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Two Stage Ditch: Say Goodbye to Traditional Ditching Techniques with the Ditch Doctor®



As our world continues to face environmental challenges, finding innovative and effective solutions to manage our natural resources is becoming increasingly important. One such solution is the implementation of two staged ditches. A two staged ditch features a lower section that is typically deeper and narrower, and an upper section, also known as the main channel, that is wider and shallower. In this blog, we discuss the benefits of implementing a two staged ditch and explain how the Ditch Doctor® attachment can help make it easy to construct one.


How a Two Stage Ditch Works

Two staged ditches work by slowing down the flow of water and allowing sediment to settle out. This process improves water quality by reducing the amount of pollutants that enter nearby streams and rivers. The wider and shallower upper section of the ditch is designed to promote the growth of vegetation, which can further reduce sediment and nutrient loss.


What Are the Benefits of Using a Two Stage Ditch?

Some of the benefits of using a two-stage ditch include better management of agricultural runoff, an improved drainage function and ditch stability, as well as nature conservancy. Additional benefits of using two-stage ditches include:

  • Reduction in sediment and nutrient loss: Two staged ditches can reduce sediment and nutrient loss, resulting in healthier ecosystems.

  • Improved water quality: The reduction in sediment and nutrient loss also leads to improved water quality, which benefits not only wildlife but also human health.

  • Reduction in flooding: Two staged ditches can also reduce the risk of submerging land in water during a flood condition by slowing down the flow of water.

  • Increased crop yield: By reducing soil erosion and nutrient loss, two staged ditches can improve soil health and increase crop yield.

  • Cost savings for farmers: Two staged ditches can result in cost savings for farmers by reducing the need for additional fertilizers and other inputs.


Traditional ditches typically have a V-shaped open channel that allows water to flow rapidly, increasing the risk of nutrient loss and erosion during high flows. Compared to a conventional ditch, two-stage channels provide more effective water management and soil conservation.


Two Staged Ditches for Engineers and Construction Workers

Two staged ditches can also be used in construction projects to manage stormwater runoff. By using a two-stage design, excess water can be stored and slowly released, reducing the risk of flooding and erosion. This can help to protect infrastructure and ensure that construction projects are completed on time and on budget.


For engineers and construction workers, two staged ditches offer a low-cost, low-maintenance solution for managing stormwater runoff. By using natural processes to store water, two staged ditches can help to reduce the need for expensive and complicated stormwater management systems.


Two Staged Ditches for Railroad and Municipalities

Two staged ditches can also be used by railroads and municipalities to manage stormwater runoff. By using a two-stage design, excess water can be stored and slowly released, reducing the risk of flooding and erosion. This can help to protect infrastructure and ensure that transportation systems are not disrupted by heavy rain events.


For railroad and municipalities, two staged ditches offer a cost-effective solution. In addition, the improved water quality provided by two staged ditches can help to protect aquatic ecosystems and provide safe drinking water for nearby communities.


Two Staged Ditches for Railroad and Municipalities

Railroads and municipalities can also benefit from the use of two staged ditches for managing stormwater runoff. Two staged ditches can be used to manage runoff from roads, rail yards, and other impervious surfaces, reducing the risk of flooding and improving water quality.


The Ditch Doctor: A Two-Stage Ditch Solution

The Ditch Doctor® is an innovative excavator attachment used to create two stage ditches as well as restore and maintain existing ditches. Invented by Adam Fisher, this attachment is powered by the hydraulics of an excavator, making it faster, more cost-effective, and kinder to the environment than traditional methods of using a bucket and truck to remove the spoil. Since the first prototype was developed in 2002, the Ditch Doctor® has undergone several modifications, and now comes in two sizes, suitable for working in either dry or wet conditions.


Case Study: Mass Town, Nova Scotia

One of the major advantages of using the Ditch Doctor® is its ability to work in wet or dry conditions, making it an ideal solution for projects in areas prone to heavy rainfall or standing water. This attachment has proved to be particularly beneficial in locations like Masstown, Nova Scotia, where the client faced issues with large volumes of water from the road surface, combined with large water runoff, which was not draining away.


The Ditch Doctor® was used to reshape the lower level of the ditch, removing the material causing the blockage, and reshaping the ditch at the same time. The traffic was managed by cones, and no additional trucks were required, reducing traffic congestion, providing a safer work zone, and enabling the hard shoulder to remain open.


Case Study: Dalhousie University's Faculty of Agriculture

Another project undertaken by the Ditch Doctor® involved Dalhousie University's Faculty of Agriculture. The project aimed to compare the efficiency of the Ditch Doctor® with the conventional bucket and excavator method in creating, restoring, and maintaining ditches in wet and dry marshland conditions. The Ditch Doctor® was able to create, restore, and maintain ditches in up to three feet of water, making it ideal for projects in wetland areas. The attachment helped restore the area's drainage and land quality, allowing farmers to plant crops earlier in the season and harvest with a higher yield.


Why Use the Ditch Doctor

The Ditch Doctor® has revolutionized the way ditches are created, restored, and maintained. Its ability to work in wet or dry conditions, create two-stage ditches, and reduce traffic congestion, makes it a cost-effective, efficient, and environmentally friendly solution for a wide range of projects. As awareness of the Ditch Doctor® continues to grow, it is expected to become a more widely adopted solution in the future.


Conclusion: Two Stage Ditch

Two staged ditches offer numerous benefits for farmers, engineers, construction workers, railroad, municipal, and large landowners. By reducing sediment and nutrient loss, improving water quality, reducing flooding, increasing crop yield, and saving costs, two staged ditches are an effective solution for managing stormwater runoff.


With growing demand for sustainable construction practices, the use of two staged ditches is a viable option for managing stormwater runoff worldwide. We encourage you to consider implementing two staged ditches in your projects to improve water quality and reduce costs. If you'd like to speak to an expert about the Ditch Doctor®, you can contact us by clicking here.


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