The risk of some infill migrating to the areas surrounding a 3G field cannot be discounted, but there are design solutions that can be used to minimise the risk and we recommend their inclusion in all new fields; noting that the selection of artificial turf and infill solutions needs to still ensure a field satisfies the sports performance requirements of the players and venue operators. Examples of good practice are given below, but there are other suitable solutions available on the market that are also worthy of consideration:
- Use of raised perimeter edge details
- Use of entrance mats and metal foot-grills to capture infill be walked off a field
- Use of slit traps or special filter areas in the drainage devices around the boundaries of fields and in changing rooms, etc.
- Use of artificial turf systems that either have a lower potential for infill movement through the use of yarn profiles and stich rates that are designed to restrict infill movement and or the use of artificial turf systems that require less infill
- Use of infills that are less prone to movement and migration
Possibly the biggest source of infill dispersion is when fields are cleared of snow. Ideally the snow layer should be cleared so around 5 – 10 mm remains and is allowed to thaw naturally, but in many colder climates this is not possible, so all the snow is removed, and this will inevitably result in some infill also being removed. We recommend that snow removed from 3G fields should be stored alongside the run-offs to the field or on suitable hard paving adjacent to the field, that is designed to ensure that snow-melt drains in a controlled manner to drains that have suitable silt traps to capture any infill being washed away.
As the snow melts most of the infill will be deposited on the storage area and it should be collected, filtered to clean if needed, and then reintroduced into the artificial turf surface to ensure the infill levels remain at the design depth.
We believe that under no circumstances should snow removed from an artificial turffield be deposited into water courses as this can lead to aquatic pollution and advises that snow really should also not be deposited on soft landscaping where containment by the infill cannot be controlled.
Although fibre wear has not been shown to be a source of micro-plastic pollution we wish to ensure it does not become one. Improvements in yarn technology mean that the piles of good quality artificial turf surfaces are now very durable and fibre splitting and loss is much less than seen on earlier forms. All artificial turf fields should be brushed regularly to retain optimum playing conditions and remove detritus. Ideally such brushing will be undertaken by a specialist brush that ensures any detritus is captured, allowing it to be safely collected and disposed of in a responsible manner.
We are considering all above-mentioned important aspects when designing a 5G football field, contact us for more information.