Indiana Farm Bureau, Inc. has been a leader in helping Hoosiers understand farm drainage law since drainage codes were enacted decades ago. For years, Jim Barnett, now retired but then director of resources for Indiana Farm Bureau, served as a walking encyclopedia of knowledge about drainage laws in Indiana. Since some of the laws are quirky to say the least, that's no small feat.
Now Indiana Farm Bureau is moving to a new information level far beyond tapping the knowledge base of one individual. Mark Thornburg, an attorney for Indiana Farm Bureau, recently announced that the state's largest farm group was creating a Drainage/Stormwater email distribution group. The purpose, he noted, was to help keep those interested in stormwater and drainage problems in Indiana up to date on important events, legislation and other happenings related to these water issues at state, local and even federal levels.
You can learn more by replying to Maria Spellman at: firstname.lastname@example.org. That contact should be able to provide information that will allow you to access the information network if you choose.
Meanwhile, Indiana Farm Bureau continues one of their most popular and helpful seminar series again this year with Drainage School 101. Usually a sell-out, it's held at Indiana Farm Bureau headquarters in Indianapolis. This year's event is August 27. Scheduled topics include drainage authority of county officials, drainage case law; assessments and financing; municipal separate storm sewers systems and much more. If you're interested in this one-day event, you're encouraged to contact IFB soon and reserve a spot.
Part of tracking down answers to questions related to drainage, including 'Can my neighbor let his water drain on my land?," involves knowing where to go to find factual information. Helpful sources besides Indiana Farm Bureau's new information network for drainage issues, or its now-annual drainage school, include Web sties for several other agencies who deal with water-related issues on a regular basis.
These include: www.fema.gov/hazard/flood/info.shtm; www.epa.gov/owow/wetlands; www.in.gov/dnr/water/9759.htm; and www.in.gov/idem/permits/water/wastewater/wetwthr/storm.
For local questions on ditch assessments and what constitutes legal drains, you may also want to visit with your local county surveyor's office. Ditch assessments and possible reconstruction or cleaning of ditches and drains classified as county drains fall under the jurisdiction of the surveyor and his office. These are the kinds of issues discussed at Indiana Farm Bureau's Drainage School 101 each summer.