University of Illinois Agricultural Engineer Richard Cooke and graduate student Tim Rendall compared the performance of four surface tile inlet designs at the University’s indoor drainage testing facility in Urbana. The following inlets were evaluated for sediment transport and drainage water flow with and without crop debris in the water:

     •6-in. Hickenbottom riser

     •6-in. funnel-style Quick Drain from Ag Solutions

     •6-in. riser-style Quick Drain from Ag Solutions

     •6-in. Water Quality Inlet from AgriDrain

Below are some preliminary findings.

The funnel-style Quick Drain from Ag Solutions had the greatest capacity to drain water when there was no crop residue or debris in the drainage water, and when there was heavy debris (wheat trash) in the drainage water.

The Water Quality Inlet from AgriDrain had the lowest drainage capacity, but preliminary results show that the AgriDrain inlet transports much less sediment, says Cooke.

With heavy debris, the drainage capacity of the riser-style Quick Drain from Ag Solutions was about the same as the Hickenbottom riser.

The drainage capacity of the Hickenbottom riser was not significantly affected by the presence of debris.