IF you wanted to water the field the easiest way is to just catch rain water and put in a rain barrel and disperse when needed. Also to the turf the company will come down and do all the tests that are required to installing the turf. They will also give you in the price the tractor and rack to maintain the field. The turf fields usually last 9-12 years and to replace will cost have the fraction because the most of the cost would be the under lay which would have to be crushed rocks or granite.
The aggregate base commonly will vary from 6”-12” thick, but may be up to 36” thick depending on the project. It is very important that the base be designed and installed with the turf manufacturer’s requirements in mind so as not to void the turf warranty and to maximize the likelihood of
success. The surface grade is usually 2” thick and features a smaller open graded stone that can be compacted to 95% proctor. The surface grade
is typically 0.5%-1.5% depending on the intended use. Frequently the grade must be at least 0.5% to meet FIFA preferred soccer standards. The
flatter grade has also been appreciated in football since the quarterback has fewer adjustments to make for the curvature of the terrain when
executing long throws. The sub grade is typically composed of larger open graded stone and can once again be compacted for stability. The sub
grade is typically greater than the surface grade to accommodate drainage. The base should be installed in several stages in order to ensure
proper compaction. It is recommended that the aggregate be installed while damp with a laser-guided grader or dozer. Checking the base for any
deficiencies prior to proceeding with the turf construction is crucial to the success of the field. An expert should confirm the grade and planarity. A
percolation test should be run on the base before the artificial turf surface is installed on top of it. The base should demonstrate percolation values
conforming to required standards of approximately 10”-15” per hour.
Concrete or Asphalt Base
If the intended use of your field includes large activities or entertainment events such as concerts or monster truck rallies then such a base might
be necessary. An engineered base consists of an aggregate foundation topped by a porous or non-porous asphalt pavement, installed in one
or two courses. An engineered base will add both cost and stability. Both bases will be designed and engineered in conjunction with the needs
and requirements of the facility and the climate, taking into consideration freeze/thaw activity. Aggregate bases typically drain very well and are
easily obtained at a good price. Contractors are generally experienced and comfortable with gravel which tends to translate into successful base
installations. The drawbacks to gravel are that there are some parts of the country where quality gravel may be difficult to obtain and expensive.
If improperly installed, gravel can settle and shift causing an uneven surface while reducing drainage capabilities. Only experienced contractors
and turf manufacturers should be considered for these types of projects. Synthetic bases are still a relatively new alternative but they offer some
great advantages. Synthetic bases provide for faster drainage than the traditional aggregate base and they take less time to install. They also resist
deformation caused by vehicles and other heavy apparatus. While synthetic bases are a relatively new concept and more expensive than aggregate
bases, the key to making these systems work is finding the right contractor with a lot of experience in installing these systems.
Precision Drainage System
Another state-of-the-art option to consider is the “Precision Drainage System” which delivers the Precision Performance and Maximized Drainage that the player and the facility demand. Consistent response throughout the field ensures that elite levels of play can always be reached. Maximizing the drainage ensures the on field performance when the weather gets tough. Wet or dry your level of play remains the same. The installation of the PDS system is user friendly and reduces base installation time by approximately 30% while reducing base costs by up to 50%. The PDS Concept features organic grass that is stripped and natural soil or fill compacted to 95% proctor. A 3” base of 0”-1/4” road stone (cost efficient) is laser graded and compacted to 95% proctor. A non-permeable liner covers the PDS base and the bottom of the trench. The PDS tile is installed on the liner and across the trench. Finally, FieldTurf is installed over the tile and infilled. Water flows through the turf and tile onto the liner and then into the drains. The PDS tile has been specifically designed for artificial turf installation and addresses drainage, field consistency, load bearing requirements, thermal expansion
and contraction, turf grip, liner puncture resistance and installation friendliness. No matter where you are on the field the turf is sitting on the same performance surface. FieldTurf’s Precision Drainage System can also contribute towards obtaining the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Credit certification. In addition to the Precision Performance and Maximized Drainage built into this system, the industry’s most innovative drainage system has a positive effect on the environment.
Hopefully this sheds some light on a turf field. If you have any more questions please feel free to PM me or post in this forum. I will answer the questions to the best of my knowledge..