Greens Drainage Information

The Turfdry Greens Drainage System

What is it?

The Turfdry Drainage System using Hydraway Sportsdrain is a tried, tested and proven long-term solution to waterlogged clay-based greens, and is installed with minimal disruption, at a fraction of the cost of rebuilding. Hydraway Sportsdrain is high-specification geocomposite drainage system, designed and manufactured in the USA, which has a worldwide 30-year proven track record in a wide range of drainage applications. It offers tremendous advantages over conventional plastic land drainage pipe, including a much higher speed of water intake, very high crush resistance, and it can be effective even when installed at zero gradient. Turfdry has been the sole approved UK installer of Hydraway Sportsdrain for the past 20 years.

What is involved?

The contours of problem greens are surveyed in detail and a tailored drainage design is produced for each individual green. Typically, Hydraway Sportsdrain is installed at 2-metre spacing on greens. Using a disc trencher fitted to a 4WD tractor on low ground pressure grassland tyres, trenches (50 mm wide x 400 - 500 mm deep) are excavated, with the soil loaded into an adjacent tipper trailer for disposal, via a high-lift soil conveyor.

As the trenches are cut, Hydraway Sportsdrain is laid at the base of the trench through a specially designed boot. Using purpose made fittings, Hydraway Sportsdrain is connected to a 100 mm plastic carrier drain, which is normally installed just off the edge of the green. The plastic carrier drain is connected to the nearest available outfall (ditch, pond, storm-water drain, low lying area of rough ground, or soakaway).

Once the pipes have been laid and connected, the drainage trenches are back-filled using 6 mm gravel, 10 mm gravel, or 4-8 mm Lytag as the primary back-fill material. Above the primary back-fill, sand, rootzone, or dual layers of both may be added according to client preference following discussion regarding specification options.

When the Turfdry (Greens) Drainage System was in its infancy - 20 years ago - trenching operations were generally carried out directly through the existing greens turf; over the past decade however, the preference has been for lines of turf (typically 300mm wide) to be stripped from the green with a turf-cutter, and for the turf to be set-aside and re-laid upon completion of the drainage installation. Both options have produced excellent results. Most commonly, the client’s greens staff carries out the turf stripping and replacement in-house, but Turfdry can offer this service at extra cost.

What is the cost?

Costs for the Turfdry Drainage System will vary according to:

  • Size of green
  • Spacing between drains
  • Type of back-fill materials used
  • Proximity of the nearest available outfall

Based on previous contracts, an average cost per green is around £6,000 plus v.a.t., based on Hydraway Sportsdrain at 2 metre centres, gravel back-fill, and a blinding layer of coarse sand - with the golf club carrying out the turfing works. The cost for Turfdry to carry out the turfing is typically £1,800 plus v.a.t. per green. Additionally, there is a fixed cost to cover transportation of equipment (2 low-loaders required), site establishment, and insurance, which is typically £2,500 plus v.a.t.

It should be emphasised that the Turfdry Drainage System is a substantial, long-term solution to waterlogged greens, and not just a secondary drainage system of slit trenches filled with gravel or Lytag. The system is also greatly superior to alternative systems that use micro-bore plastic pipes or capillary drainage systems.