October 2014

SportsTurf provides current, practical and technical content on issues relevant to sports turf managers, including facilities managers. Most readers are athletic field managers from the professional level through parks and recreation, universities.

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 33 of 51

34 SportsTurf | October 2014 Irrigation & Drainage | By Mary Helen Sprecher O ne thing you can count on in construction of all types of fields: there will be no shortage of decisions to make. And for those who thought it would get easier after they made the big decision of natural grass vs. synthetic field—well, they've only scratched the surface, so to speak. If you've decided upon a natural grass field, the next big decision awaiting you will be the following: should you go with a native soil field or a sand-based system? If this is all new, here's a quick recap: If you are building a natural grass field, there are two basic types: native soil and sand-based: A native soil field may be a true native field, which uses only the soil found at the site, a modified native soil field, which includes the introduction of amendments such as sand, peat, compost or porous ceramics to provide a better growing medium and/or a more stable base or a sand cap field, in which the top 2-6 inches (typically 2-4 inches) of soil is replaced with sand, either during construction or over time. A sand-based system, in which the native soil is completely removed and replaced with an under drain system, a drainage media layer, prin- cipally stone and rootzone material, principally sand. Why is this so important? In one word: drainage. Of all the deci- sions you will make with regard to your field, the drainage will be the most essential. The field's ability to absorb water and move it off the playing surface is what will allow it to remain healthy and usable. Nice seating, a cool scoreboard, great concessions and locker rooms, even a fully-equipped press box and facility-wide Wi-Fi are not going to mean anything if the field is wet and muddy when game time rolls around. Planning for drainage means deciding between native soil and sand-based systems "Sand-based fields, whether native or non-native, are usually always advantageous," notes Mark Wrona of URS in Grand Rapids, MI.

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of SportsTurf - October 2014