Port Vale Football Club are certainly investing in their future as they install secondary drainage at their Staffordshire ground. The league one team enlisted the help of sportsturf drainage experts Shelton's Sportsturf Drainage Ltd to help them combat a problem with standing water on the pitch and are already seeing the benefits.
The club already have primary drainage in place, but the recent wet winter has caused problems with standing water which threatened to stop play. In January 2013 Mick Claxton of Shelton assessed the pitch and recommended the use of the Shelton System 25™, which is ideal for installing secondary drainage as it causes minimal disturbance to the playing surface, meaning it can be back in use immediately if necessary.
Mick said: "System 25™ is a technique we developed for draining golf greens, however the versatility of the System 25™ trencher which is used, makes it ideal for sports fields such as football pitches. The name of the technique refers to the width of the trenches cut by a high speed wheel on the machine, which are 25mm wide. At Port Vale these micro trenches were installed at depth of 200-250mm and 1-2m apart to allow for maximum efficiency."
As the trenches are cut, the excavated soil is conveyed into a trailer running alongside the machine. Coupled to the rear of which is a vibrating hopper immediately back-filling the trench with a permeable aggregate, in this case 'Lytag® light weight aggregate', a versatile, lightweight aggregate produced from pulverised fuel ash (PFA), a by-product of coal-fired power stations.
A truly environmentally friendly material, Lytag® LWA provides an excellent alternative to natural, quarried aggregate, being strong, light and consistent. It is ideal for use in land drainage; its rounded shape and regular grading give excellent hydraulic conductivity and many prestigious locations have used Lytag® LWA for drainage with great effect, including the London 2012 Olympic warm up track, the Cardiff Millennium Stadium, Twickenham and the English Golf Academy.
Port Vale's Head Groundsman Steven Speed is thrilled with the results so far and said: "As it's the end of the season, it's the perfect time for us to carry out pitch maintenance and the work was completed in 4 days creating very little disturbance. We are already seeing the benefits and would definitely recommend this drainage technique to any other clubs who have suffered with standing water. So far, it's been a very successful job. "
Let's hope the success continues into next season for the Staffordshire team!
Shelton Sportsturf Drainage Ltd is a global business, based in Baumber near Horncastle in Lincolnshire. Shelton's machines are sold all over the world and the overseas business is growing fast in over 20 different countries.
Shelton design and manufacture very specialist machinery which is engineered in Lincolnshire, with sportsturf in mind, so unlike some more traditional drainage methods, it will leave minimal impact on grass and get it back in play a mere 24 hours after the work has been completed!
They work to an extensive research and development program; carrying out contracting work themselves means that they know firsthand what works and what doesn't and how they can improve their products.
They appreciate customer feedback and use it to ensure that with a Shelton's machine you will always get outstanding, in fact world leading performance.
For more information contact www.sheltonsdrainage.com