Kent Wamsley standing in a traditional ditch in Howard County. Note the bank failure.
Same agricultural field, but now with a Two-Stage Ditch. Benches have been created and the bank side slope is stable.
Diagram of a conventional ditch. The conventional ditch provides less area for incoming runoff to spread potentially creating more chances for overflow, flooding, and soil erosion.
Diagram of a Two-Stage Ditch. The Two-Stage Ditch provides more surface area for runoff to spread, thus reducing the water levels in the ditch.
The eroded soil and deep banks of this conventional ditch decreases drainage of water runoff
By leveling the banks of conventional ditches to 2-3 ft above the bottom for a width of 10 feet on each side, the Two-Stage Ditch increases area for water to spread. This, in turn, slows the velocity of water runoff.
Nature attempts to scour and slough banks to form benches in a conventional ditch.
Seeding can be done by drills, spreaders, blown on, or on small projects done by hand.
After the installation of a two-stage ditch
Making of a two-stage ditch
Two-Stage Ditch during construction
The wide and shallow banks of a Two-Stage Ditch prevents overflows of water following a storm event.
Two-Stage Ditches could relieve the erosion, scouring and flooding that conventional ditches may cause.