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Surface Drainage using Live Pole Drain Systems

Live pole drain (LPD) systems are commonly used in conjunction with other soil bioengineering methods and/or conventional engineering. They are constructed using cylindrical bundles of live cuttings in conjunction with dead materials that are placed in a shallow excavated trench to drain excess ground moisture causing slope instability.

Live pole drain systems allow for vegetation establishment, by reducing earth slumping as a result of improved drainage, thereby increasing slope stabilization. The plants, through evapo-transpiration after rooting, also provide increased uptake of ground water.


The dimensions and layout of each LPD system is site specific; they are located where seepage occurs on a slope, and are designed to drain excess water into locations such as road ditches, water bodies and/or French drains.


LPD system using Gynerium sp.

LPD system using Gynerium sp.



Live pole drain/fascines

Live pole drain/fascines
(Donald H. Gray, Robbin B. Sotir 1996)

Link to these surface drainage using live pole drain system projects:

Akolkolex River Live Pole Drain System

Beaver Creek Live Pole Drain System

Heart Creek Live Pole Drain System

Sheep Creek Live Pole Drain System

Walker's Landing Live Pole Drain System UPDATED



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Live Pole Drains for Surface Drainage