Drilling ends 3G flooding crisis

Paul and Ben with the specially adapted machine
Paul and Ben with the specially adapted machine

Boring 112,000 extra holes into Newton Stewart’s Blairmount 3G pitch a month ago seems to have cured the mystery flooding problem that has plagued the sports facility for months.

Heavy rain last Saturday and on Tuesday drained away without any issues and, last weekend, the Galloway Thistle Youth Football Fair went ahead without incident.

At this week’s Wigtown Area Committee business meeting in Stranraer, elected members heard a very positive report about the state of the pitch, but council officers admitted there was still no definitive answer to what caused the pitch to retain water.

Contractors used their ingenuity to create a unique drilling machine with hand-held drills bolted onto the back of a mini-tractor. Once in place, they painstakingly drilled down into the entire surface of the £500,000 artificial pitch after a long list of remedial works proved ineffective. During the laborious 16-day drilling operation, an officer from the council’s property and architectural services visited the site after heavy rain had fallen overnight and observed that the areas that had been drilled were dry while the adjacent area, where holes had not been drilled, showed standing water in excess of 10mm.

Spokesman for home team Newton Stewart FC Andy McClymont said: “The drilling seems to have done the job. The football fair went ahead and had no problems. The only thing that still concerns me is why it happened in the first place?

“We are also still waiting for compensation from the council.”

The manufacturers are closely monitoring the situation as the flooding problem at Blairmount is unprecedented.