In Finland nearly 6 million hectares of peatlands are drained for forestry purposes. Ditch network maintenance in the drained peatlands, i.e. cleaning old ditches or digging complementary ditches, deteriorates surface water quality by increasing the export of dissolved elements and suspended solids (SS). Effect of ditch network maintenance on the export of SS, dissolved organic carbon (DOC), and dissolved nitrogen (N), phosphorous (P), iron (Fe), aluminum (Al) and manganese (Mn) was studied in nine pairs of treated and control (no maintenance) catchments located in southern and central Finland. In this study we extended the paired catchment approach by combining data from several catchments and identifying the treatment effect on SS and element loads from the entire dataset. Following the method of Laurén et al. (2009) we identified how uncertainty in correlation between treatment and control catchments during pre-treatment period is reflected in the estimated treatment effect on SS and element loads. In the experiment, the export of SS increased significantly for the four year study period following the ditch network maintenance and Al export increased for one year. The export of N, P and Fe was not significantly changed and DOC and Mn export decreased after the ditch maintenance operation.