March 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.

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32 SportsTurf | March 2014 ne of the many reasons field owners embrace the idea of synthetic turf is the fact that it will save on water bills since it doesn't need ir- rigation. This is true; the field will stay green despite not having a regular drink. However, it's a rare synthetic field that doesn't need irrigation. And while synthetic turf does not need to be watered in the same way natural grass does, an irri- gation system is essential. It helps to clean the field, settle the infill and reduce static electricity. It also helps reduce the much complained-about "heat island" effect common to synthetic fields in hot weather. So while we can all agree that irrigation systems help fields function more efficiently, the question becomes this: what can be done to help irrigation systems themselves function more efficiently? The good news: it's not all that complicated, really. Like all other aspects of a sports facility, an irrigation system will work as well as it is designed to, as long as it is maintained well and checked often. Taking a step back from this point, it's essential to remember that the better designed the system, the less likely Irrigation & Drainage | By Helen Sprecher Irrigation systems: care and maintenance Photo courtesy of GMB Architecture + Engineering, Holland, MI O The investment of money on the front end to use the services of a quality professional such as a Certified Irrigation Designer can mean savings in the efficiency and integrity of a system. information is available at WWW

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