Drainage Districts

Drainage districts are a legally organized method of overseeing the drainage of land for agricultural and other uses.  Many times natural drainage is not available for all lands so over the past century nearly 3,700 drainage districts have been formed across Iowa to assist drainage.  This drainage is most commonly achieved through the installation of ditches or underground tile, which are maintained by the drainage district to uphold their function over time.

There are nearly 50 active drainage districts within Polk County. The property owners within a drainage district's boundaries are the actual owners and they are financially responsible for the tile and the ditches in the district.  Under the Code Of Iowa, Chapter 468 the County Board Of Supervisors acts as Drainage District Trustees in all District matters. The landowners of a particular district may, if they wish, elect their own trustees and maintain the district themselves.  In Polk County we have a mixture of districts overseen by the County Board of Supervisors and elected trustees.

Polk County Public Works Department preforms small repairs and maintenance work on drainage districts when schedules allow, while private contractors may complete more extensive repair and maintenance work.  Once work is performed, it is then charged to the district, for large repairs and maintenance there is a drainage district process to work with drainage district members.

To report an issue or problem concerning a drainage district, please contact the Polk County Public Works Office at (515) 286-3705.

Frequently Asked Questions

Polk County Drainage District Map

Polk County, on behalf of the Walnut Creek Watershed Management Authority (WMA) is inviting experienced professional services teams (Consultant) to submit their qualifications for the development of the Walnut Creek Watershed 5-Year Implementation Plan. The Request for Qualifications (RFQ) can be found by clicking the following link. Submittal deadline is June 14, 2024 at 2:00PM. Walnut Creek Watershed 5 Year Implementation Plan RFQ