Hancock County Drainage Maintenance Program

In 2002 the Hancock County Soil Water Conservation District through a written agreement with the Hancock County Engineers and County Commissioner’s officially became responsible for the existing Ditch Maintenance Program, including the Blanchard River Maintenance. Currently there are 192.35 miles of ditches under maintenance, 9.3 miles of tile, 183 miles of open channel with 158,243 acres benefited from drainage.

Under the program, ditches are dipped out, sprayed and cleared of any large debris to allow drainage water to flow more easily and exit the watershed quicker to prevent flooding. For more information or questions regarding the Drainage Maintenance Program, or to report debris or problems please contact Jason Althaus, District Technician at 419-422-6569 or voice mail message at 419-422-5438 x-126.

Blanchard River Stream Enhancement Project

This extensive cleaning of the Blanchard River in Hardin, Hancock and Putnam counties started November 15, 2013 and was completed on ¬†February 12, 2015. The original contract bid was for $381,302 and the total spent was $381,294. There were a total of 1,361 trees, 865 “A” logjams, 35 “B” logjams, 7 “C” logjams and 3 “D” logjams removed in Hancock, Hardin, and Putnam Counties by Tawa Tree Service.


In cooperation with NRCS and FSA, the Soil & Water Conservation District provides technical assistance to landowners who sign up for waterways through farm fields. The comprehensive assistance includes an initial site visit, a survey of the area, grade and width design, staking for construction, a full sized set of plans for the contractor, and a construction check survey.


After signing up a field through FSA, the SWCD provides the technical services needed to convert a farmed field back into a natural haven for wildlife.

Topographic & Aerial Maps

The district provides copies of Aerial Maps from 1939, 1963, 1980, 1993-1999 of any location in Hancock County. In addition, watershed and topographical maps of some areas of the county are also available.

Mutual Agreements / SB160 Projects

The district facilitates improving drainage projects throughout the county by one of two methods. We provide technical data and meeting facilities to those groups of landowners who wish to improve a drainage concern on their own. This is called a mutual agreement in which all landowners in the watershed are in favor of the project. If there is disagreement among the landowners, a person within the watershed may petition the project through SB160. Through this process, the district handles all of the technical aspects of the project, it is voted on by the SWCD Board and County Commissioners and directly assessed onto all of the landowners taxes.


Several townships in Hancock County are zoned and require a pond plan to be able to get a permit to build the pond. We can assist with that by being there during the test hole procedure, surveying, drawing up the plans and construction checking the completed design.

Subsurface Drains / Surface

Drains having water drainage issues? One of our technicians can do a site visit and make recommendations for improved drainage in your area.

Fish Sale –¬†July/August

If you have a pond, you don’t want to miss our annual fish sale held every summer. It’s a good way to get some fingerling size fish to keep your pond stocked.

Tree Packet Sale – Dec. / March

Keep an eye on the district home page or call/stop in the office to order your trees for March/April planting at the beginning of each year.

Pollution Abatement & Water Quality

Have a pollution problem with the soil and water of your farm or lawn? One of our district technicians can stop by to help give recommendations on practices which can help you clean up!

Marking Flags

We have marking flags in a variety of colors to choose for sale at our office. Flags are sold in bundles of 100 for $12. Great for marking tile, small trees, proposed projects, and many more uses.