Drainage Solutions with a Sustainable Surfacing Approach

The introduction of porous surfacing to your outdoor area can remedy any issues of puddling or some flooding experienced with your existing impermeable flooring. This is especially important in urban areas with minimal vegetation or a lot of surrounding concrete and tarmac roadways where rainwater has no way to drain naturally out into local ecosystems.

Allowing for rainwater and snow melt to flow into the groundwater is an important way for outdoor developments to work with local ecosystems and the wet British weather to avoid larger issues with standing water and flooding. Without the right surfacing for the unique drainage situation of your area, your playground may become unusable, like these sinking grass mats installed without a proper sub-base.

Example of sinking grass mats

PlaySmart’s surfacing innovations are designed to account for and consider the surfacing within practical and natural contexts. Therefore, we provide a range of drainage solutions in our play surfacing, including multiple types of porous surfacing, including options for Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS).

Sub Surface Choices

In the process of landscaping for playground developments, the installation team has to consider and adapt to the particulars of each area. This includes finding the right stability solution for the specific substrates of the soil as well as the natural and man-made drainage systems in the area.

Surfaces like artificial grass require a hard sub-surface to keep it stable and flat, a common solution to this being thick granite slabs or similar. To increase the drainage capacity and avoid surface water build-up, additional porous layers of granite stone dust or a SmartPlay shock pad underlay acting as a rubber drainage mat prevent water build-up. This allows for water to dissipate over time, preventing a waterlogged pitch or field from ruining the fun and accessibility of your play area.

Many of our porous bonded rubber play surfaces can be installed at a range of fully certified depths to suit your safety requirements and adapt to your soil type without sub-surface installation. This is often a good option for areas with natural drainage systems or existing hard surfaces. For example, free drainage concrete or tarmac surfaces provide a suitable stable surface for artificial grass rolls as well as providing adequate drainage.

Natural drainage and therefore the best option for installation and sub-surface choice varies a lot. This varies a lot across the midlands, check the quality and type of soil in your area with this useful tool from LandIS to discover why and how your existing surfacing may need a change to adapt.

Artificial Grass field

Our process of surface design includes a pre-installation survey of the area to ensure the chosen surface solutions are right for the existing surface.

SUDS-Compliant Surfaces

A sustainable drainage system accounts for the highs and lows of local weather systems in council with the balance of natural and human factors that impact drainage.

SUDS are specifically certified areas that are particularly at risk of flooding and under strict measures for drainage and restrictions on new developments using impermeable surfaces. In these areas, it can be difficult to identify which types of surfacing are compatible with the recommendations and rules of these areas, but here at PlaySmart, we have multiple SUDS-compliant surfacing options.

Our permeable surfaces include SmartPave rubber aggregates (SUDS-Compliant), Corkeen cork surfaces, JungleMulch, Hybrid Grass, and our EcoSmart grass mats.

Corkeen surfacing design in urban area (Canary Wharf)

For more on the specific SUDS compatibility with your area, contact our surface installation and survey team to discuss your best options.

Avoiding Toxicity in Water Runoff

Using natural materials, especially with our Corkeen surfaces that are 90% natural cork is beneficial to the natural drainage, water, and eco-system of your local area.

As water circulates through porous surfacing before reaching the groundwater table, it picks up microscopic particulates of the material. This can include any dyes, colourants, binding chemicals, and larger particulates. If a too large concentration of these chemicals is present in the water system, it can negatively impact the local environment. This is particularly true for microplastics, which are carcinogenic and can get into the food chain from groundwater.

To protect both local ecosystems and local communities, PlaySmart avoids the use of toxic materials in our binders and minimises plastics in our fixings and bindings while still providing top-quality surfacing. Recycled rubber grass mats like our EcoSmart mats are more eco-friendly than many similar safety surfaces such as plastic tiling, and provide superior fall protection and durability in addition to protecting local water systems.

Does your Current Surfacing Experience Drainage Issues?

PlaySmart can help! Discuss your options today with our experts by booking a call or get your Free Quick Quote with our handy contact form at the top of the page.

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