In December of 1989, the Defiance County Commissioners and the Defiance County Engineer entered into an agreement with the Board of Supervisors to manage and operate the Defiance County Ditch Maintenance Program as required by the O.R.C. Since that time there have been 66 improvements added to the program. Currently, we have 194 improvements under maintenance, totaling 346 miles. The Soil and Water office also has 14 petitions for new Conservation Works of Improvement projects.
The Defiance County Ditch Maintenance Department treats drainage improvements as vital infrastructure to Northwest Ohio. Agricultural producers and rural landowners in Northwest Ohio have been concerned with the need to dispose of excess water. For agricultural producers, excess water means delays in plantings, replanting, soil compaction, reduced yields and delay in harvesting. For homeowners in the urban area, excess water can mean damage due to flooding of dwellings and property. The cost of new construction or the reconstruction of drainage improvements greatly exceeds the cost of maintaining the improvement once construction is completed. That is why, once a project is constructed, the County Commissioners are required by law to place the improvement under the Defiance County Ditch Maintenance program.