Drainage Law

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Minnesota’s Drainage Law is applied throughout the state.  It is also known as the “Drainage Code”.  It determines how privately-owned county ditches are managed.  This Code was established in the late 1800’s, along with federal grants to ensure that the nation’s swamps would be drained.  The purpose of the law was to establish a process to oversee drainage management among the landowners.

Drainage Statutes are outlined in M.S. Statute 103E.011 -103.

The Brown County Drainage Authority has approved drainage system guidelines to assist landowners with understanding drainage law and requirements and/or suggested practices within Brown County.

Repairs and inspections of public ditches are handled by the County Highway Department. To contact them regarding your drainage issues call 507-233-5700 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Assessments, maintenance levies and records of ditch proceedings are handled by the Auditor-Treasurer’s office.  You can contact the auditor at 507-233-6615 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

The Drainage Authority has developed a systematic approach to the redetermination of benefits for all the county drainage systems, including surface and subsurface tile systems.  These redeterminations are long overdue and will take years to complete.  Accessing your drainage system within the Drainagedb program you will be able to determine when your system is scheduled for ROB.