Slit Drainage

Slit drainage is a method of using narrow trenches filled with sand, gravel and pipe to remove unwanted water from any grassed surface.

The technique is designed to be installed quickly with a minimum impact on the grass and a short recovery time. An area deemed to be badly affected may be slit drained without disruption to scheduled events. It has being proven that the narrow slit trenches are successful in removing the volume of moisture generally encountered.

Specialised machinery capable of digging slits 50mm,70mm and 125mm wide are used. An agriculture pipe is installed on a PVC membrane laid at the base of the trench that is laser graded for accuracy. The excavated soil is removed via a conveyor into a trailer drawn alongside.

The trenches are back-filled first with a washed river gravel and then coarse sand. The agriculture pipes are then connected to a storm water main using special snap connectors. The slit trenches are installed parallel, usually one to three metres apart. Sports turf drainage must be intensive to be effective. It is far better to install a series of narrow trenches than one or two broad ones.

The water that does not go through a slow draining profile will find its way into the slit, and short circuit the system. These concepts are intended to remove excess moisture without it having to pass through the soil. This is only practical if the trenches are neat, narrow and efficiently installed.

Each venue has individual problems and needs to be considered separately. These are not proposals for major reconstruction. They are methods of improving the existing surface with a minimum of disruption.

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