Subsurface drain installation methods - Assessing their functionality with water table and drain outflow measurements

Helena Äijö, Markus Sikkilä, Maija Paasonen-Kivekäs, Merja Myllys, Jyrki Nurminen, Mika Turunen, Heidi Salo, Lassi Warsta, Harri Koivusalo, Laura Alakukku, Markku Puustinen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The aim of this study is to figure out the functionality of drains installed with trenchless and trenching drainage machines, and to give guidelines in the use of drainage machines in different conditions. Performance of installation methods were investigated in a field experiment. Soil type in the drainage depth varies between loam, sandy loam and clay loam. The field was flat (slope 0.16%). Groundwater levels were measured automatically and manually from observation pipes installed at distances of 0.2, 0.6, 2.5 and 7.5 m from the middle drain in each section. Drain outflow was measured from two collector pipes installed with each machine. According to results, the trenchless method had slightly higher water tables in all distances of the drain by average. Differences in the water table were higher in wet seasons, when snow melting and high precipitation occurred. The trenchless machine had higher variation in groundwater levels. Drain outflow was 10% higher with the trenching method. The outflow was significantly higher in rainy seasons for short periods of time, when groundwater was up. During the short research period, the trenching method was slightly more effective. Research will continue until the end of 2016.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication10th International Drainage Symposium 2016
PublisherAmerican Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781510855250
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventInternational Drainage Symposium - Minneapolis, United States
Duration: 6 Sep 20169 Sep 2016
Conference number: 10


ConferenceInternational Drainage Symposium
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • Drain outflow
  • Groundwater level
  • Subsurface drains
  • Trenching drainage technique
  • Trenchless drainage technique


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