September 2013

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.

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Page 29 of 48

Irrigation&Drainage | By Mary Helen Sprecher Drainage systems 101 "R ainout" might just be an honorary four-letter word in your vocabulary if you're a field manager. Consider the problems they cause: • Games that need to be rescheduled • Schedules that need to be reshuffled and of course: • Complaints you have to hear (as though you personally ordered up the rain) Unless your field is in a desert area, there's a good chance that you're going to have to deal with rainouts at various times throughout the year. The key to getting the schedule back on track (and the complaints minimized) is a good drainage system. In fact, good drainage is probably the most important factor in long-term performance of a field, and in making the field valuable to the owner. Work with a design professional to help you come up with a plan for an efficient system for your field. The designer will take into consideration the specific use or uses of the field, the local climate, the availability and cost of materials, the quality and characteristics of local stone, the financial resources and commitment of the owner, time constraints for field construction, the annual amount and intensity of rainfall, local codes and regulations regarding stormwater management. The professional will be able to specify pipe diameters or the sizes of flat drains, location and distance of laterals, collection systems and storm sewer tie-ins for the drainage system. Something that has been mentioned previously: drainage systems (in this case, the systems under the playing area) should be designed only for water that falls on the field because of precipitation, or because of irrigation. In other words, a field should not be receiving water that runs down off bleachers, drips from dugout roofs or runs off the track. Surface drainage controls water from precipitation and water from those other areas, including water that drains off following the irrigation of planted areas adjacent to a field. There are three types of surface drainage systems: open systems, closed systems and combination systems. There are three types of surface drainage systems: open systems, closed systems and combination systems. 30 SportsTurf | September 2013

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