It’s Official: Capillary Hydroponics System Uses Between 42% and 83% Less Water

Data from Michigan State University’s Hancock Turfgrass Research Center also reports no significant difference in playability between the Capillary Hydroponics System and Variable Depth Rootzone greens.

CapillaryFlow, a global leader in turf management innovations, is excited to announce ground-breaking results from a study conducted at Michigan State University’s Hancock Turfgrass Research Center. The research, which is continuing, is focused on comparing CapillaryFlow’s Hydroponics subsurface irrigation system with the Variable Depth Rootzone overhead irrigation for golf putting greens.

The study

Initiated in June 2022, the study aimed to evaluate the differences in water consumption and soil moisture retention between the Capillary Hydroponic System and Variable Depth Rootzone with overhead irrigation for putting greens. Data collected included green speed, surface firmness, clipping yield, pest observations, nutrient holding capacity, organic matter build-up, and drainage water nutrient content.

MSU study: Key findings

1. The Capillary Hydroponics System used 60% less water over a 10-week period starting June 2023 than the Variable Depth Rootzone system.

2. In context-specific scenarios involving precipitation and evaportanspiration rates, the Capillary Hydroponic System used between 42% and 83% less water than the Variable Depth Rootzone system.

3. There is no significant difference in playability between the Capillary Hydroponics System and the Variable Depth Rootzone greens concerning green speed or surface firmness.

For more details about the study, click here.

Revolutionizing turf management

Martin Sternberg, founder and CEO of CapillaryFlow, expressed confidence in the results. “Sub-surface irrigation is significantly more effective than overhead irrigation,” said Sternberg. “These findings validate our commitment to water conservation and the efficiency of our hydroponic system. We believe this technology can revolutionize turf management globally.”

“The results are extremely positive after one summer,” said world-renowned turfgrass scientist Dr Thomas A Nikolai, who is spearheading the MSU study. “Water conservation is THE problem right now. Not just for golf courses,  but everywhere… I have little doubt that somewhere in the future greens will be constructed with the CHS  beginning in top-end golf courses…”

He added: “The reason for my confidence is the need to avoid wasting water by utilizing it more efficiently and the fact that we are performing scientifically sound replicated research which will lead to answers for future managers of the system”.  


The future

Sternberg is optimistic about the golf and natural turf industry’s shift towards sub-surface irrigation. “Our goal is to use this technology to prove the golf industry’s worth and benefit to society. Despite driving innovations for decades, the golf industry has not received credit. I am optimistic that we can leverage it to change the public perception of the sport’s impact on the environment.”

These results are not just promising for the golf industry but also signify a potential game-changer in sports turf management and green infrastructure for cities. CapillaryFlow remains committed to pushing the boundaries of sustainable turf solutions, contributing to a greener future.

About CapillaryFlow

CapillaryFlow is a Sweden-based technology company whose innovations enable golf courses, sports grounds, and recreational spaces like city parks to construct long-lasting and low-maintenance greens, bunkers, and grounds. Its cutting-edge solutions – encompassing irrigation, drainage, and moisture control – prioritize water savings, underscoring the company’s commitment to sustainable turf management practices. CapillaryFlow is positioned at the forefront of global innovation in this field.

About Capillary Hydroponics

Capillary Hydroponics is an innovative irrigation and drainage system that consumes up to 83% less water than traditional irrigation methods. By providing oxygen, water and nutrients from below, it can use 50% of inputs and still facilitate the cultivation of robust and resilient turfgrass on sports and leisure surfaces. The system employs a moving and oxygenated underground water table to efficiently deliver moisture to tees, greens, sports fields, and green urban spaces, promoting the growth of strong and durable turfgrass while significantly saving water and reducing maintenance needs. Recent research has shown that Capillary Hydroponics utilizes between 42% and 83% less water than the Variable Depth Rootzone overhead irrigation for golf putting greens.

Capillary Hydroponics also enables precise moisture control in sand equestrian arenas, a crucial factor for establishing safe and optimal riding conditions. The system’s infusion of oxygen into the footing sand ensures that it remains well-aerated and resistant to compacting, thereby preventing the formation of the ‘black layer’.

This subsurface irrigation system features CapillaryFlow’s proprietary Capillary Material, a patented polymer-based pervious cement that is the only building material that can rapidly drain water while also moving water up to precisely regulate the moisture content of any adjacent material such as sand. Invented in 2009, Capillary Material also powers Capillary Bunkers, transforming bunker construction in the golf industry.

Media Contact
Company Name: CapillaryFlow
Contact Person: Johan Setteryd
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Phone: +46 705 50 01 23
Country: United States