Atlantis Golf Course Drainage

The Atlantis Ecological System

If it was possible to replace the aggregate drainage layers with another material providing the same drainage capability (at a vastly reduced volume), it would be possible to build a golf course on as little as 250 -300 mm of imported soil. The Atlantis Drainage Cell System can provide just that.

A cellular drainage product designed specifically for sub-surface drainage applications, it has a surface void space of more than 60%, and a void volume of more than 85%. Consider this in comparison to aggregate, which provides about 40% of its total volume as void space for drainage and water retention.

The successful Atlantis Ecological Golf Course System provides golf courses with a sustainable, efficient and low maintenance drainage system that maintains playing surface quality of the while managing potential environmental impacts. Because traditional drainage practices don’t provide an ecologically sustainable method of water management golf courses are coming under scrutiny by regulatory authorities due to environmental impacts such as nutrient run-off. Traditional methods of drainage only add to the exponential degradation of water quality. To preserve water quality and replenish groundwater resources infiltration principles must be utilised.

The natural principles of drainage inherent in the Atlantis Ecological Golf Course System allows water to immediately infiltrate the ground, eliminating surface run-off and erosion. Initially, a golf course inevitably requires a large tract of land to be almost entirely cleared of vegetation and topsoil, allowing course construction, earth moving and landscaping. Golf course construction process, subsequent turf and grounds maintenance programs significantly increase the potential impact upon waterway pollution.

Damage caused during construction is somewhat alleviated with new landscaping, however damage caused to subsoil layers ultimately limits the infiltration capacity of the entire golf course. To achieve a reversal of the environmental damage it is necessary to account for lost infiltration and reduced groundwater recharge. Infiltration is the process of rainfall soaking into the ground under natural conditions. Efficient infiltration depends greatly on soils, ambient flora conditions and the land-use associated with the area. The Atlantis Ecological Golf Course Systems artificially recreates the natural hydrological infiltration processes.


Traditional System

Two typical methods of golf course construction are the Texas USGA method and the Cambridge sports field system. The Texas USGA method employs a number of horizontal layers of graded aggregate laid over a sub-grade. Drainage pipes are laid in the sub-grade and back-filled with aggregate. Topsoils are placed over the aggregate layers with a specific root-zone mix placed prior to placement of turf. Drainage is reasonably efficient, but total topsoil depths of 400 -500 mm must be constructed to provide adequate drainage layers.

The Cambridge method involves the use of permeable sand trenches cut into the topsoil and sub-soil that drain to equally spaced drainage pipes laid under a drainage bed of aggregate.These are supplemented with the use of highly permeable topsoils often with limited growing capacity. Vertical drainage is reasonably efficient. Horizontal drainage, however, is poor as the system relies upon lateral movement of water for capture. Water does not flow laterally within a soil to any great extent. It generally travels downward vertically and therefore a horizontal drainage system that can capture all infiltrated water and transport it laterally to other areas will provide the most effective removal of water from the playing surface. The USGA method is such a system, however the large aggregate volume required to provide sufficient drainage makes such a system very costly to construct.

Technical Information for Atlantis System:
The Atlantis Ecological Golf Course System is constructed of highly permeable drainage systems that encourage instantaneous infiltration of rainfall through the playing surface, efficiently removes excess sub-soil water to recharge groundwater or transfers collected water to other storage areas for reuse.

The Atlantis Drainage Cell System is a sub-surface system of cellular, horizontal drainage layers and permeable under-drains. Separated from topsoils by a hydrophilic geotextile, the Atlantis Drainage Cell system recreates natural drainage processes in the form of artificial aquifers (groundwater bodies). The natural hydrology principles inherent in the Atlantis Drainage Cell System successfully recreate natural conditions to achieve successful drainage in golf-course environment. The result is maintenance of consistent playing conditions and the preservation of water quality and the environment.