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Welcome to the Minnesota Public Drainage Manual (MPDM) website. The MPDM is designed to be user-friendly and flexible to guide users directly to the information they need, depending upon the question they need to answer or Best Management Practice (BMP) they need to design.

Enter Drainage Manual: Table of Contents



The Minnesota Public Drainage Manual (MPDM) is used by a variety of practitioners as a practical guide for navigating Minnesota’s public drainage process. The manual was published in 1991 and has not been updated since its original publication in a three-ring binder. Since this time, there have been changes to the governing statutes, judicial decisions, and advances in technology that must be incorporated into the original guide.

In 2014, the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) began the process to update the MPDM. BWSR oversaw an advisory team of diverse stakeholders and the consultant team of Houston Engineering, Inc. (HEI) and Rinke-Noonan Law Firm to author technical information and facilitate stakeholder meetings.

The project involved a series of stakeholder meetings, which involved discussions to obtain input from a variety of users to create the best possible end-product. This process helps ensure that the revised document will better serve all of those who use it daily to complete their jobs. In addition to updating the existing chapters, a new chapter Chapter 5: Best Management Practices provides users with a practical way to identify and consider applicable BMPs by system and specific drainage proceeding.

Another important project component involved presenting the information in a modern, technologically advanced format that is easy to read and access. BWSR identified the best format for the web-based publication to be an online Mediawiki site that is easy to access and navigate, particularly from the field where many may need to use it.

Guidance on Use

This website was developed using Mediawiki, a wiki application that allows for easy editing and that has powerful search abilities. If you are new to this format, follow the links below to find more information that will help answer common questions when using the online Minnesota Public Drainage Manual:

Why a web-based format?
Why a wiki?
How do I navigate the site?
How do I print?
Can I provide feedback on the new site?


This Minnesota Public Drainage Manual (first updated and republished in Wiki in October, 2016) is the collective effort of the Board of Water and Soil Resources and it contractor, a team composed of staff from Houston Engineering, Inc. (HEI) and Rinke Noonan Attorneys at Law, and stakeholder Project Advisory Committee (PAC).

The Project Advisory Committee represents a broad cross section of public and private sector interests in public drainage systems in Minnesota.
The PAC has had three key tasks:

1. Help shape the outline of Chapters 2, 3, 4 and new Chapter 5.
2. Review and comment on the content of the Chapters 2, 3, 4 and 5 through the subcommittees. As the full PAC, review and comment on all of the draft chapters for content and consistency.
3. Beta test the manual in the wiki.

A special thank you is extended to the Project Advisory Committee members for their time and input!

Click here to see a full list of MPDM Project Advisory Committee Members.

Future Maintenance and Content Updating Process

The process for managing the MPDM content in the future was a topic of interest to PAC members from early in the MPDM update project. The MPDM Maintenance Plan was adopted by the BWSR Board at its December 2016 meeting.

Click here to see the MPDM Maintenance Plan.


This publication was funded by an appropriation of the Minnesota Legislature. The organizations represented on the Advisory Committee donated staff time to this effort. The substance and findings of this publication are dedicated to the public. The content of this document does not necessarily reflect the views of the State of Minnesota or the Board of Water and Soil Resources.

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This page was last edited on 6 April 2018, at 19:19.