Impact story

One pipe for any kind of soil: WUR and drainage systems

Drainage is an essential component of agricultural water management. In humid regions, drainage is needed to control soil water for better aeration, higher temperatures, and easier workability. By contrast, in arid and semi-arid regions its primary function is to prevent irrigation-induced waterlogging and salinization of the soil.

Universal drain pipe-envelope system

Subsurface drainage systems, consisting of perforated plastic pipes are used to drain both agricultural lands as well as urban areas. To prevent entry of sediments into drainpipes, these pipes are wrapped with envelopes made from graded gravel or pre-wrapped synthetic materials. One of the biggest disadvantages of these materials is that they have to be matched with the characteristics of the soil in which they will be installed. A Turkish entrepreneur has outsourced WUR knowledge from the drainage expert Henk Ritzema to develop a universal drain pipe-envelope system that can be used in any type of soil.


The new concept, Hydroluis, consists of an inner pipe with three rows of perforations at the top and an unperforated outer-pipe that leaves only the unperforated bottom part of the inner-pipe in contact with the soil. This innovative pipe coverage works for a wide range of soil textures and there is better protection against root growth inside the pipe. Wageningen University is involved in testing the Hydroluis concept in several countries with different soil types and climate zones. Dutch and WUR knowledge on drainage is usually outsourced by international companies working in water management, as the Netherlands has traditionally a rich history in drainage and flood protection in delta areas.