Turfdry Return to Barking & Dagenham For School Playing Field Project

Added: 13th September 2018

Following the success of Turfdry’s works at Jim Peters Athletics Stadium in 2016, the London Borough of Barking & Dagenham has engaged the firm once more, this time to install its unique Hydraway Sportsdrain on the playing field at Robert Clack Lower School. 

Having suffered from persistent waterlogging on the field that was disrupting the physical education and extracurricular sporting activities of its pupils, the school was keen to have the best possible drainage solution within its budget installed as quickly as possible in order to return the field to use in time for the start of the new term in September. In view of the high standard of drainage performance that has been observed at Jim Peters since the Turfdry installation, as well as the firm’s reputation for clean and efficient installation, and clear communication, the council believed that Turfdry were the optimal candidates for this project and engaged them to design and install a new drainage system during the school summer holidays. 

After an initial site visit and discussions with representatives from both the school and the council, Turfdry designed a new drainage system with Hydraway Sportsdrain collector drains installed at 4m spacing, connected to a perforated carrier drain that channels collected water towards its ultimate outfall into a freshwater sewer. As a result of the inconsistent falls of the playing field, it was necessary for the lateral drains on the lower half of the field to be installed using laser-grading, which sees sensors on the trenching equipment that read from an on-site laser-level induce an artificial fall inside the drainage pipe, to produce a positive, free flow within the system even against the natural falls of the land. 

Despite the narrow trenches required for the installation of the Turfdry Drainage System, the trenching operations themselves still produce a volume of excavated material, which can often be prohibitively costly to remove from site for a project with a limited budget. However, the this material is normally finely chopped by the trenching disc, making it quite suitable for a range of construction purposes. In this instance, whilst the school did not have any particular use for this material, it was used to form a low profile mound to the site of the pitch areas on the field, which blends naturally into its surrounds and could be used as a seating area for spectators. 

Subsequent to the completion of the drainage installation, Turfdry’s specialist cultivation & seeding team visited the site to seed the newly shaped mound, as well as re-seed the drain lines. This final step is optional, but highly recommended provided a project’s budget allows, as the rapid development of thick sward over the drains does not only return the playing surface to normal as quickly as possible, but is also key in minimising any sinkage of the trenches caused by clay shrinkage in the warmer months. 

Be sure to stay up to date with the project's progress at www.turfdry.com, or see the news section for more of Turfdry's current activities.