Terrain begins new irrigation works on Morphettville Racecourse’s sand track

For nearly two decades Terrain Water has been behind the design, installation and maintenance of the Morphettville Race Course irrigation and water management system. This long standing relationship continues with the next phase of irrigation works getting underway in January 2019.

The iconic horse racing venue is situated along Anzac Highway, between the CBD and historic Glenelg, and is the site used for the Adelaide Cup and much of South Australia’s Spring Racing Carnival.

In 2001, Terrain Group installed the irrigation on the main track, and 18 years on, the earthmoving contractor, McMahon, tasked with resurfacing the inner sand training track, has engaged Terrain Group to supply an irrigation system to the track to replace the current arrangement, which uses a watering truck. The expense of having a watering truck on standby both in water and also in maintenance, means this irrigation system will be a much more reliable option moving forward.

The existing irrigation system comprises of a high pressure pump station and irrigation system with main-lines on both sides of the main track rail. There is ample pressure in this system to run irrigation to the inner sand track, and as such, the decision was made to tap into the outer main track around the inner rail. An isolation valve installed, restores pressure to the main track as soon as possible to ensure it is not without water any longer than absolutely necessary.

Electronic solenoid valves installed near the rail of the sand track activate the outer and inner stations of the sand track.

McMahons removed the sand track’s surface, back to base level ready for irrigation works. The new irrigation will be cut 300mm into the base and with the new sand track surface to be applied.

The difficulty came in working around the training and racing schedule of the grounds. Horses training in the mornings, means Terrain’s team can’t access the site until all horses are clear, as late as 10am in some instances. However, that being said, the works are due to finish at the end of February.