon 0.133 68
poundsper gallon kilograms per cubic meter 119.8264
slugsper cubic foot 0.2325
poundsper cubic kilograms per cubic meter 0.593 28
Yd poundsper cubic foot 0.037 04
gramsper cubic kilograms per cubic meter 1.0 x 103
centimeter poundsper cubic yard 1.6856x 103
ouncesper gallon gramsper liter (g/L) 7.489 15
eJEF4 kilograms per cubic meter 7.489 15
kilograms per cubic gramsper cubic centimeter 1.0x 10-3
meter (g/cm3)
metric tons per cubic meter 1.0 x 10”
poundsper cubic foot 62.4279x 10”
poundsper gallon 8.3454 x 10-s
poundsper cubic yard 1.68556
1Column of H20 (water) measuredat 4 “C.
2 Column of Hg (mercury) measuredat 0 “C.

long tons per kilograms per cubic 1328.939

cubic yard meter

ouncesper cubic kilograms per cubic 1729.994

inch (oz/in3) meter

slugsper cubic kilograms per cubic 515.3788

foot meter

Volume per Area per Unit Time

‘Hydraulic Conductivity (Permeability)
To convert from To Multiply by
cubic feet per cubic meters per square 0.3048
squarefoot per meter per day
&Y (m3/(m24)
cubic feet per square 0.6944x 10-s
foot per minute
liters per squaremeter 304.8
Per &Y 04m24)
gallonsper squarefoot 7.480 52
per day (gWt2d)>
cubic millimeters per 304.8
squaremillimeter per
day ollIW(mm2d))
cubic millimeters per 25.4
squaremillimeter per
hour (mrns/(mm2.h))
cubic inchesper square 0.5
inch per hour

gallonsper square cubic meter per square 40.7458 x 10”

foot per day meter per day
liters per squaremeter 40.7458
per &Y &/(m2dN
cubic feet per square 0.133 68
foot per day (fts/(ft%d))

Volume per Length per Unit Time

To convert porn To Multiply by
cubic feet per foot cubic metersper meter 0.0929
per day per day (m3/(m4)
(ft3Jft.d)) gallonsper foot per 7.480 52
&Y @wfw)
liters per meter per 92.903
&Y (L/(mO
gallonsper foot cubic meter per meter 0.012 42
per &Y per day (m3/(md))
cubic feet per foot 0.133 68
per day (ftV(ft*d))
1 Many of theseunits can be dimensionallysimplified. For example,m3/(m.d)
can also be written m*/d.

Absorption, 205 chutes, 200

Advanced Drainage Planning Program Clay
(ADPP), 161,295 dispersion of, 29
Aerial photographs, 14 Clay pipe, 203
Alignment (see Drains, grade, and alignment) laying, 224
Antecedent moisture, 42 specifications, 205 *
Area discharge, 174,.285 strength,229
Artesian aquifer, 17 Coefficient of curvature, 213
Artesian pressure (see Hydrostatic ptessum) coefficient of roughness, 188,199,237
Auger-hole test for hydraulic conductivity, Coefficient of uniformity, 213
61,247 Collectordrains, 8,173,193,205,275,285
calculations, 70 capacity of, 199
computation sheet, 69 definition, 9
equipment, 61 gradient, 190
limitations, 72 size, 173
procedure, 67 Computerprograms, 161,295
step test, 73 Concrete pipe, 203
Available moisture, 46 laying, 224
specifications, 204
Backfilling, 199,225,229,235 strength, 229
puddling, 226 C.onstantlevelfloatvalve,83
Barbour, Edmund, iv constNction
Barker, D. A., iv by stages, 203
Bartier, 17.130.258 Consumptive use, 50
definition, 126 Convergence, 149
Bateman, K. G., iv costs,203,206
Batista, M.D.J., iv estimating, 11,203
Bedding classification, 229 Cmp
Bell, W. C., iv moisture extraction patterns, 48
Benefit-cost ratio, 138 response to water table, 139
Berms, 194 mot mne, 48
Blaney-Griddle method, 50 salt removal, 33
Bmnskill, G. P., iii CNSSilg StNCtUIW, 200
pipe joints on, 203
Campbell, Keith, iv Culverts, 194,199
Canal Cunningham, A.J., Jr.,iv
crossings, 200 Darcy flow equation, 100,255
lining,173 Damy’s law, 18
seepage, 173,176,257 Data, 13,122,161
Capillary fringe, 26 Data logger, 62,70,73
field studies, 28 DeBmyn, D. A., iv
measuring, 28 Deep petcolation, 29,50,53
Carlson, E. J., iv buildup from, 158
Channels definitioq 33
natural, 200 from irrigation, 140,253
Christensen, C. L., iv from sprinkler systems, 141
Christopher, J. N., iii, iv Deferred drainage, 8


Deflection basic data, 13

plastic pipe, 234 benefits, 4, 137
Depth of drains by punu+, 246
open, 193 cost, 137 (see also Economics)
pipe. 205 deferred, 8
Depth to barrier, 123, 126 definition, 1
Depth to water design under uncertainty, 296
measuring devices, 114 environment, 7,135,140
Design and construction, 147 factors in investigation, 121
Design capacity, 199,275 (see also Drain for sprinkler irrigation 140
accretions, Return flow, Drain general introduction to, 1
discharge, and Recharge) history, 4
Design discharge, 173,238 importance of, iii, 4
Detailed studies, 14 investigations, 121
Dewatering, 223 (see also Stage construction) maintenance of systems, 265
Discharge from spaced drains, 171 maps, 13
Donnan formula, 169 nomenclature, 8
Drain(s) on irrigated sloping land, 180
above barrier, 16 1 optimum plan, 13
accretions to, 132,171,173, 178,188, 193, outlet conditions, 132
199,237,243 prime objective of, 1
banks, 194 subsurface, 5,8
below acanal, 175 surface, 8
collector, 8, 173, 193,205,275,285 Drops, 200
depth, 193,205,258 Dumm, L. D., iii
discharge (see Drain discharge) Dynamic equilibrium, 148,271
effluent, 135
function of, 9 Ecology, 7
grade and alignment, 212.224.266 Economics, 137
inlets, 194,268 benefit-cost ratio, 138
inspecting and testing, 225,265 Effective drain radius
installation, 224 definition 155
interceptor, 9 Rfferts, R. J., iv
investigation and layout, 247 Electric analogs, 144
location, 135 Electrical conductivity, 30
maintenance policy, 269 J?nvelopematerial, 36, 136,212,218
natural, 268 hydraulic conductivity of, 214,219
numbering, 136 Environment, 7, 140
on barrier, 155,166,170 Ephemeral stream, 200
open, 188,267 (see also Open drams) Equivalent depth, 154 (see also Conv
outlet, 9, 132,205,227,246,265,275 Excavation table, 215
pipe, 8,203,229 Exchangeable sodium, 36
pipe size, 237
relief, 9 Farm efficiency, 53,254
spacing (see Spacing of drains) Farm losses
suboutlet, 9 from sprinkler irrigation, 143
test plug, 225 Farm waste, 53,199
velocity, 190, 199 Fences, 266,268
Drain discharge, 190,275 Field and laboratoty procedures, 61
for determining pipe size, 173 Field capacity, 46
from spaced drains, 171 Field reconnaissance, 122
open channel flow, 188 Filters, 87, 103
quality (see Dram(s) effluent) Flap gates, 227,265
seepage rate, 177 Floodflow, 200
Drainage Rood runoff, 39
I NDEX 317

Flow depth, 154 Hydraulic radius, 190,242

Flow paths, 296 Hydmgraphs, 130
Ftogge, R. R., iv Hydrostatic (artesian) pressure, 128,246
Fuller, J. E., iv
Infiltration, 33
Geographic Information Systems (GIS), 123, definition, 106
132 from irrigation, 50
Geology, 15 fmm precipitation, 47,53, 159
influence of, 126 test for determining rate of, 104
Glover, R. E., iv Infiltration galleries, 246
Gradation analysis, 20 Inlets, 199
Grade (see Drains, grade, and alignment) smface, 194,227
Gravel envelope (see Envelope material) In-place hydraulic conductivity tests (see also
Ground water, 108 Hydraulic conductivity)
buildup, 158 above a water table, 83
mound, 177 below a water table, 61
profiles, 123 Interceptordrains, 9,175
studies, 128 Invetted wells, 11,246
Investigations, 121,247
Hand augers, 63, 118 drain location, 135
Haniman, H. T., iv economic considerations, 137
Haskew, H. C., 61 electric analog models, 144
Hayward, H. E., 28 existing structures, 136
Headwalls, 199 factors, 121
High pressure jets, 267 field reconnaissance, 122
Highways (see Crossing structures) geologic influence, 126
Hole scratcher, 64 gmund-water accretions to drains, 132
Hooghoudt’s convergence correction, 154, ground-water studies, 128
164 identifying barrier zone, 126
Humid areas, 167 outlet conditions, 132
Hydraulic conductivity (coefficient of perme- review of existing data, 122
ability), 18,86,61, 123, 175 scope, 121
auger hole test for, 61 subsurface, 123
conversion factors, 17 water source studies, 127
definition, 18, 153 Inigated agriculture, 1
disturbed soil samples, 108 Irrigation, iii, 127
envelope material, 214 nonirrigation period, 162
laboratoty tests for, 107 schedule, 46,251
lateral (horimntal), 19,73, 108 waste, 194, 199,200
piezometer test for, 75
pomona well point method, 78 Junction boxes, 226
precision, 20
projection of data, 123 Kennedy, P. J., iv
relationship to soil properties, 18 Kitkham, D., 76
relative, 120
ring pemreameter test for, 95 Laboratoty tests for hydraulic conductivity, 107
shallow well pumpin test for, 83 Lateral capacity, 58
single well drawdown test for, 81 Layemd soils, 73
step tests in layered soils for, 73 Leaching efficiency, 33
test pit method for, 103 Leaching requirement
undisturbed soil samples, 107 continuing, 29
units of, 18 definition, 29
vertical, 19.95.108 in drain design, 5,29,50
weighted average, 19 initial, 29.36
well pumping method, 61 refinements, 33

Lidster, W. A.,iv reconls, 112

Logs, 123 Open channel flow, 188
Lunde, R. 0.. iv Open drains, 188
Luthin, J. N., 78 banks, 194
cross section, 193
Maasland, M., 61 cross-sectional area and hydraulic radius,
Maierhofer, C. R., iv tables, 191, 192
Maki, C. R., iv depth, 193
Maletic, J. T., iv &sign capacities, 199
Manholes, 226,266 gradient, 190
Manning formula, 188 hydraulic radius, 190
Manning’s n, 188, 199,237, (see also Coeffi- Manning’s II, 188
cient of roughness) natural channels, 200
Mantei, C. L., 219 open channel flow, 188
Maps operation and maintenance, 267
contour, 14, 123 stage construction, 203
depth-to-barrier, 130 StNCtUlIX, 199
depth-to-ground water, 130 surface waterinlets, 194
drainage, 14 ttansition sections, 194
features on, 14 tributaty dram intersections, 194
ground water, 120 velocities, 190
scale of, 13 Operation and maintenance, 265
sources of, 14 buried pipe, 265
symbols for, 16 manholes, 266
topographic, 13 observation wells, 269
Marston formula, 229,234 open drains, 267
Mathison, A. E., iv pipe drain outlets, 265
McMath formula, 38 pipe drains, 266
Metric conversion tables, 302 policy and basic requirements, 269
Mineral deposits, 205 wastewater and disposal ponds, 268
Mohr, R. D., iv
Moisture extraction pattern, 46 Pehrson, P. J., iv
Moisture-holding capacity, 46,233 Perennial stream, 200
Monitoring wells (see Wells) Permeability (see Hydraulic conductivity)
Montieth, John, III, iv Peters, W. B., iv
Moody, W. T., iv, 219,295 Piezometea, 108, 111,128, 130 (see also
Munsell color chips, 22 Piezometer test for hydraulic conductivity)
Myers, P. M., iv installation, 111
profiles, 130
Natural channels, 200 Piezometer test for hydraulic conductivity,
Neff, G. E., iv 61,75,251
Nelson, H. R.,iv calculations, 76
Neumann, C. A., iv equipment, 75
Noy s, N. E., iv limitations, 78
Numerical models, 144 procedure, 75
Finite-difference method, 144 Piezometric profiles, 130
Finiteelement method, 144 Pipe drams, 203
backfilling trench for, 225
Observation holes, 108, 128.254.269 (see capacity, 238
also wells, observation) collector drams for, 205
casing, 110 corrugated plastic, 204,205,267
installation, 109 cost analysis, 206
location, 108 depth of, 205
numbering, 112 drainage sump and pumping plant for, 238
plugged, 117 envelope material for, 212
I NDEX 319

gap width, 218 study, 13

grade and alignment, 212 Relief wells, 245
inspecting and testing, 225 Return flow (see Discharge from spaced
laying, 224 drams)
length of sections, 219 Return flow analysis, 27
manholes, 226 Ribbens, R. W., iv
Manning’s n, 231 Ring permeameter test for hydraulic conduc-
mineral deposits, 205 tivity, 95
operation and maintenance, 265,266 calculations, 100
outlet structures, 227, 265 equipment, 95
pipe for, 203 limitations, 100
puddling of backfill, 226 procedure, 98
repair, 267 Risk analysis, 300
rodent screens, 227,265 Roadways, 194,268
size, 231 Rodent screen, 221,265
specifications, 204 Root
stability of bed, 223 distribution, 46
strength, 229 zone, iii, 1, 48, 139, 251
surface inlets, 227 Ryan, W. F., iii
test plug, 225
Pipe size, 237 Salinity and alkalinity, 28, 138
Pipe specifications, 204 Salt balance, 29.35
Plant roots, 5 Salt tolerance, 3 1
Plastic pipe, 203,224,237,247 Sand traps, 226, 266 (see also Manholes)
backfill loadings, 234 Sanders, G. D., iv
deflection, 234 Schaack, J. M., iv
laying, 224 Schweem, H. A., iv
specifications, 205 Screened well point, 81
strength, 234 Seepage, 127,173
Pomona well point method, 78 from surface sources, 111
Ponding, 199 rate, 176
Precipitation, 37, 127 Settling basins, 269
infiltrated, 46, 159 Shallow well pump-in test for hydraulic con-
Pressure transducer, 62,70 ductivity, 83
Puddling, 36 calculations, 90
of backfill, 226 equipment, 83
Pugsley, J. A.,iv limitations, 95
Pumping plants, 192,238 procedure, 85
Pump-in test for hydraulic conductivity (see Silt traps, 269
Shallow well pump-in test for hydraulic Single well drawdown test for hydraulic con-
conductivity) ductivity, 81
Pumps (see Pumping plants) Sinkholes, 266
Slotted PVC casing, 67,85,110
Railroads (see Crossing structures) Sodic soils
Rainfall, 159 (see also Precipitation) classification of saline and, 37
infiltrated, 53, 160 construction in, 36
intensity-frequency, 39 Soil characteristics, 18
time of concentration, 39 capillary fringe, 26
Rate of installing drains, 206 color, 22
Reharge, 130, 169 hydraulic conductivity, 18
Recharge wells, (see Wells, inverted or re- specific yield, 25
dwe) stnlctum, 22
Reclamation Act, iii texture, 20
Reconnaissance Soil profile, 48
field, 122 Soil structure 22,29

class, 23 McMath formula, 38

fragment, 24 rainfall intensity map, 40
grade, 23 time of concentmtion, 41
pd. 24 time of flood concentration, 41.
type* 22 StNCtureS, 199
soils, 15 crossings, 200
alkaline, 29 drops and chutes, 200
ahvial, 15 existing, 136
dmacteristics (see Soil characteristics) inlets, 199
color, 22 manholes, 226
definition, 1 outlets, 227
eolian, 17 Subsurface drainage, 5,8,193
glacial till, 15 Subsurface investigations, 123
gradation analysis, 20 Sumps, 238,243
lacustrine, 15 Surface drainage, 8
loess, 17 Surface inlets, 194,227
moisture-holding capacity, 46 surface runoff, 37
oxygen content, 1 estimating, 42
particle size classification, 20 precipitation, 37
residual, 15 stomdlow, 38
saline, 28,37 Surface water inlets (see Surface inlets)
saturated, 5
sodic, 29, 36, 37 Terminal seepage rate, 177
stability, 29,200,223 Test pit method for hydraulic conductivity,
StNCtUE, 22 103
temperature, 5 Textural classes, 20
Soil texture triangle, 21 ‘bw4v, 13
S@cing of drains, 147 Total available moisture, 46
data required, 148 Total readily available moisture, 46, 159
definition, 154 Trace elements, 122
drain above bartier, 161 Tractive force, 190
drain on barrier, 166 Tmfficability, 5
empirical methods, 147 Transducer (see Pressure transducer)
steady-state method, 169 Transient flow method, 147,271,296 (see
tmnsieut flow method, 147,271,296 also Spacing of drains)
using the data, 161 background of, 148
Special drain types, 245 data required for, 148
inverted or recharge wells, 11,246 drain spacing, 147
pumped wells, 11,246 for retum flow analysis, 271
relief wells, 11, 246 Transition sections, 194
Specific yield, 25,153 Tmshracks, 227,268
definition, 25, 153 Tributary drains, 193
versus hydraulic conductivity, 27 T-section, 226
Sprinkler irrigation, 140 Two-layer drainage, 295
deep percolation from, 141
Stability of soils, 29,200,223 Uncertainty, drainage design under, 296
Stabilizing gravel, 36
steam curing, 204 Wadleigh, C. H., 28
Step test for hydraulic conductivity Wastewaterponds, 268
(see Auger- hole test for hydraulic wastewaters, 199
conductivity) Water quality, 7
Stomflow, 38,199,203 Water source studies, 127
basin coefficient, 38 Water supply tank, 83
estimating runoff, 39 Water table, 26,148,254
intensity and duration, 39 buildup, 154,158
I NDEX 321

fluctuation, 148,275
hydmgraphs, 130,148
parameters for drain spacing, 153
profiles, 130, 180
shape of, 183
Watson, W. O., iv
Weimer, R. H., iv
Well location, USGS method, 114
Well pemreameter test for hydraulic conduc-
tivity (see Shallow well pumpin
test for hydraulic conductivity)
Well points, 37
Well pumping method, 61
inverted or recharge, 245
monitoring wells
EPA Standards, 110
Statutory requirements, 110
observation, 254,269 (see also observation
pumped, 245
relief, 245
Wildlife habitats, 7
Williford, John, iv
Wilting point, 46
Winger, R .I., Jr., iii, iv

Yarger, W. H., iv
Y-section, 226

Zeigler, E. R., iv