drainage systems are widely used in athletic fields. The explosion
of Multi-Flow usage is part of a larger trend toward more extensive
and intensive drainage in sports turf areas. Facility managers are
under persistent pressure to keep fields healthy, attractive and ready
for use. Heavy schedules make this a major challenge because using
fields during saturated conditions compacts the soil, consequently
threatening the turf.
systems can be found not only in common sites such as football, baseball
and soccer fields but also in less familiar settings such as polo
fields, croquet courts, clay or grass tennis courts, lawn bowling
greens, bocce courts, horseshoe courts, equestrian centers, sand volleyball
courts, and open play areas.
- A few
samples of Multi-Flow athletic field drainage can be found in our
Sample Projects file.
- Advice on athletic field drainage design is located in the Design
Assistance section of Engineering, while sample drawings can
be found under CAD
- Detailed Installation assistance is provided in the
Athletic Field section
Comparing vertical and horizontal installations
commonly, Multi-Flow is installed vertically in natural turf settings
and horizontally under synthetic turf. There are some exceptions to
this practice but generally this takes best advantage of Multi-Flow’s
trenching is required, vertical installations take best advantage of
Multi-Flow’s narrow profile.
in synthetic turf settings, a nearly impermeable clay base is established
and select, porous fill is placed over it. Laying Multi-Flow directly
on the dense clay base locates it where the water accumulates. This
eliminates the need for trenching.
C. Reasons for using Multi-Flow in your natural turf
Whether it is new natural turf field construction or the renovation
of an existing field, Multi-Flow is a wise choice because Multi-Flow
is 1) effective 2) convenient 3) durable 4) affordable.
Effective – Athletic field drainage systems must
be able to collect water and transport water. Multi-Flow excels
in both regards:
water – Water can enter a Multi-Flow drain
more readily because Multi-Flow has greater surface area than
traditional round pipe. The more drainage product that is
in contact with surrounding saturated soil, the more quickly
drainage can take place.
water – Once water has entered Multi-Flow flow
channels, it moves away quickly because the channels are round
and unobstructed, in contrast to other panel shaped drains.
Convenient – At least three factors make Multi-Flow
a product that designers and contractors love to work with:
– Because of its panel shape, Multi-Flow can be inserted
vertically in a narrow trench. This saves time and effort
in terms of excavation, backfill, and materials transport.
– Not only are Multi-Flow connectors easy to use, there
are a lot of them. Any configuration that is appropriate for
a given site can be carried out using one or more of the 60
Multi-Flow connectors. This allows for 90 degree and 45 degree
connections as well as transitions between pipe sizes.
– Multi-Flow is highly bendable making it convenient
to work with, suitable for making tight turns, and is easily
joined to connectors.
Durable – Multi-Flow enjoys longevity because of:
– Multi-Flow is designed to withstand heavy loads. Able
to withstand loads well in excess of 6,000 psf, Multi-Flow
is not going to collapse due to heavy surface loads in shallow
installations or due to earth weight in deep installations.
This kind of strength is especially neccessary in shallow
installations. Most athletic fields experience occasional
exposure to tractor and truck traffic.
with BMP installation techniques – The Multi-Flow
system includes a heavy, effective, geotextile filter. This
high quality fabric acts as an excellent secondary filter,
keeping Multi-Flow’s flow channels clean and open. Clean
coarse sand functions as a very successful primary filter.
Due to its shape, Multi-Flow is easily encased in sand, assuring
a long life. When placed in a 4 inch wide trench Multi-Flow
is readily protected in this way. This would be difficult
if not impossible using French drain methodology.
Affordable – A completed Multi-Flow system
typically costs about half as much as a comparable French drain
system. Add to that its longer life and Multi-Flow begins to look
very attractive! Now factor in the cost of cancelled and rescheduled
events and it is a system you cannot afford to live without!
Natural Turf Drainage Design
Turf Drainage Installation
Reasons for using Multi-Flow in your synthetic turf athletic
of all, we need to address the issue of the need for a drainage system
in a synthetic turf field. As the synthetic turf market becomes more
and more competitive, designers are constantly looking for ways to
reduce the cost of construction. Sometimes the drainage system falls
victim to this pressure. Synthetic turf is typically installed over
a layer of coarse porous material which is located on a packed clay
base. This material is capable of holding large amounts of water and
this water eventually finds its way out to the edge of the field and
into a well drained perimeter trench. Because of the holding capacity
of the stone aggregate, seldom does a field receive so much rain that
water pools on the surface.
does not mean that the drainage is adequate. As water perches on the
clay base for extended periods of time it begins to infiltrate and
destabilize the clay. Saturated clay loses 60% of its load bearing
strength. The result is a shifting in the shape of the base which
produces settling and rippling of the surface.
is the natural choice as a synthetic turf drainage medium for many
of the same reasons as it serves so well in natural turf. (See above)
Horizontally installed Multi-Flow in synthetic turf fields is a wise
choice because Multi-Flow is: 1. effective 2. convenient 3. durable
Effective – Synthetic turf drainage systems must
be able to collect and transport water quickly. If water remains
on the clay base for extended periods of time the base becomes instable.
(See FAQ: Why is drainage needed
under synthetic turf?)
can enter a Multi-Flow drain readily because Multi-Flow has
greater surface area than traditional round pipe. Lying directly
on the base where the water accumulates, Multi-Flow intercepts
water sooner and drains it down more thoroughly. Once water
has entered Multi-Flow flow channels, it moves away quickly
because the channels are round and unobstructed, in contrast
to other panel shaped drains.
Convenient – At least three factors make
Multi-Flow a product that designers and contractors love to work
Because of its flat panel shape, Multi-Flow can be rolled
out horizontally, without trenching. Recent research by Dr.
Ed McCoy at Ohio State University has demonstrated that this
trenchless system provides drainage effectiveness equal or
superior to trenched systems without the extra time and expense
– The Multi-Flow line of connectors includes
an unrivaled number of secure, easy to use, snap together
fittings for horizontal applications.
– Multi-Flow's horizontal fittings are as easily joined
to collector pipe as its vertical connectors.
Durable - Multi-Flow is not likely to crush in the short
term or blind in the long term.
– Multi-Flow is designed to withstand heavy loads, well
in excess of 6,000 psf. Multi-Flow will not collapse due to
heavy surface traffic. This is especially true during the
construction process when heavy dozer and truck traffic can
– The Multi-Flow system includes a heavy, effective,
geotextile filter. This high quality fabric acts as an excellent
secondary filter, keeping Multi-Flow’s flow channels
clean and open. Clean coarse sand functions as a very successful
primary filter. A 2-inch band of sand over each Multi-Flow
run is affordable and easy to install and will extend the
life expectancy of the system.
Affordable – A completed Multi-Flow system
typically costs one third as much as a comparable trenched system.
Add to that the longer life it provides for your field base and
Multi-Flow begins to look very attractive!
Turf Drainage Design
Turf Drainage Installation