Climate Change and the need for Drainage
By Kevin Smith
According to warnings from meteorologists, summer temperatures across the country are set to rise, whilst summer rainfall is expected to fall. More significantly perhaps, is the prediction that rainfall during summer months will increase, with heavy downfalls becoming more regular. If these predictions turn out to be correct-and the trend over recent years does suggest a move in this direction-most sports clubs will be unable to cope with these changes if they do not adapt.
Many clubs and sports turf managers are addressing the problem by investing in an efficient drainage system. The wet winter months provide an ideal opportunity to identify the problem areas, and assess any drainage requirements.
When considering a drainage system, it is advisable to engage an experienced contractor or consultant to prepare suitable drainage plan, specification and estimate of cost. This will usually include carrying out a soil profile analysis, dealing with any extraneous water and assessing potential outfall locations. It may also be necessary to carry out a level survey to assist in calculating potential run-off, drain spacing and pipe sizes.
The drainage scheme will usually consist of a primary drainage systems with piped drains installed at between 3-10 metre centres backfilled to the surface with permeable fill. This is usually overlaid with a secondary drainage such as sandslitting or banding, to convey surface water more efficiently into the primary drainage system. Heavy topdressing with special selected sand together with overseeding and vertidraining would normally complete the operation.
When the design and specification has been prepared, the next task is choosing a reputable contractor. The Land drainage Contractors Association (LDCA) has members throughout the U.K. all of whom are properly insured and work to strict specifications and guidelines. Programming the work can also present its problems with an ever-decreasing close season but Drain when it is Dry is the best advice.
Work carried out during dry conditions results in less disruption and causes minimal surface disturbance. Good progress can be made with long days and favourable weather and ground conditions. Work undertaken in the winter however, is often carried out in the poorest conditions and usually results in a extended contract period. This can lead to more disruption to the pitch, players and ground staff. Close liaison between clubs and contractor is important to ensure continuity of work and minimal disruption to members.
Speedcut Contractors Limited has many years experience in planning and implementing drainage schemes. We operate on a national basis and aim to provide a reliable professional service, from design to installation, at affordable rates.
The latest laser-grade drainage trenchers and specialist backfilling hoppers are used to ensure drainage systems are installed accurately and efficiently. Our own management team offering more than 28 years experience in the sportsturf industry supervises all contracts.
A well installed, efficient drainage system can bring numerous benefits, and if climate change is real, there will surely be even greater benefits for the futuristic clubs that adapt to the change. With improved drainage hopefully providing for a reduced number of postponed or cancelled games, more club supporters are likely to attend more regularly.
How much easier would it be for the club to plan its finances and the ground staff to carry out essential maintenance, if there were fewer postponements and cancellations because of wet or waterlogged pitches?
Speedcut Contractors are members of and subscribe to:-
Land Drainage Contractors Association- LDCA
British Association of Golf Course Constructors- BAGCC
British and International Golf Greenkeepers Association- BIGGA
Sports Turf Research Institute- STRI
Institute of Groundsman- IOG
Speedcut Contractors Ltd
Tel 01865 331479