Niall Foran Pitches, The Specialists in Sports Turf Drainage
Serving all 32 Counties
046 973 2446 / 087 253 7301

Do You Wish To?

  • Prevent cancellation of matches and other sports events.
  • Improve your revenue, more playing time.
  • Improve the quality of your playing surface.
  • Improve the public’s opinion of your facility.

Has Your Club Suffered From Any Of The Following?

  • Cancelled matches.
  • Cancelled sports fixtures.
  • Matches played in poor ground conditions.
  • Loss of revenue due to cancelled fixtures.

Drainage Solutions

Cancelled sports events or matches being played in poor ground conditions are usually the result of water on the surface of the pitch or trapped in the topsoil. We have extensive experience solving such problems, having installed drainage systems for all types of sports fields and golf courses throughout the island of Ireland.

Our sports field drainage solutions are based on the following:

  • A primary drainage network, comprising subsoil piped collector drains
  • A secondary drainage network, comprising of sand slits.
  • Sanding and Verti draining
  • A maintenance program

Primary Drainage

primary drainage of pitch
Grid Layout of Primary Drainage


Drainage pipes are placed in the trenches, which are usually cut 500mm to 650mm deep and at spacings to suit the ground conditions. The layout of the primary drainage pipes is important in relation to the gradient of the surface.

We at Niall Foran Pitches recommend a grid layout which has the junctions and the collector or main drain off the general area of play. However primary drainage alone will collect little if any, surface water. Primary drainage must be installed in conjunction with secondary drainage which channels surface water into the primary network.

Secondary Drainage

secondary drainage of pitch

Sand Silt Drainage is a method of removing 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 with a minimal disruption to scheduled events.

A specialised machine digs and backfills two slit trenches at the same time thus reducing compaction due to wheelings and causing minimal disruption to scheduled events. The excavated soil is removed via a conveyor into a trailer drawn alongside.

The trenches are first filled with washed pea gravel and capped with a layer of USGA spec sand. The slit trenches are installed parallel, usually 1 to 1.5 meters apart. Sportsturf 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 which does not soak through ta slow draining soil will find its way into the slit, and short circuit the system. The concepts are intended to remove excess water without it having to pass through the soil. This is only practical if the trenches are neat, narrow and efficiently installed. On completion of the sand slitting the pitch is sanded and verti drained. Read More

Each site 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.