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Maintaining Roadside Ditches

Field Guide for Maintaining Rural Roadside Ditches*

Rural roadside ditches carry water away from roads and protect our infrastructure, but they also carry runoff to nearby lakes and streams. Problems in ditches can lead to impacts to water quality downstream.

By following the practical advice in this guide, people working on ditches can solve ongoing and irritating maintenance issues while protecting lakes and streams.

Tables from the Field Guide*

Need to work on a ditch? Use these handy tables.

  • Pre-maintenance Checklist:
    Pre-maintenance Checklist DOC | Pre-maintenance Checklist PDF
  • Ditch Maintenance Packing Checklist:
    Ditch Maintenance Packing Checklist DOC | Ditch Maintenance Packing Checklist PDF
  • Excavation Checklist for Ditch Maintenance:
    Excavation Checklist for Ditch Maintenance DOC | Excavation Checklist for Ditch Maintenance PDF
  • Mowing, Trimming and Cleaning Ditches Checklist:
    Mowing, Trimming and Cleaning Ditches Checklist DOC | Mowing, Trimming and Cleaning Ditches Checklist PDF

Resources from the Field Guide*

Need to work on a ditch? Make sure you have permits, supplies and the right information.

Thanks to Carrie Sanda, University of Wisconsin-Superior, for assembling the Northern Wisconsin Information.

Northeastern Minnesota Contacts

Permits and Agencies

Erosion Control and Seeding Supplies


Northern Wisconsin Contacts and Resources

State, County, Highway & Land/Water Conservation Departments

  • Ashland County Highway Department (715) 274-3662
  • Ashland County Land & Water Conservation (715) 682-7187
  • Bayfield County Highway Department (715) 373-6115
  • Bayfield County Land & Water Conservation (715) 373-6167
  • Douglas County Highway Department (715) 374-2575
  • Douglas County Land & Water Conservation (715) 395-1380
  • WI DNR Douglas County Transportation Liaison (715) 635-4229
  • WI DNR Bayfield & Ashland County Transportation Liaison (715) 635-4228
  • WDOT Erosion/Stormwater (608) 264-8417
  • WDOT Landscaping/General (608) 267-6884
  • WDOT Soils/Geotechnical (608) 246-7940
  • Natural Resources Conservation Service (715) 682-9117

Invasive Species & Watershed Programs

  • Ashland County AIS Coordinator (715) 682-7187
  • Bayfield County AIS Coordinator (715) 373-6167
  • Douglas County AIS Coordinator (715) 394-8334
  • St. Croix/Eau Claire Headwaters Watershed Coordinator (715) 394-8525

Other Northern WI Resources


Informative Resources

Beavers

Culverts

Erosion Control and Seeding

General

Gravel Road Maintenance

Protected Plants

Water

Other Resources


* Fortin Consulting, Inc., the Natural Resources Research Institute of the University of Minnesota Duluth, and Minnesota Sea Grant created the Field Guide for Maintaining Rural Roadside Ditches with financial support from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.


This page last modified on February 15, 2017     © 1996 – 2017 Regents of the University of Minnesota     The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer.
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