Outdoor Services Crew

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Top dressing Kittridge Synthetic fields

As most of you know, the university has three synthetic sports fields along the east edge of campus.  These fields were put in about five years ago and have been a tremendous benefit to the CU Rec Center and the sport teams that use them.  Even though it is a synthetic field, it still needs maintenance due to wear and tear.  There is normal light maintenance done every year which consists of dragging the fields to help prevent matting and maintain an even playing field.  But depending on play, there are more significant maintenance tasks that must be completed like replacement of goal mouth areas and a top dressing of new rubber infill.  This year was the summer for that work and the Rec Center funded the replacement of synthetic turf in the goal mouths of the competition field and a top dress of rubber.

As you see in this short video above, we are using our large top dresser and applying crumb rubber just like a normal top dress of sand on a regular field.  The rubber is made of 100% recycled tires which is ground into a very fine granule, a little smaller than a grain of rice.  The amount put down was roughly 1/8" thick and was dragged to help work it into the synthetic turf blades.

During this project we used 12 tons of crumb rubber which was delivered in these large bag's called "totes."  This is a great way to use large amount of product because you cut down on packaging and the loading of it takes only seconds.  The video shows the loading of one of the bags into our top dresser.  This project went very smooth and the field needed it badly.  So now with the work we’ve done, we should be back to normal maintenance for years to come.
With constant talk of which field is better, synthetic or real, there are many points for each.  But the biggest benefit to synthetic is and always will be, the low level of maintenance compared to a real turf field.  It sure is nice to have 3 fields that barely need any attention and stay very safe and playable under all conditions.