Rugby Pitch Drainage Installation

The pitch at Hellingly Rugby Club has been struggling - particularly in the winter months - with persistent waterlogging problems, which have not only had a substantially detrimental impact on the quality of the playing surface, but have also caused regular fixture cancellations. In view of this fundamental disruption of the club's operations, they turned to Turfdry's experience and expertise in providing industry-leading, cost-effective drainage solutions, who carried out the installation of the unique Turfdry Drainage System using Hydraway Sportsdrain on the site in September 2017. 

An initial site visit, during which a detailed levels survey was undertaken, determined that the inconsistent and shallow fall of the pitch results in slow movement of surface water across the pitch, thereby potentially minimising the rate of water collection by any future drainage system. The natural falls of the land do not provide the 1 in 200 gradient necessary for the long-term effectiveness of a plastic pipe system, which ensures the velocity of water movement within the system is sufficient to flush out any silt that has entered the system via the pipe's perforations. Meanwhile, the most obvious solution of using laser-grading technology during the installation operations to ensure the necessary gradients was not an option as this would result in the water collected by the system ending up lower than its proposed outfall. 

To circumvent these issues, the Turfdry recommended its unique Drainage System using Hydraway Sportsdrain. This cutting-edge alternative to conventional plastic pipe drainage systems allows water ingress into the system via needle-punched holes120-150 micron in diameter, thereby offering long-term drainage effectiveness without the requirement for 1 in 200 gradients, as the holes through which water enters the drain are too small for the significant build-up of silt. Indeed, the Turfdry Drainage System has demonstrated drainage effectiveness even at zero gradient, such as at the Julie Rose Athletics Stadium: with collector drains laid flat connected at both ends to carrier drains, a natural 'head' of water formed by rising water levels in the drain flushes water from the system, whilst protecting against the future degradation of the system through silt build-up. 


"As president and on behalf of Hellingly RFC, I would like to express our thanks to you and your team for the excellent work carried out on our first team pitch in September (2017). In the past 5 seasons we have had to cancel an average of 8 home games over the winter period, we haven't cancelled any this year, and Saturday was the hardest test and the pitch stood up to the task. 

The fact we can play games through the winter is marvellous as it also helps the club with bar revenue after the game and keeps all aspects of the club alive. Thanks again for your help, and please use us as a referral."

Steve Wennington - President, Hellingly RFC CIC

Impressed by Turfdry's attention to detail, and the glowing testimony of Aspatria RUFC’s Head Groundsman (and IOG Volunteer Sports Groundsman of the Year 2013) John Heyworth - who has described the impact of the Turfdry Drainage System as “a revelation” - Hellingly RFC became the latest in a growing number of Rugby Clubs that are realising the unique benefits of Hydraway Sportsdrain over conventional plastic pipe. In addition to overcoming challenges such as the aforementioned site levels, Hydraway Sportsdrain is also capable of vastly superior drainage performance when compared to plastic pipe land drainage as a result of the fact that approximately 75% of its surface area allows for water intake, in comparison to around 6% for plastic pipe; combined with the fact that Hydraway Sportsdrain has a 40% greater surface area than 80mm pipe, and a 100% greater surface area than a 60mm pipe, its capacity for the rapid water uptake becomes apparent. Indeed, this rapid drainage performance has seen the Turfdry Drainage System using Hydraway Sportsdrain used as part of a flood remediation scheme carried out at Enfield Golf Club as part of a joint initiative between the Local Authority and the Environment Agency

The success of Hydraway in trial-schemes conducted over the past seven years have not gone unnoticed by the RFU, and this increased recognition has recently led to Turfdry's Rugby Pitch Drainage Initiative for RFU Affiliated Clubs, more information about which can be found here

The installation process ran smoothly and efficiently thanks to Turfdry's enthusiastic and experienced workforce, who are equipped with a wide range of bespoke machinery which allows for speedy installation thanks to the undertaking of multiple operations simultaneously. 


Project Summary

Services Provided by Turfdry

    Pitch Survey
  • Pitch Drainage Installation
  • (Hydraway Sportsdrain)


Hellingly Rugby Club



Hellingly Rugby Club
Horsebridge Recreation Ground
East Sussex
BN27 4DJ