Sports Fields Drainage System

The Sports Field Drainage System is a unique stormwater infiltration and management system that allows play to continue even under prolonged wet weather conditions while providing a solution for the treatment and purification of stormwater run-off from the field and surrounding sub-catchment areas.

The system greatly reduces stormwater pollution, stops gross pollutants from being conveyed off-site and can provide a stormwater re-use system for irrigation of the playing surface and other field areas.

The system can be designed to provide instantaneous drainage without drying out the playing surface. The Sports Field Drainage System ensures an optimum playing surface is maintained by creating an artificial aquifer consisting of the Ecological Drainage Cell blanket style of drainage beneath.

In combination with the efficient porosity of EcoSoils, excess water can efficiently flow vertically and then horizontally, well under the playing surface. The result is the elimination of water logging, erosion and soil deterioration.

The unique design of the Drainage System creates a constant sub-surface aerobic water table in suspension known as a perched water table.

In dry weather a consistent water supply is maintained below the surface. Even in a heavy storm the perch remains at a constant level below the surface. The continual water supply and beneficial sub-soil ventilation of the Sports Field Drainage System results in excellent turf colour, a healthy root system and stronger more resilient turf overall. The Sports Field Drainage Systems facilitates quicker wear recovery and maintains healthier turf all year by combining a high-growth root zone environment with rapid drainage rates and increased moisture retention.

The combination of ReFlex mesh elements developed by Tensar International and the Drainage Cell System in the soil profile provides the load-bearing capacity of a secondary bitumen road prevents compaction and sustains root zone aeration. The profile can be installed on either a consolidated clay or concrete base. This unique system has been extensively researched and certified by several universities over the past 15 years.



Golf Courses

The Atlantis Ecological System
If it was possible to replace the aggregate drainage layers with another material providing the same drainage capability (at a vastly reduced volume), it would be possible to build a golf course on as little as 250 -300 mm of imported soil. The Atlantis Drainage Cell System can provide just that.

A cellular drainage product designed specifically for sub-surface drainage applications, it has a surface void space of more than 60%, and a void volume of more than 85%. Consider this in comparison to aggregate, which provides about 40% of its total volume as void space for drainage and water retention.


The successful Ecological Golf Course System provides golf courses with a sustainable, efficient and low maintenance drainage system that maintains playing surface quality of the while managing potential environmental impacts. Because traditional drainage practices don't provide an ecologically sustainable method of water management golf courses are coming under scrutiny by regulatory authorities due to environmental impacts such as nutrient run-off. Traditional methods of drainage only add to the exponential degradation of water quality. To preserve water quality and replenish groundwater resources infiltration principles must be utilised.

The natural principles of drainage inherent in the Ecological Golf Course System allows water to immediately infiltrate the ground, eliminating surface run-off and erosion. Initially, a golf course inevitably requires a large tract of land to be almost entirely cleared of vegetation and topsoil, allowing course construction, earth moving and landscaping. The golf course construction process  and subsequent turf and grounds maintenance programs significantly increase the potential impact upon waterway pollution.

Damage caused during construction is somewhat alleviated with new landscaping, however, damage caused to subsoil layers ultimately limits the infiltration capacity of the entire golf course. To achieve a reversal of the environmental damage, it is necessary to account for lost infiltration and reduced groundwater recharge. Infiltration is the process of rainfall soaking into the ground under natural conditions. Efficient infiltration depends greatly on soils, ambient flora conditions and the land-use associated with the area. The Ecological Golf Course Systems artificially recreates the natural hydrological infiltration processes.

Traditional System

Two typical methods of golf course construction are the Texas USGA method and the Cambridge sports field system. The Texas USGA method employs a number of horizontal layers of graded aggregate laid over a sub-grade. Drainage pipes are laid in the sub-grade and backfilled with aggregate. Topsoils are placed over the aggregate layers with a specific root-zone mix placed prior to placement of turf. Drainage is reasonably efficient, but total topsoil depths of 400 -500 mm must be constructed to provide adequate drainage layers.

The Cambridge method involves the use of permeable sand trenches cut into the topsoil and sub-soil that drain to equally spaced drainage pipes laid under a drainage bed of aggregate.These are supplemented with the use of highly permeable topsoils often with limited growing capacity. Vertical drainage is reasonably efficient. Horizontal drainage, however, is poor as the system relies upon lateral movement of water for capture. Water does not flow laterally within a soil to any great extent. It generally travels downward vertically and therefore, a horizontal drainage system that can capture all infiltrated water and transport it laterally to other areas will provide the most effective removal of water from the playing surface. The USGA method is such a system, however, the large aggregate volume required to provide sufficient drainage makes such a system very costly to construct.

Technical Information for the System:
The Ecological Golf Course System is constructed of highly permeable drainage systems that encourage instantaneous infiltration of rainfall through the playing surface, efficiently removes excess sub-soil water to recharge groundwater or transfers collected water to other storage areas for reuse.

The Drainage Cell System is a sub-surface system of cellular, horizontal drainage layers and permeable under-drains. Separated from topsoils by a hydrophilic geotextile, the Drainage Cell system recreates natural drainage processes in the form of artificial aquifers (groundwater bodies). The natural hydrology principles inherent in the Drainage Cell System successfully recreate natural conditions to achieve successful drainage of the golf course environment. The result is the maintenance of consistent playing conditions and the preservation of water quality and the environment.