Football Sports Field Construction: Three Types of Drainage Systems to Use

Construction of a football field includes a lot of designing and planning. While most people are interested in the visible features of a football pitch, they totally ignore the features hidden below the beautiful grass on which all the action takes place.

It is for this reason that most people only start to ponder upon the underground sporting field construction works when they come across a flooded pitch after an irrigation or rainy period. A flooded pitch merely signifies a poor drainage system.

Hence, here are three options for pitch drainage systems that can get installed during sporting field construction.

Replacing the native soil with a sand base or stone layer

Sporting field construction on native soil involves planting natural or synthetic grass in the area designated for the pitch without making any changes to the naturally occurring soil. The problem with most native soils is that they tend to absorb water slowly, so they are bound to flood or get muddy when faced with enormous amounts of water, like after heavy rains.

A solution to the problem lies in adding a layer of sand or stone below the pitch. Sand and gravel layers are quite efficient for drainage because they allow excess water to pass through quickly and they also do not retain any water at the surface.

Installing a subsurface drainage system

Installing a subsurface drainage system during field construction ensures the pitch dries up quickly because the system handles the water that finds its way under the pitch.

A subsurface drainage system utilizes perforated pipes installed in the sub-grade under the pitch. The pipes get laid in trenches that get dug at a depth of about 4 inches from the surface, and they get surrounded by either clean rocks or coarse sand. In sand-based fields, the trenches are dug 10-30 feet apart while in native soils they are dug 3-10 feet apart.

The pipes are also capped at the top by a layer of sand so that water can easily access the trenches. Once the water finds its way to the trenches, the perforated pipes in the trenches absorb and drain the water away.

Installing prefabricated flat/strip drains

These types of drainage systems are typically 6-18 inches in width, have a thickness of between 1 and two inches, and can be as long as 150 meters long. During sporting field construction, the strip drains get horizontally placed in the sub-grade. However, they can also get installed vertically in sand capped or native soils after the root zone gets installed.

Note: The type of drainage system used depends on some factors which include the type of soil, the slope of the landscape, local regulations, the weather as well as the owner's budget.