Sweden Gets Smart With Football Fields

The city of Helsingborg in Sweden now has a digital system that informs municipal employees when local football fields need watering or fertilizing. The city has found that the new digital service is optimizing the use of water and fertilizer, and saving on employee and transportation costs. Helsingborg worked with Pingday, a communication solutions provider, to design and install the system. 

“The service saves both time and money,” says Thomas Huldt, IOT product owner who works with the City of Helsingborg’s digitization department. “The service helps to reduce the amount of water used and saves time for the staff. They no longer have to go out and check if the football pitches need to be watered, and they can take care of them when necessary.”

The sports fields are equipped with turf sensors which read moisture and temperature in the soil at two different depths, and then send the data to maintenance employees’ smartphones. Previously, collecting this information required workers to physically walk around and take measurements. The employees’ also receive data on their mobile phones regarding recent rainfall levels and weather forecasts.

“The ground temperature is important in the spring. It must be six to eight degrees in the ground for the grass to start growing. It is not worthwhile for us to fertilize before then,” said Christian Olofsson, sports facility manager.

Football field maintenance is only one of the digital initiatives in the city. In a similar programming 2020, the city installed 200 soil moisture sensors to aid in more efficient tree maintenance.