Local News

N.C. State Seeks New Ways to Water Athletic Fields

Posted February 27, 2008

— North Carolina State University's athletics department is facing a tougher opponent than anything it has faced in the ACC – the drought.

To deal with that, the Wolfpack is considering digging six wells to provide water for fields ranging from Carter-Finley Stadium to the new softball facility that opens Wednesday.

Ray Brincefield, N.C. State's assistant athletics director for facilities, said the school has not been using city water from its irrigation system since the city went to Stage 2 restrictions on Oct. 18.

Instead, the school trucks in water from Lake Raleigh on the Centennial Campus to water 33 acres of athletics fields.

That’s time-consuming and expensive, however – and it could drain the lake.

So, Brincefield and school officials are now looking at sinking six wells instead.

“Do we tanker truck (water in) all year? … That’s going to be a headache,” Brincefield said. “Or do we start looking into wells?”

The school would want the wells in place by May 1, which is the start of the growing season for Bermuda grass.

Brincefield wants to make sure the grass continues to flourish.

“More than anything, it’s a safety thing when you put high-profile athletes in danger,” he said. “Secondly, it’s protecting the investment [in the grass]. "

“We’re probably leaning toward well water," he added. "And also from a budgetary standpoint, as we are all smart enough to realize, when we get out of these restrictions, the price of water from the city is going to increase.”


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  • SouthernLady05 Feb 28, 2008

    The RBC center was built for entertainment purposes and the NHL team.. NCSU rents time from the RBC center. It wasn't built for NCSU.

    Also the athletics dept funds themselves at NCSU, they do not use tax payer dollars. Dont believe me? Call them and ask.

  • common_sense_plz Feb 28, 2008

    well let's see, the RBC center was built primarly for NC State, and we the tax payers of wake county helped pay for it along with a resturant tax, for the very same reason......so yes we the tax payers do and have paid for things at NC state.

  • SouthernLady05 Feb 28, 2008

    FUN: I believe the money that they are spending in the Athletics dept. comes from revenue from the games, and sponsors... not taxpayer money.

    It's dangerous for athletes to play on dead, uneven grass. Football games alone bring in tons of money to the university. If the field is not up to par and the athletes can't play on it, the university would loose hundreds of thousands of dollars. The wells are a good idea. Don't be so naieve to think they just want the grass green.

  • saturn5 Feb 28, 2008

    If the wells don't affect ground water, and ground water is the problem right now because of the drought, why don't we start drilling more wells throughout Wake County? If people wanted to spend the money, they could put a well in so they didn't have to be on the city's water system, or at the very least drastically reduce their use of city water.

    But they're also talking about changing legislation so well owners have to abide by the same restrictions as everyone on city water systems.

    So, which is it? Either wells have an impact on the drought or they don't. Any experts here care to explain the discrepancy?

  • geosol Feb 27, 2008

    Oh my, we aren't doing a very good job of educating people about groundwater. Very sad. 1) There are no underground rivers or streams here. 2) The water these wells would likely be extracting would be hundreds or even thousands of years old. 3) These wells would have a negligible effect on surface water supplies. 4) Property owners are entitled to use the groundwater resource under their land. The groundwater system in the piedmont and mountains has a natural buffer (saprolite storage) that helps mitigate the effects of drought. Managed properly, the groundwater resource is adequate to sustain our water needs well into the future.

  • Travised Feb 27, 2008

    Even high schools are switching to astroturf so they don't have to use water and mow the grass. Why can't campus do the same? That way they don't need watering. The fields need replacing about every 10 years. Initial price is a little bit of a shock, but after you look at all the numbers, watering, hours to mow, treating it, repainting... It's worth the investment for long term.

  • NCSU91 Feb 27, 2008

    They are not using tax money to drill wells. The water from the wells is from the bedrock and not groundwater. Meaning it doesnt matter if they want to spend the money keeping up an investment let them. If you spend that much on your lawn then you are just a moron.

  • dohicky Feb 27, 2008

    In the end the taxpayers will pay for 'whatever' so that someone can play a game. The cost of the water shortage is already causing some cities to charge citizens to cover the expense and now people are worried about this grass. And we wonder why our young people get messed up - what happend to real important things and something called setting priorities.

  • seeingthru Feb 27, 2008

    I truly think that their grass can turn just as brown as mine

  • Scubagirl Feb 27, 2008

    “More than anything, it’s a safety thing when you put high-profile athletes in danger,” he said. “Secondly, it’s protecting the investment [in the grass]. "
    we have investments also in our yards-I vote let their grass die also a little dirt never hurt anyone.