Drainage

Essentials in sports pitch drainage

The main concern in all winter sports pitches is the ability to provide a good firm playing surface during the wet winter months.  Continual rain and restricted evaporation at this time lead to the accumulation of surface water.  Seldom is the problem due to underground water.

Essentially, there are just two ways in which satisfactory drainage can be achieved on sports pitches:

  1. An imported sandy root zone ensured of removing surplus water as soon as it falls
  2. Installing close-spaced slit drains to ‘bypass’ a relatively impermeable topsoil

To achieve sustainable drainage – irrespective of the design – annual maintenance becomes critical.    On premier pitches constructed with a sand rootzone it is the accumulation of organic matter debris, thatch and the encroachment of shallow rooted annual meadow grass that threaten the playing performance.  On clay loam soils installed with close spaced slit drains the main objective must be to keep the slits open at the surface.

This can only be done with the maintenance of a high quality ryegrass cover and the and the regular applications of sand dressing – at least annually.

GJ Drainage

ripping between lateral drains

GJ Drainage

installing lateral drains

GJ Drainage

installing slit drains

GJ Drainage

close-up slit drain installation

GJ Drainage

recovery after slit drain installation

GJ Drainage

installing slit drains before seeding

GJ Drainage

drainage outfall from slit drain reticulation

GJ Drainage

installing sand grooves

GJ Drainage

spade sample of sand groove

GJ Drainage

ditch reticulation

 

Refer to the following article and papers…

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