During the last week of June, major rain storms hit the Denver area, bringing 2-inches of driving rain and hail within 30 minutes and the streets swelled with water.
Here in the suburb of Glendale we are currently building a new park and practice field adjacent and uphill from our stadium, called Infinity Park. Because of all our construction, we had been required to put filters over all of the storm drains and put up both a silt fence and a chain link fence around the construction area. The covered drains couldn’t handle the storm water and it built up behind the fencing, reaching a level of nearly three acre feet of water. Then it broke through, sending a flash flood over our synthetic field and onto the lowest point—our stadium field.
At 2:14 pm, more than 2 feet of water covered the stadium pitch. We have cleanouts at all four corners, positioned off the pitch surface. They tie into 8-inch drainpipe that then joins into the city’s main 12-inch drain line. We pulled the cleanout covers and used push brooms to try to keep the silt agitated in the water to keep it off the field surface. The water was coming on the field faster than those drains could handle it, so we had to keep clearing clogs there to keep it flowing. By 6 pm we were down to 2 inches of water on the perimeter of the field.
The next step, when the surface was dry enough, was sweeping the field to clear away the sticks, pop cans, leaves and assorted debris the water had deposited. Then we used a solid tine aerator to break up the silt layer and get the oxygen to the roots. We’re left with about a 1/8-inch layer of silt on top of our sand surface.
We’ll continue solid tine aeration as we can work it in and plan to topdress with straight sand to help break up more of the silt, hoping to gradually move it through the profile and out of the field.
Joshua Bertrand is manager of turf operations for the City of Glendale, CO.