US 3602938 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
nited States tet  Inventor Edward W. Lindsay lPonca City, Okla. [211 App]. No. 870,578  Filed Oct. 29, 1969 I45] Patented Sept. 7, 1971  Assignee Vacu-Maid,llnc.
Ponca City, Okla.
 VACUUM SYSTEM FOR REMOVHNG WATER FROM SYNTHETIC TURF 11 Claims, 5 Drawing Figs.
 US. Cl... 15/314  lint. C1 A4715/38  Field oiSearch 15/301, 302, 314, 320, 321, 353
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 919,606 4/1909 15/314X 3,343,199 9/1967 15/353 X 3,351,971 11/1967 Hocking et a1..., 15/3 53 X 2,791,792 5/1957 Shearer Primary Examiner-William l. Price Attorney-Fisbum, Gold and Litman STRACT: A vacuum system for removing water from large areas such as outdoor athletic fields, such as for football,
, baseball, soccer and the like having a covering of synthetic turf or the like. The system has a plurality of inlets arranged in spaced apart relation over the areas and below the level of the synthetic turf and supporting pad and connected to vacuum lines below the turf, pad and base for same for receiving water through the inlets and conveying the water to a holding tank. Each inlet has a closure valve selectively opened for drawing water thereinto. Suction apparatus is connected to a tank for creating a vacuum in hose means connected to the inlets for collecting water and moving same to the tank. A collection unit is positioned between the tank and the suction apparatus for receiving and holding material not deposited within the tank.
PATENTEU SEP 7 l97| SHEET 1 OF 3 INVENTOR.
7 m m W 7 Edward BY I PATENTEDSEP Han 3.602.938
SHEET 2 OF 3 HIM INVENTOR.
Edward W. Lindsay wfl ATTORNEYS PATENTEI] SEP 7197:
SHEET 3 OF 3 INVENTOR. Edward W. Lindso Y BY 14 WILL.
ATTORNEYS VACUUM SYSTEM FOR REMOVING WATER lFlROMl SYNTHETIC TURF The present invention relates to vacuum systems and more particularly to a vacuum system for removing water from athletic fields having synthetic turf thereon.
Synthetic turf for outdoor athletic fields, such as football, baseball, soccer and the like has many advantages over natural turf as it is not dependent on growing conditions and is long wearing; easily repaired by replacing any damaged sections. Synthetic turf is usually placed over a pad that overlies a base, such as asphalt or the like. Such fields with synthetic turf are difficult to drain and excess water thereon is an injury hazard to players and officials, particularly injuries resulting from slips and falls on the wet synthetic turf.
The principal objects of the present invention are: to pro vide a vacuum system for removing water from synthetic turf on large areas such as athletic fields and the like; to provide such a vacuum system that is quickly put in operation but has only a small amount of equipment that is used above the field surface; to provide such a system wherein the inlets and water conveying system are not exposed above the playing surface while not in use; to provide such a vacuum system having water holding means and pump driven drainage means for removing water from the holding means; to provide such a vacuum system having a collection unit positioned between a vacuum pump and the water holding means for receiving and holding material not deposited within the water holding means; and to provide such a vacuum system which is economical to manufacture and install, is strong and durable in use, and is particularly well adapted for the proposed use.
Other objects and advantages of this invention will become apparent from the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings wherein are set forth by way of illustration and example certain embodiments of this invention.
FIG. 1 is a plan view of an outdoor athletic field having a synthetic turf surface and a vacuum system for removing water from synthetic turf with the vacuum system embodying features of the present invention.
FIG. 2 is an elevational view of vacuum producing means and water holding and moving means.
FIG. 3 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view taken on line 3-3, FIG. 1, showing an inlet connected to a vacuum line.
FIG. 4 is an enlarged elevational view of hose means con- 7 nected to an inlet for removing excess water from the synthetic turf.
FIG. 5 is a further enlarged exploded perspective view of an inlet and removable closure member.
Referring more in detail to the drawings:
The reference numeral 1 generally designates a vacuum system for removing water from a large area having synthetic turf 2, as for example an area such as an outdoor athletic field 3 as are used for football, baseball, soccer and the like. As an example of such a synthetic turf installation base material 4 such as asphalt, is placed on subgrade 5, such as natural earth. A pad 6 of suitable resilient material is placed upon the base material 4 and the synthetic turf 2 is placed on top of the pad 6. The pad may be an underlayment in the form of a layer of polyurethane or the like adhered to the base 4 in covering relation thereto.
The vacuum system 1 has a plurality of inlets 7 arranged in spaced apart relation over the area and positioned below the level of the synthetic turf 2 and connected to one of a plurality of vacuum lines 8 which extend from said inlets 7 for conveying the water to a receiving and holding tank 9.
In the illustrated structure, the vacuum lines 5 are placed in trenches 10 in the subgrade 5 and are bedded in place within a suitable back fill material 1 1, such as a selected granular sand. It is desirable that the vacuum lines be placed below the frost line whereby the lines 8 will remain substantially undisturbed after installation in the trenches 10. A conduit 12 extends between each of the inlets 7 and the respective vacuum line 8 for communicating vacuum or suction to an entrance 13 of hose means 14 for removing water from the synthetic turf 2 and for flow from the hose means 14 to the holding tank 9, as later described.
Each inlet 7 as illustrated is an elongate member having a generally cylindrical body portion 15 and a bell portion 16.
0 The body portion has a bore 17 extending into the bell portion 16 and an enlarged counterbore 18 forms a shoulder 19 adapted to support a seal member 20, as later described. A further enlarged counterbore 21 forms a shoulder 22 for supporting a removable closure member 23, as later described, having the seal member 20 mounted thereon.
The closure member 23 is illustrated as an elongate member having a generally cylindrical body portion 24 and an annular flange portion 25 on one end thereof. The seal member 20 seats on the shoulder 19 within the counterbore l8 and is mounted around the cylindrical body portion 24 and engages the annular flange portion 25 to provide a substantially air and watertight seal.
A slotted recess 26 extends inwardly from an upper surface 27 of the closure member 23 and communicates with a generally cylindrical enlarged recess 28, thereby providing a receptacle adapted to receive one end of a suitable tool (not shown) for removing the closure member 23 from inlet 7.
The body portion 24 of the closure member 23 is sized to be received within the bore 17 of the body portion 15 of the inlet 7 and the thickness of the flange portion 25 is substantially equal to the distance between the shoulder 22 and the upper surface 27 of the closure member 23, whereby the free end of the bell portion 16 and the upper surface 27 of the closure member 23 are substantially in registry when the closure member 23 is installed in the inlet 7.
Said surfaces are also in registry with an upper surface of the base material 4 and a plug 29 of the pad material 6 is suitably secured on the upper surface 27 of the closure member 23, as by being glued thereon, and a plug 30 of the synthetic turf material 2 is similarly secured on the pad plug 29, thereby providing a smooth, relatively uninterrupted surface for the synthetic turf 2 on the respective athletic field 3. The plugs 29 and 30 have apertures 31 and 32 respectively therethrough for providing access to the recesses 26 and 28 for the tool (not shown) for removing the closure member 23 from the inlet 7.
The hose means 14 are removably and selectively connected to each of the inlets 7 for drawing excess water from the synthetic turf 2. The hose means 14 includes an elongate swivel unit 33 having one end sized to be received within the bore 17 of the respective inlet 7 and an elongate, flexible hose portion 34 having one end connected to the other end of the hose swivel unit 33 and an inlet fitting or collecting portion 35 connected to the other end of the hose portion 34 and extending therefrom. The free end of the collecting portion 35 has the entrance 13 therein.
In the illustrated structure, the swivel unit 33 is an elongate tubular member having one end 36 with a finished exterior surface having a reduced'diameter which is substantially equal to the exterior diameter of the body portion 24 of the closure member 23 and has a length substantially equal to the length of the closure member body portion 24. The remaining portion of the swivel unit 28 has an enlarged exterior diameter, thereby providing a shoulder 37 sized to seat on the shoulder 19 within the inlet 7. A seal member 38, similar to seal member 20 is mounted on the one end 36 and engages the shoulder. 37 of the swivel unit 33 and seats within the counterbore 18 and engages the shoulder 19 of the inlet 7 to provide a substantially air and watertight seal.
The swivel unit 33 has an elbow portion 39 in the form of a bend beginning above the upper end of the bell portion 16 of the inlet 7, when installed therein, and terminating in a horizontal portion 40 which is substantially parallel with the upper surface of the synthetic turf 2. The swivel unit 33 has a bore 41 therethrough communicating with the bore 17 through the inlet 7.
The hose portion 34 may be any suitable, flexible tubular material, such as synthetic rubber, vinyl or the like, having opposite ends connected to the swivel unit 33 and the collecting portion 35 respectively.
The collecting portion 35 is illustrated as an elongate tubu' lar member having the entrance 13 in the free end thereof with the entrance 13 being adapted for engaging the synthetic turf 2 for removing excess water therefrom.
The holding tank 9 may be sized to hold all the water collected from the field 3 during one operation or the water holding tank 9 may be two smaller tanks with one sized to be filled while the other is draining, or a smaller single tank having a positive displacement pump connected to a drain therefrom whereby water can be pumped out of the smaller single tank at the same rate as water is delivered thereto by the vacuum lines 8.
All of the vacuum lines 8 communicate with the holding tank 9 and the holding tank 9 is illustrated as an enclosed tank having drainage means 42 associated therewith for removing water collected within the tank 9 with the drainage means 42 being in the form of a suitable motor driven positive displace ment pump 43 and suitable drain lines 44 connecting the tank 9 and pump 43 and extending from the pump 43 to a suitable disposal system, such as a storm drainage system or the like (not shown).
Vacuum or suction producing means in the form of a suction or vacuum pump 45 is connected to the holding tank 9 by a vacuum line 46 for producing a vacuum in the tank 9 and the vacuum lines 8 for removing water from the synthetic turf 2 through the hose means 14.
lt is desirable to prevent debris, such as paper, dirt, sand, and the like, from entering the suction or vacuum pump 45, therefore, a collection unit 47 may be added to the aforesaid mechanical equipment and when added, the collection unit preferably is positioned in the vacuum line 46 between the tank 9 and the suction or vacuum pump 45 for receiving and holding material not deposited within the holding tank 9, such as dirt, sand, paper and the like. However, when desired or necessary, the collection unit 47 may be physically combined with the holding tank 9 for installation of the mechanical equipment within a small equipment room. When operating conditions permit, the collection unit 47 may be bypassed by a conduit (not shown) communicating the holding tank 9 and the vacuum pump 45 or the collection unit 47 may be omitted.
In use, a selected group of closure members 23 are removed from the respective inlets 7 and a suitable control switch 48 is turned to an on position to activate the suction means 45 thereby drawing water into those inlets having the closure members 23 removed therefrom. The number of closure members 23 which can be removed and have full suction or vacuum delivered to the open inlets is determined by the sizing of the pump 45. The control switch 48 is turned to an off position and the closure members 23 are replaced and another group is removed and the procedure repeated until all the closure members 23 have been removed and replaced. Should there remain excess water on the field 3, the nearest closure member 23 is removed and the finished end 36 of the hose means 14 is mounted within the open inlet. The pump 45 is activated and the inlet fitting or collecting portion 35 is maneuvered over the synthetic turf 2 thereby removing excess water. The water flows through the hose means 14, into the inlet through the conduit 12, into the respective vacuum line 8, and from there into the holding tank 9. Water is removed from the holding tank 9 by the motor driven pump 43 and conveyed to the storm drainage system (not shown). Material not deposited within the tank 9 and moving through the vacuum line 46 is trapped in the collection unit 47, thereby being prevented from moving into and damaging the vacuum pump 45, whereby the useful life of the vacuum producing pump 45 is greatly increased. After the area within reach of the hose means 14 has been cleared of excess water, the switch 48 is turned to an "off" position and the hose means 14 are moved to another inlet 7 and the procedure repeated until the field 3 has been cleared of excess water.
In instances where it is undesirable or impossible to use underground lines, one end of the suction hose means 14 having the inlet fitting or collecting portion 35 thereon may be connected to one end of an aboveground vacuum line or hose having the other end operatively connected to the mechanical equipment of the vacuum system 1 in the same manner as the vacuum line 8. In such instances, it is to be understood that the mechanical equipment of the vacuum system 1 includes the water receiving and holding tank 9, the collection unit 47, and the positive displacement pump 43 having a suitable aboveground hose extending to a suitable drainage system for discharge of water thereto and that the aforementioned mechanical equipment may be arranged as a mobile unit for movement around the respective field 3. The collection unit 47 may be combined with the water receiving and holding tank 9 or the collection unit 47 may be omitted to form a compact portable unit for removing water from selected areas of synthetic turf.
It is to be understood that while I have illustrated and described one form of my invention, it is not to be limited to this specific form or arrangement of parts herein described and shown.
What 1 claim and desire to secure by Letters Patent is:
1. A vacuum system for removing fluid from areas having base material covered with synthetic turf comprising:
a. a vacuum line extending below an area having base material covered with synthetic turf;
b. a plurality of inlets communicating with said vacuum line, said inlets being in spaced apart relation over the area and having a top opening;
c. a removable closure member normally positioned in each of said inlets to seal same;
suction means operatively connected to said vacuum line to create a vacuum therein to draw fluid through inlets having said respective closure member removed; and
e. fluid receiving means between said suction means and said vacuum line and communicating with said vacuum line for receiving fluid drawn through open inlets.
. The vacuum system as set forth in claim 1 including:
a. hose means having one end selectively connectable to an inlet having said respective closure member removed therefrom; and
b. an inlet fitting at the other end of said hose means and having an entrance for movement over the synthetic turf for removing fluid therefrom.
3. The vacuum system as set forth in claim 2 wherein said hose means includes:
a. an elongate hose swivel unit having one end sized to be selectively received within each of said inlets; and
b. an elongate flexible hose portion having one end connected to the other end of said hose swivel unit and having said inlet fitting connected to the other end of said hose portion and extending therefrom.
4. The vacuum system as set forth in claim 1 wherein:
a. said fluid receiving means is an enclosed tank; and
' b. said tank has drainage means operatively connected thereto for removing fluid collected therein thereby providing for substantially continuous operation of the vacuum system.
5. The vacuum system as set forth in claim 4 including:
a. a collection unit positioned between said tank and said suction means for receiving and holding material not deposited within said tank.
6. The vacuum system as set forth in claim 1 wherein:
a. said inlets each have a top surface having said top opening therein, said top surface being substantially in registry with an upper surface of the base material;
b. said closure members each have an upper surface in registry with the top surface of said respective inlet when mounted therein; and
c. said closure members each have a plug of the synthetic said pump drainage means associated therewith; and
turf secured upon the top surface thereof whereby the synthetic turf is substantially continuous over the base material.
b. a collection unit is positioned between said tank and said suction means for receiving and holding material not deposited within said tank.
10. The vacuum system as set forth in claim 9 wherein said hose means includes:
a. an elongate tubular swivel unit having one end sized to be sealably received within the tubular inlet, said swivel unit being an arcuate member;
7. A vacuum system for removing water from an area having 5 synthetic turf placed upon a pad in covering relation thereto, said pad being placed upon base material, said vacuum system comprising:
a. an elongate vacuum line placed in a trench extending of said inlets to seal same;
d. hose means having one end selectively connectable to an e. suction means operatively connected to said vacuum line to create a vacuum therein to draw water through said hose means;
f. water receiving and holding means positioned between said suction means and said vacuum line and communicating with said vacuum line for receiving water drawn therethrough; and
g. pump driven draining means connected to said water holding means for removing water collected therein:
8. The vacuum system as set forth in claim 7 wherein: a. said inlets are each elongate tubular members having an upper end shaped to support a removable closure below base material supporting a pad and synthetic turf 10 b. an elongate flexible hose portion having one end conthereon; nected to the other end of said swivel unit and having the b. aplurality of inlets communicating with and spaced along other sald f pornon Connected to Sam mlet Said vacuum line Said inlets being beow the pad and fitting, said inlet fitting having an entrance at the other synthetic turf g end thereof for engaging the synthetic turf. c. a removable closure member normally positioned in each 15 l A vacuum system for removmg water from an area ing synthetic turf placed upon a pad in covering relation thereto, said pad being placed upon base material, said vacuum system comprising:
a. an elongate vacuum line having inlets communicating therewith;
b. a removable closure normally positioned in each of said inlets to seal same;
c. hose means having one end selectively connectable to an inlet of the said vacuum line;
d. an inlet fitting at the other end of said hose means and having an entrance for removing water therefrom;
e. suction means operatively connected to the other end of said vacuum line to create a vacuum therein to draw water through said hose means connected to an inlet of said vacuum line; f. water receiving and holding means positioned between said suction means and said vacuum line and communicating with the other end of said vacuum line for receiv: ing water drawn through;
member in ealing elati th i 3 g. water disposal duct means connected to said water b, said closur memb r h an upper Surface i registry i receiving and holding means and in communication with an upper surface of base material supporting a pad having if q thtireln; the synthetic turf thereon; and h. a positive displacement pump in said disposal duct means id closure member upper Surface has a plug f pad and operative to remove water collected in said water Secured thereon with a plug f Synthetic turf Secured to 40 receiving and holding means and move said water in said the disposal duct means as water is received in the water 9. The vacuum system as set forth in claim 8 wherein: holdmg meansa. said water receiving means is an enclosed tank having