Drainage Districts

Drainage districts were established for drainage of surface waters from agricultural and other lands for the protection of said lands from overflow when said protection is a public benefit or is conducive to public health, convenience, and welfare. (Section 468.2, State Code of Iowa).

Drainage District Trustees


Districts are established by the Drainage District Trustees at the request of the land owners within the proposed district (Section 468.6-468.8). Per the Code of Iowa, Chapter 468, the County Board of Supervisor’s act as Drainage District Trustees in all district matters.
A drainage ditch project
The landowners of a particular district may, if they wish, elect their own trustees and maintain the district themselves. The Trustees are required by the Code of Iowa (Section 468.126) to maintain all drainage districts at their original capacity.

Assessments & Costs


There are more than 200 drainage districts within Hardin County. Assessments are made to pay for engineering costs, improvements and/or repairs within a given drainage district.

Assessments or classification of land in a drainage district are based on the benefit that the land receives, or could potentially receive, from being in the district. All drainage district records are kept in the Auditor’s Office.

Maintenance and Repair Cost Responsibilities


Property owners within the district, not the County, own and pay for all maintenance and repairs to that district. A contractor hired by the Trustees will do the work and will be paid by the district. Notice of repairs is only required when the cost will exceed $50,000 or 75% of the original assessed value of the district, whichever is greater.

Requests, Complaints & Questions


Requests for repairs, complaints, problems or questions should be directed to the Drainage Clerk in the Auditor’s Office at 641-939-8111 or by email.

Drainage Work Order Request Form (PDF)