Sports pitch drainage – the merits of creating a camber on the playing surface

Creating adequate surface gradient on sports pitches has been found to be vital to promote surface drainage.  However, existing built-up surroundings and reasonably level locations often make this endeavour impractical.  There are countless examples of cambering pitches in the US and there is limited adoption in some premier football clubs in the UK.  Nevertheless, this simple and economic method of soil profiling is seldom considered in lower level grassed pitches.  Drainage is an essential requirement on winter pitches but the high costs of installing primary and secondary systems and maintaining them with the annual sand dressing required is a major concern to local authorities and private clubs.  Installing a camber becomes a positive initial means of shedding surface water to each side of the pitch before it saturates the topsoil to a significant depth.   The created  outward slopes from the generally level central camber running between goals limits puddle formation, prevents flooding ever occurring and does not affect the game.  With the gentle camber linking side slopes of 1:70 players hardly notice the outward cross gradient.  

 

Key words: grassed sports pitches, surface drainage, camber, gradient .

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