Connecting Pot Holes to Drains

There are basically three approaches to improving surface drainage:

  1. Cut drains or ditches through your field from the lowest points to the outside with a continuously falling grade.
  2. Landform or shape the surface topography using cutting and filling to ensure every point on the field is falling towards the boundary.
  3. Mixture for 1 & 2.
While OptiSurface Designer can design for all of these, it really stands alone in 2 above. It is the only thing of its kind to date that calculates the optimized field topography that ensure continuous falling grade in multiple directions and balance cut/fill while minimising earthworks. You can define your minimum, maximum grade and a smoothing factor (and some other parameters if you want them) to achieve the result you want and how much earth you can afford to move. It is very different to laser grading which uses single planes (dual slope) which shift much more soil than required to achieve your water management objectives.

So back to the question, if you have drains through your field already but you still have many potholes pooling water, then you can use OptiSurface Designer to calculate the surface that will have some minor cutting and filling to get those potholes to drain to the drains through the field.

A few of the advantages of OptiSurface to just using method 1 above (cut drains or ditches) is that:
  • You potentially do half the earthworks as you are not just cutting and dumping, you are doing balanced cut and fill.
  • You have less steep sided drains that create problems for machinery traffic.
  • You have more uniform water infiltration and less weeds.


  1. Virtual Reference Station (VRS) for OptiSurface Landform
  2. Accuracy of RTK and RTX GPS
  3. Export To Field Level .gps File From UTM Coordinate System
  4. How Often Does The Earthworks Need To Be Done?
  5. GPS Accuracy Affected by Solar Activities
  6. Is OptiSurface Compatible with John Deere?
  7. Is GPS Accurate Compared to Laser?
  8. Is Cellular RTK Networks Accurate Enough for GPS Landforming?
  9. Trimble FMX User Guide
  10. Effects of Topsoil Removal and Redistribution on Irrigated Crop Production
  11. OptiSurface Designer on Apple Computer
  12. Earthworks Conversion Chart (Metric to Imperial) & Planar/OptiSurface Comparison
  13. How to Check Your System Specification
  14. OptiSurface Designer and John Deere's APEX
  15. Designs Generated with OptiSurface Designer
  16. Legend Way Off Screen
  17. Computer Only Running at 30% of the CPU Capacity
  18. French Manual for OptiSurface Designer
  19. Introduction to OptiSurface Landforming
  20. Using the Lay of the Land to Let Water Drain From A Field
  21. The Benefits by Using OptiSurface Design Software
  22. Draining Surface Water Using OptiSurface Designer
  23. Difference Between OptiSurface Designer Software and the Trimble and Deere Solutions
  24. OptiSurface and Auto-steer GPS: Key to Cost-Effective Erosion Control
  25. 800ha OptiSurfaced for Lateral Move and Drip Irrigation
  26. The Disadvantage of Practicing Multiple Grade Designs
  27. Why You Don't Want Ditches in Your Field...
  28. Connecting Pot Holes to Drains
  29. Dongle Or Licensing System
  30. OptiSurface Designer System Requirements
  31. Hardware List Providing the Best Service and Getting the Most out of OptiSurface Designer
  32. Computer Operating Systems
  33. One or Two Scrapers
  34. Base Station Mobility
  35. Base Unit Distance with GPS Receivers On Scrappers
  36. Getting the Information to the GPS Units on the Scrapers in the Field
  37. Downloading Maps to the Equipment / Machine
  38. Implementing Designs for the Field
  39. What Machine Control Hardware is OptiSurface Designer Compatible With?
  40. Base Station and Line of Sight with the Scrapers
  41. One Base Station with Multiple Scrapers
  42. Training Topics
  43. Two Legends Visible
  44. Auto-Backup Files
  45. Speed Up the Display Graphics (eg Zooming and Panning)

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