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High Density Polyethylene Pipe Works with New Turf to Create State-of-the-Art Field

Columbus, Ohio -- Ohio State University athletes will have another home field advantage this year - state-of-the-art drainage and irrigation that will make rainouts a thing of the past. A unique pipe designed by Columbus-based Advanced Drainage Systems, Inc. (ADS), the world's largest manufacturer of corrugated high density polyethylene (HDPE) pipe, will take on double duty of drainage and irrigation for the new field at Ohio Stadium.

Nearly 7,500 feet of ADS AdvanEDGE pipe is being used in the construction of the field along with a new type of turf made out of a combination of natural grass and a synthetic mat. The AdvanEDGE pipe is flat and perforated, making it the ideal pipe to both drain water from and supply water to the turf. AdvanEDGE pipe cuts the time needed for a wet field to drain nearly in half compared to a pipe drainage system using round pipe, as was previously under the field at OSU. The reason is this: a 12-inch panel of AdvanEDGE pipe has twice the surface area coming in contact with the soil as a four-inch piece of round pipe. And though that's fast, in the case of a heavy rainfall before or even during a game, the vacuum pump in the system can run at peak level to clear water off the field up to three times more quickly than the system working at its regular rate.

"We don't have to worry about the field even if we're gone for the week and there's a downpour because we know the field is going to take care of itself," says Brian Gimbel, who is in charge of field maintenance for OSU. "It is reassuring to know that once we put the soil moisture profile into the computer, the field will never be bone dry or have water spilling over the edges."

"They will never experience a rain out, or even a wet field," says Mark Heinlein, with the Cincinnati-based Motz Group, the company behind the design and installation of this turf system. Because the pipe drains the field at a rate of four inches per hour, Heinlein says the system will provide "virtually water-free play under any conditions."

The system also eliminates the need to be concerned about the roots of the natural grass ever becoming too dry. A state-of-the-art computerized system is programmed to keep the soil at a constant moisture level and the pipe performs as designed to either provide water or take it away.

The flat AdvanEDGE pipe provides the additional benefit of doing away with the need for the field to slope down four inches from the center to aid in drainage. That allows OSU athletes to play on a virtually flat field and saves OSU money by not having to add more soil to make the center of the field higher than its edges.

AdvanEDGE pipe is being used around the world for the dual purpose of irrigation and drainage. Within the last decade, systems have been laid under sports fields and golf courses such as the Miami Dolphins' Pro Players Stadium, the Atlanta Braves' Turner Field, the University of Texas in Austin, Boone Valley Golf Club in Augusta, Missouri, an annual stop on the United States Golf Association Senior Tour, and Pelé's home soccer stadium in Santos, Brazil.

"The ADS components last as long as we want them to last," says Heinlein. "The grass itself, with renovation and rejuvenation would have a life of ten years." Heinlein adds that when the time comes, the turf can be replaced over the existing drainage system.

Opening day at the stadium is September 2, when OSU will take on Fresno State.

About Advanced Drainage Systems
Advanced Drainage Systems, Inc., (ADS), founded in 1966, offers a complete line of pipe and fittings for cost-effective water management. The company produces pipe in 3-inch to 60-inch diameters, in addition to a complete line of fittings and other accessories. ADS serves the storm and sanitary sewer, turf and recreation, and agriculture drainage markets through a global network of manufacturing plants, distribution centers and indepent distributors. To learn more about ADS, log on to