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- Drainage

An important feature of good turf surfaces is the ability to shed excess water when required. This generally relates to the efficient dispersal of excess winter rainfall. Heavy winter rains can make a ground slow, heavy and unstable, and therefore unsuitable for competitive sports of any sort.
In an effort to provide suitable playing surfaces for most weather patterns, the Sportsgrass P/L design process includes an allowance for either the installation of additional drainage features where practical, or the shaping of the surface to assist surface runoff of excess rainfall.

Sports surface profiles can be either quick or slow draining, depending on the type of existing soil and the materials used in construction. A field that can withstand substantial rainfall (20mm+) before or during play without affecting the playing characteristics is said to be fast draining. Conversely, a field that alters after 2-3mm of rain is said to be slow draining.

A free-draining sand profile, built specifically to drain quickly is optimum. At the high performance end, some sand based grounds can accept in excess of 50mm of rainfall in one hour without seriously affecting the playing surface. In Victoria, this is regarded as an unusual event, so ground manager’s work toward a figure in this region. On the other hand, a ground built with heavier loam topsoil may only be able to accept 2-3mm of rainfall per hour before playing conditions can alter significantly. For slow draining loam topsoil, a surface shape that includes a fall of at least 1.25 % (1 in 80) is critical.

Underground drainage pipe works
These drainage systems work to collect excess water after heavy rainfall and remove it from the surface quickly to prevent surface damage and to assist in maintaining suitable playing surfaces.

In free draining sands, these work to collect water as it drains through the soil profile. In slow draining turf systems, care must be taken when designing and installing these systems. In this case Sportsgrass design techniques work to produce a turf system that drains freely across the entire surface, not just where the drainage pipes are laid.