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Many sports played on grass-pitches are historically winter games. Whether it's football, rugby, or rugby league, the turf that is growing in your pitch is provided with a great deal of stress, at a time of the year when it does not naturally want to grow and recover. This means that over the warmer months it is imperative that the turf can grow as healthily and uniformly as possible.
One of the contributing factors to any healthy sports turf grass growing over summer is water. If you can't rely upon the rain, then you need to apply it using other methods. This of course is via an irrigation system.
There are 2 main ways of achieving this; moveable systems, such as traveling irrigators; and fixed permanent systems such as pop-up irrigation. If you would like to find out more about moveable systems, please give us a call or email.
Pop-up irrigation systems have become far more popular over the past few decades. This is because they save your staff massive amounts of time, they apply the water faster and more evenly, and for the most part the systems they are out of the way of vandalism and theft.
Sports pitch permanent irrigation generally involves having large sprinklers that are installed such that their tops are flush with the soil surface; their internal workings pop up out of the ground to irrigate. When the water pressure turns off, a large sprinkler inside each sprinkler pulls it back down below the ground, so that its top surface again sits flush with the soil surface. These are called pop-up sprinklers. Just because you can't see them does not mean they're not there. Almost every world class turf pitch on the planet has pop-up sprinklers hidden through their surface. Each sprinkler will generally throw the water from about 18 metres to about 25 metres (radius), depending upon the choice of sprinkler.
Generally the perimeter sprinklers are designed to throw the water only onto the pitch, in a half-circle fashion; this is important to ensure the spectators don't get drenched at half-time! On training pitches it is often important to prevent water from being thrown over the boundary fence, into adjacent buildings etc.
The sprinklers installed through the middle of the pitch will generally throw a full-circle and will be controlled separately from the perimeter sprinklers.
The important factor in sports pitch irrigation design & planning is to ensure the entire surface of the pitch has a uniform coverage applied. If we plan to apply 3.5mm in a summer night (to allow for the water lost through evaporation and transpiration the previous day) then we don't want the sprinklers to be applying 8mm in some parts and 0.5mm in other parts. This might sound basic, but you would be surprised with how many sports fields have this problem. It is created by using sprinklers that are ill-equipped for the task, or are too far apart, or are operating outside their specified pressure, or just have the wrong nozzles in them.
This is why Full Circle Irrigation ltd take the extra steps to ensure our irrigation systems are designed to apply the most uniform coverage possible, and we then spend that extra amount of time & trouble during the installation process to ensure the design is reflected in reality. The result is an irrigation system that will apply water as uniformly as feasibly possible, to ensure the turf grows at its best, and the groundsmen have one less thing to worry about.