University Develops Drainage System Which May Be Answer to Waterlogged Playing Fields; NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE: Technology Could Be Applied to Railway and Sewage Problems as Well as Tennis Courts and Golf Courses

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), February 25, 2002 | Go to article overview
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University Develops Drainage System Which May Be Answer to Waterlogged Playing Fields; NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE: Technology Could Be Applied to Railway and Sewage Problems as Well as Tennis Courts and Golf Courses


A NEW technological device could one day mean an end to waterlogged cricket pitches, tennis courts and golf courses.

Researchers at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne are developing a system called EKG that uses electricity to draw water out of waterlogged soil.

Fine stainless steel elements coated in plastic are embedded in the soil and a current passed through them.

Elemental particles within the soil pick up a charge, which become ionised and start to move, dragging water molecules with them.

As the water is dragged down pressure builds up, and it is "squeezed" out to the sides of the field to be collected by a drain around the edge.

The effect is to dry out the grass surface far more efficiently than traditional methods.

A recent audit of pitches by the Football Association showed that of the 300,000 playing fields in England and Wales, 90pc had drainage problems.

Last year the Football Foundation acquired pounds 90m to upgrade and improve pitches.

Dr John Lamont-Black, from the Geotech Group in the university's Department of Civil Engineering said, "We have just started this research.

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University Develops Drainage System Which May Be Answer to Waterlogged Playing Fields; NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE: Technology Could Be Applied to Railway and Sewage Problems as Well as Tennis Courts and Golf Courses
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