Tax ditch channels range in size from six to 80 feet wide, and two to 14 feet deep. The dimensions depend on the acreage being drained and the topography. A Tax Ditch Association is an organization, formed by a legal process in Superior Court, that comprises all landowners (also referred to as taxables) of a particular watershed or sub-watershed. The operations of a tax ditch are overseen by ditch managers and a secretary/treasurer. Use this application to determine if you have one on your property.
There are 3 types of right-of-ways — Construction and Major Maintenance, Minor Maintenance and Special Access (SAR). Right-of-ways along tax ditches allow for access and the construction/reconstruction of tax ditches, piling of debris and spoil to be deposited and leveled as part of the construction or maintenance of the tax ditch. SAR’s allow for entities working on behalf of the tax ditch to travel through a certain area. If you have a ROW on your property you cannot put any permanent structure that would prevent access or maintenance activities for the tax ditch. You may however maintain your property, mowing for example. To generate a formal letter with right-of-way information for a parcel, please use this application.
Consult the DNREC Drainage Program for clarification, but if you have a concern with the tax ditch channel on your property that cannot be addressed by the Tax Ditch Organization in the timeframe necessary, the landowner can address.
It is not recommended to spray pesticides or herbicides on tax ditch banks or in aquatic areas. These chemicals negatively impact the health of our waters and habitats, and the result could lead to erosion issues.
Any activity that results in the damage to a Tax Ditch Channel, Bank or Right-of-Way could result in financial liability to the person(s) conducting the activity. Any individual using pesticides/herbicides must be in compliance with rules enforced by Delaware Department of Agriculture (DDA). Any deviations from the standards set forth by this agency can result in fines and penalties.
Any additional questions concerning the use of pesticides/herbicides should be directed at the Delaware Department of Agriculture at 302-698-4571. Additional information can be found on the Department of Agriculture website.