International drain tile maker comes to Buxton

An international manufacturer of corrugated plastic pipe used to tile-drain farmland, a booming industry in the Red River Valley, is coming to Buxton, N.D.

An international manufacturer of corrugated plastic pipe used to tile-drain farmland, a booming industry in the Red River Valley, is coming to Buxton, N.D.

Advanced Drainage Systems, based in Hilliard, Ohio, will open in the spring in the former Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers building just off the Interstate 29 interchange by Buxton.

"We're seeing enormous demand for HDPE pipe throughout the region, and we want to ensure that our customers continue to receive the very best in customer service," said Joe Chlapaty, ADS chairman and chief executive.

HDPE is an acronym for high-density polyethylene.

"By manufacturing pipe as close to our customers as possible, it will significantly reduce the time and cost of delivery," Chlapaty said. This additional production and shipping capacity will serve our growing customer base well."


ADS declined to offer an estimate of the number of employees it will hire, saying that will be determined over the next few months.

The 42,000-square-foot building, built by Dennis Biliske Auctioneers in 2000 and sold to Ritchie Bros. in 2005, has been vacant for about a year, said Buxton Mayor Gene Rosholt.


"We are extremely pleased to welcome ADS into our community," the mayor said. "Our community will benefit from ADS' commitment to producing the highest quality water drainage products and the company's outstanding reputation for supporting the communities where it operates. In turn, ADS will benefit from our skilled work force, strong quality of life and excellent location."

Chlapaty agreed, adding that the Buxton plant will serve western Ontario, Manitoba and eastern Saskatchewan.

Besides field drainage, ADS makes pipe for drainage along roads and highways, shopping mall parking lots, as well as for recreational markets such as golf courses. The company operates 49 manufacturing plants around the world and has 22 distribution centers.

Drainage boom

Tom Scherer, a North Dakota State University agricultural engineer who is studying drainage and drain tiling, is not surprised a drain-tile maker is moving to the Red River Valley. "It's been a very expanding phenomenon over the past 10 to 20 years."


Currently, the closest drain tile maker to the valley is believed to be Prinsco, based in Prinsburg, Minn., west of the Twin Cities. The closest ADS plant is in Iowa.

An informal survey of county agents a couple of years ago produced an estimate of 70,000 acres of farmland with tile drainage. But because laws differ between states on what has to be permitted, the estimate was believed to be not much more than a guess.

In 1999, just one company, Field Drainage Inc., based in Brooks, Minn., was installing drain tile in the Red River Valley. Today, there are at least three full-time, with another three or four that are just starting, according to Scherer.

"As long as we're in this wet cycle, and farmers are having trouble getting into their fields either to plant or harvest, it'll continue to grow," he said. "And if it's growing on this side of the border, it's growing in Canada, too."

Reach Bonham at (701) 780-1110; (800) 477-6572, ext. 110; or send e-mail to .

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