Parks and Football Pitches – Healthy Grass Using Less Water
It’s probably safe to say that for most of us, the sight of green grass brings about images of sunshine, happy times, holidays, games and long summer days. At some point, we all make use of our communal parks, greens and sports facilities, whether it’s for an afternoon stroll, a picnic with the family or a football game. However, keeping the grass green and fresh in these large facilities is no easy task.
It’s common knowledge that Dubai experiences lots of sun and too little rainfall, resulting in large shortages of water for the people of the UAE. As a result, Dubai has been looking at ways of reducing water usage, particularly with the watering of grass and shrubs in the parks and sports facilities.
Various methods are used to maintain the grass keeping it healthy and usable but they all have their faults. Irrigation systems are the common theme, but many experience problems.
Spray irrigation systems not only pose the problem of the water droplets evaporating in the heat before they hit the ground, but they are not ideal in public parks. Nobody wants to walk through a park under a pipe network being sprayed with water, it’s not possible. They are more suitable for agricultural land.
Another system utilised is the drop type irrigation, where pipes are laid under the land and small holes let out drops of water right at the grass’s roots, avoiding evaporation. However, with the sandy realms common in these climates, the water often sinks through into the sand below.
A newer idea and more complex than that above, is to excavate the area to be irrigated, lay a water proof membrane to prevent water sinking away through the sand, then lay the gravel and pipework, with turf laid on top. This way the roots are being watered directly but any excess water accumulates, advantageous in drier periods as it remains inside the membrane, decreasing the water usage.
However, these systems are only appropriate and cost effective if they are properly maintained and kept in good working order. It’s pointless if the area floods and games pitches cannot be used and matches have to be canceled and it is not ideal to have a picnic in a waterlogged park.
Particularly with the two underground irrigation systems above, if either one of those experiences a leak or damage to the pipework, it would be a very expensive task to dig up the pipes to locate the leak. All that water and money saved, only to be spent on rectification costs.
The good news is that to assist these new ideas and improvements to reduce water usage, there is now new innovative technology that can be used to help maintain these irrigation systems. Experts using specialised equipment, scan the ground using infrared and thermal imaging, allowing leaks to be swiftly detected and their exact location pinpointed, allowing small, cost effective repairs to be carried out. In addition, when a new irrigation system is laid, a sensory system can be installed into the pipework which will alert you to any leaks or water problems within the system, again allowing a proactive approach to maintenance rather than reactive.
If you are responsible for maintaining the large public parks or sports centres and want to ensure your irrigation system is working to its full potential, contact us and arrange for your site to be investigated – working together to keep Dubai green!
For information on how we can help if you suspect a leak, consult LeakDTech’s professionals now!