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June 10, 2014 05:06 PM

Harmodon Park Standing Water Not Seen As Issue

Sioux Falls, SD

The fields at Harmodon Park in Sioux Falls are home to thousands of baseball and softball games every year. Anytime there's heavy rain, they are also home to standing water.

"In 2005, when the fields first went into play, we recognized there were some drainage issues there because the soil is fairly heavy clay material. So we've implemented some cultural practices since then through our turf management program," Sioux Falls Parks and Recreation manager Dave Fischer said.

Crews are aerating the fields to keep them green and help with drainage, but the clay is working against them.

One thing not adding to the water issues is the park's irrigation system.

"The irrigation system is automatic, and it also has a computer and weather component to it so there are actually sensors that if it does not need water, it doesn't call for water," Fischer said.

Despite these puddles, the standing water isn't having a major impact on play.

"Our tracking of the rain-outs doesn't suggest that there's an issue. In 2013, there were 1,231 games and practices that were scheduled at Harmodon, and at the end of the season, what we lost were 21 games and practices," Fischer said.

That's less than 2 percent of all games played at the park.

"In a baseball field, just by design, the field needs to be flatter and it needs to be turf, so naturally it takes longer for that water to dissipate on that kind of a surface," Fischer said. "After a heavy rain, it's going to take some period of time for that water to soak in."

Fischer adds that standing water is an issue at every park after heavy rains like Sioux Falls has experienced recently, but each park is different in how long it will take to soak up the waters on the ground.

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