Although the city of Sacramento, CA, has a ban on artificial grass, the city isn't enforcing the ban anymore. The ban was created in 1984, and prohibits artificial grass from being installed in front yards (it's allowed in back yards). Back then artificial grass technology was in its incipiency and the turf looked tacky. But now the technology is cutting edge and looks just like real grass. Plus, it saves water. Both of these combined means that there's no good reason why artificial grass shouldn't be allowed in front yards.
City officials agree and say that they aren't enforcing the ban anymore. Sacramento District 4 Director Consuelo Hernandez says, "Currently artificial turf is prohibited by ordinance, however, given the current drought situation, it's not being actively enforced.
Residents are not required to have live turf in their front yard under city code, but if they want to deviate they can put in half concrete or rock or paver-type materials and half live vegetation such as shrubs, plants, trees. Again, if they install artificial turf in the front yard, which at this point there have only been a few homes doing this the last couple years, code is not being enforced."
The city of San Diego is redoubling their water conservation efforts. The city's daily water usage figure for February was amongst the lowest ever for that month. And it's going to keep decreasing as more homeowners install artificial grass in their yards. S
tarting Wednesday, an incentive program will be revived which will reward homeowners for installing artificial grass. Residents will receive $1.50 per square foot they replace; they can combine this incentive with a statewide program of $2 per square foot and get a total of $3.50 per square foot back. Just for installing artificial grass!
Director of the city's Public Utilities Department says also that enforcement will be strengthened. These rules include watering only three days a week, prohibiting watering two days after rain, and serving no water at restaurants by default. The city has around 200 violations they deem worthy of being punished with a fine, which will be issued starting now and the fines will range from $100 to $500.
Indeed, now is a great time to install artificial grass if you haven't yet or are thinking about installing artificial grass. Artificial grass saves water and money and time on maintenance. Artificial grass will also ensure that you don't get slapped with a hefty fine for overwatering your lawn.
A homeowner in Saint-Lazare, Montreal, is fighting a legal battle against the town over his artificial grass installation. The town's municipal court ruled in favor of the town earlier this year, but now the homeowner has appealed to a Quebec Superior Court.
The town originally launched legal action against the homeowner over the artificial grass when it was installed in 2013. The town was spurred to this after receiving complaints from neighbors, who felt that the artificial grass wasn't in accordance with the neighborhood's local ordinances. The mayor of the town has stated that the town's regulations clearly state that residential landscaping must be done with organic material, not artificial materials.
Since it violates their regulations, they have no choice but to enforce them. However, in the homeowner's appeal, the homeowner contends that an injustice was begotten by the first ruling, which ordered him to remove all of the artificial grass eventually. The homeowner thinks that the town is guilty of selective and biased enforcement of their laws, citing that the town allowed artificial grass to be installed in a nearby soccer field.
An entire lacrosse team persuaded a school board in Media, Pennsylvania, to install synthetic turf in their high school's athletic field. The team played a game, and then, still wearing their uniforms, went directly to the school board meeting to implore the board to approve the installation of synthetic turf in their field. It was approved 7-2. The project, which includes other renovations, will cost $1.57 million.
The team's coach said that due to the wet weather, they've had to practice in gyms and parking lots for the past few weeks, which has hurt their level of competitiveness. The field has had mud on it. The team's plea included the fact that natural grass fields can only support 40 events per year, the cost of ownership, $1,487 per event.
Whereas, synthetic turf can support 400 events per year, with a cost of ownership of only $205 per event. The fields were approved.
This investment besides the high school's games could generate income for the district by allowing interested groups to rent the field for various activities. Indeed, synthetic turf pays for itself many times over in savings in the long run and actually increases revenue generation potential considerably.
Following on the heels of Governor Jerry Brown's announcement that he will mandate a 25% reduction in California's water usage, many homeowners in California are agreeing that artificial grass is the wave of the future. During his announcement, Governor Jerry Brown stated that nice little green grass getting watered every day is a thing of the past. The California Water Resources Control Board will release its proposal for how they will achieve a 25% reduction in two weeks.
The reductions are to go into effect on June 1, 2015. Many are now opening to converting to artificial grass. One homeowner in Orange County, for instance, says that she and her mother's house has had a real grass lawn for 60 years. But when they went shopping this weekend they passed an artificial grass store and her mother proclaimed that artificial grass is the lawn material of the future.
The two are open to installing artificial grass if keeping their current real grass lawn becomes untenable. She even said that they aren't willing to go as far as drought tolerant xeriscaping like cacti, etc., because she and her family need the functionality that the yard provides as far as being a surface for the kids to play on.
Following Governor Jerry Brown's mandate that the state of California cut back its water use by 25%, the spotlight has been shone on artificial grass as the best option for California homeowners who wish to preserve their green lawns and still abide by the reduced water usage mandate. The mandate is the biggest water cutback in the state's history. The order prohibits cities from watering street medians and homeowners from using sprinklers.
The owner of a landscape management company in Marin County says that his business is booming. Many of his affluent clients in Marin County are still installing real sod, and some are averse to the idea of installing synthetic grass. However, he says that he bought an artificial grass installation business a few years ago, and since then it's become one of the largest components of his business.
In fact, he says he feels like a genius for buying the business now that real grass yards have become relics of a bygone era. Furthermore the state will replace 50 million acres of turf with drought tolerant landscaping through local government programs. Indeed artificial grass is the best service that lawn care and landscape management companies can add to their current services.
California has been ordered to cut back on their water usage by 25% per Gov. Jerry Brown's executive order. He says that California's drought has reached a point where water use reduction must be enforced. 90 percent of California's residents will be affected by this order.
The type of water use to be most affected by this order is the watering of lawns and gardens which constitutes the greatest source of unnecessary water use in the state. "The idea of your nice little green lawn getting watered every day, those days are past." Among the other directives of the order are to "Replace 50 million square feet of lawns throughout the state with drought tolerant landscaping in partnership with local governments."
Undoubtedly, much of these replacements will be synthetic turf. Synthetic turf allows the space to still be a beautiful green lawn and playable as such, but doesn't require any water. Synthetic lawn will be installed by homeowners who wish to keep their nice green lawns but who don't want to spend money on water and who want to avoid being fined by the water agencies. The era of synthetic grass has surely arrived.
A new baseball field in Northern Nevada at Bishop Manoguehas been refitted with artificial turf. The artificial turf was installed in the baseball field because it will be a money-saver and a time-saver. The fields cost a quarter of a million dollars, but the savings in water bills and other maintenance costs will recoup that initial loss. The coach of the team said that he has been wanting to install artificial turf in the baseball fields for a long time now. According to the coach, the springs are very rainy and stormy. He says that the organization spent countless hours on maintaining and repairing the field, including fixing the plate and the baselines and the mound, just for practices. This problem was compounded for games. Now, with artificial turf installed in the field, they never have to worry about that again. In fact, they have so little down time that it's even ready for tournament play with minimal time in between games for upkeep. The coach says that the artificial turf field is so good and drains so quickly that it can rain heavily, and the turf will be playable only an hour later.
A park in Petaluma, CA, will receive a synthetic turf surface next month. The park will have three synthetic turf fields. The safety of synthetic turf is being questioned by some of the residents. Concerned residents say that they are worried about bacterial infections, heat conduction, physical injury and ill health effects from crumb rubber infill. One local high school athlete got a staph infection after scraping his elbow on synthetic turf at a camp in Berkeley, CA last summer.
However, doctors note that as long as synthetic turf surfaces are bleached regularly and cleaned with antimicrobial scrubs, the risks are much less than they are in a locker room. Concerning injuries, experts say that the risk of injury isn't increased by artificial turf per se, but rather by the size of the athlete's cleats.
Taller cleats are at higher risk of injury. With synthetic turf now installed, players can play on the field every day with no risk of deterioration to the field. This would have been unthinkable with natural grass, which would have required maintenance. Officials say that the benefits far outweigh the potential negatives.
Synthetic turf installation in sports fields continues to gain traction. Two more sports fields are considering it in Canada and Greenfield, Massachusetts. A high school in Greenfield, Massachusetts, is adding to their school. Additions include installing synthetic turf in their track and field field. The entire project costs $66 million. The field is expected to be completed. Sports played on the synthetic turf field will be soccer, baseball, softball, field hockey, and football.
The officials are still deciding on whether to install strictly synthetic turf or to try out combinations. Some of the combinations being considered are: synthetic turf inside the track with natural grass everywhere else. Another community is hoping to install synthetic turf in their local stadium. The committee plans to install synthetic turf, throwing and jumping facilities and track upgrades.
They are hoping to get a grant of $3.45 million, which will pay for the synthetic turf. They hope that the synthetic turf will extend the typical track and field season by two months. They also expect the synthetic turf field to last as long as four or five natural grass fields.
A Lee County High School in Georgia is benefitting heavily from the installation of synthetic turf in their sports field. The school's football coach says that the turf looks beautiful and perfectly manicured every, and his team gets valuable practice time in, even after rainy weather, because there's no mud or puddling with synthetic turf. Teams that have benefited are soccer teams, track and field teams, ROTC, and football.
The football team's coach also noted that there have been less injuries to his players since the synthetic turf was installed, because of lack of divots and ruts on synthetic turf. The coach says that all of the team school's teams from different sports can play on it consecutively day after day without any maintenance or damage to the turf.
The coach of the school's soccer team says that more than half the teams in their competitive division have synthetic turf installed, so having one themselves is imperative if they want to be competitive and win. Coaches also noted that most people who have a problem with synthetic turf being installed in high school sports fields don't have children who are actively involved in sports and therefore aren't able to appreciate its enormous benefits.
A soccer league in Encinitas, CA, in San Diego County, are lobbying for synthetic turf fields. The league, the Encinitas Soccer League, has petitioned its 1,700 members to support their need for artificial turf and field lighting at their local sports park. The league says that they need synthetic turf in the field because it would increase the amount of playing time they could derive from the field exponentially. This is important because the league is facing the possibility of losing access to one of the, albeit privately owned, sports fields. The field, owned by the YMCA, has made plans to convert the field for another purpose which would mean that the team couldn't use the fields on the weekends or at nights, hurting their ability to practice and their morale, making them less competitive against other leagues. Installing synthetic turf at the field in question would maximize playing time and improve safety. The new synthetic turf surface would cost $700,000, but the maintenance would be inexpensive and minimal. Furthermore, the field could be opened during more days and months of the year. They currently have to close the fields 60 to 90 days a year, but with synthetic turf installed they wouldn't have to close it at all.
A town in Middltown Township in Pennsylvania are voting on whether to install synthetic turf in one of the fields of one of their local high schools. The school board will vote on the decision this week. They hired an engineer to conduct a feasibility study comparing the synthetic turf surface option with natural turf.
One of the advantages of synthetic turf is that it increases usability by 900% that of natural turf. Natural turf only admits of 40 events per year, while synthetic turf surface would allow 400 events per year. This amount would make the field accessible to every club and team associated with the school, and would also allow them to rent the fields out to interested groups which would generate revenue for the entire community. According to the study, the cost of owning the field with natural turf over a ten year period would be $595,000. The cost of maintaining a synthetic turf surface on the other hand would cost $50,000 but the initial installation cost would be higher.
Another interesting observation by a board member was that historically with natural grass installed, the board has allowed groups to rent the fields out for free, costing taxpayers money.
A high school in the city of Belleville, IL, were so keen on installing synthetic turf in their football fields that they had a portion of the cost paid for by selling ad space on the synthetic turf field itself. Having a synthetic turf surface on their football field is imperative if the team wants to stay competitive in high school football as it's becoming a norm in high school sports because of its many benefits. Namely, it allows the teams to practice more, and gives them the ability to practice on the kind of surface that they'll be encountering most of the time during away games. The synthetic turf surface cost $1.4 million. It was paid for from donations, fundraising and the ad space sold on the field itself. The advertisements will stay on the synthetic turf field surfaces for five years. And if an advertiser wants to remove their ad, all they have to do is cut it out and replace it with green turf. If your school is trying to replace their synthetic turf surface or install synthetic turf in the sports field for the first time, consider selling ad space on the field to raise a little bit of extra funding.
A school district in Glendale, California, is currently conducting chemical tests on the health effects of using crumb rubber as an infill in their synthetic turf fields. Crumb rubber has been installed in the synthetic turf fields since the fields were first constructed in 2006. Now, almost ten years later, parents of the children playing in the fields have brought their concerns to the school district about the use of crumb rubber in the synthetic turf fields after the potential health risks of crumb rubber was given extensive news coverage in the media. The Glendale Unified School District responded by paying for a chemical tests which will supposedly allow them to determine decisively whether the crumb rubber is safe or not. The results of the tests will be reported during the next meeting. Alternative infills considered are cryogenic crumb rubber and coconut shell. Cryogenic crumb rubber is crumb rubber with a coating. Coconut shell is an organic infill material but could be just as harmful because of its tendency to produce mold growth. The school board members, however, believe that the crumb rubber is safe and that they are predicting that the use of synthetic turf with crumb rubber infill will continue to be allowed in the district.
Looks like the popularity of artificial grass will continue to thrive and grow as California has made their water use restrictions more stringent. The use of artificial grass is already exploding and now artificial grass installers and suppliers can look forward to even more business. California's water restrictions include: 1. Washing vehicles without shot-off nozzles is prohibited 2. Spraying the sidewalk and driveway with water is prohibited 3. Runoff of irrigation water in backyards is prohibited 4. Restaurants are no longer allowed to serve water unless explicitly requested 5. Hotels must ask guests if they'd like to leave their linens unwashed 6. Lawns are no longer allowed to be watered during or for 48 hours after a rain storm In addition to these restrictions, in Los Angeles there are rebates which give $2 for every square foot of turf that homeowners replace with artificial grass. And in San Diego, a new bill has been proposed which would allow artificial grass in areas governed by homeowners associations. Thus, as the drought and fear of the drought's consequences as well as prudent planning in anticipation of dwindling water resources will force organizations and individuals to adopt or at least tolerate artificial grass as an effective water shortage remedy.
Kent County in Delaware is joining the synthetic turf revolution. The county plans to invest $24 million dollars into building a sports complex that includes twelve synthetic turf fields. Among the motives for building the synthetic turf sports complex are that the complex will bring out of state visitors to the area who will hopefully spend money during their visit, potentially bringing in $24 million dollars a year in revenue in the local economy.
The organizers stated that last year there just wasn't enough space for the skyrocketing demand for access to synthetic turf fields. Furthermore, synthetic turf is three to four times less expensive than grass to maintain, saving the community money. Also, the synthetic turf fields are expected to handle double the amount of game time that natural grass fields afford. This boon will allow the sports complex to generate double the amount of revenue overall.
Their ultimate aspirations is that by converting to synthetic turf the sports complex will become a nationally used and frequented synthetic turf field. Because the potential and capacity for synthetic turf is so massive, it engenders massive goals and aspirations in its users! Synthetic turf will continue to be installed in sports fields and complexes around the nation.
The politics of crumb rubber infills in synthetic turf fields continues. A new piece has been published in the USA Today about the political pressure being felt by different organizations because of the uncertain health consequences of crumb rubber infills that are sometimes installed in synthetic turf fields. The Consumer Product Safety commission, who declared that it was "OK" to install and play on synthetic turf fields in 2008, are under criticism because they had made these statements without having done the proper tests to crumb rubber infills in synthetic turf fields. The Environmental Protection Agency is also being criticized for using synthetic turf field application of crumb rubber as a means of recycling used tire rubber without having conducted the proper testing and research. And those responsible for high school and public school sports fields are not cooperating with officials and private organizations to have their fields tested for lead levels out of fear of being forced to replace them, which could cost more than $1 million dollars to do, and drawing negative attention to their current synthetic turf field surfaces. The criticism of crumb rubber infill in synthetic turf fields continue until the proper testing is completed.
McNary High School in Keizer, OR, has joined the enlightenment of those who perceive the benefits of synthetic turf! The high school is currently raising money with a goal of $1 million to install synthetic turf in their natural grass athletic field. The high school plans to have the synthetic turf field installed by the next school year. Among the reasons the high school has decided to convert to synthetic turf are increased savings and usage. Their current natural turf field has dead patches all over it and is constantly getting torn up, even with less than adequate use. By installing synthetic turf, the high school hopes the lack of dead grass and patches to allow access to more of the high school's clubs and teams which up to this point have had limited access because of the natural turf's shortcomings. In addition to increased usability, the synthetic turf will also help the school save on maintenance expenses. They've approximated that the synthetic turf will save the school $25,000 a year on maintenance costs. It seems inevitable that the benefits of synthetic turf will continue to be appreciated and synthetic turf will eventually supplant natural turf as the standard athletic field surface.
A local Board of Education in New Jersey, in Parsippany to be exact, has approved in the installation of a complete revamping of their local high school athletic fields -- a revamping of the natural grass fields to synthetic turf. The synthetic turf will be installed on the fields during the summer, just in time for the start of the football season and homecoming. Just another instance proving that synthetic turf is a trend that's catching on, not without true merit. According to the report, the synthetic turf installation will cost the city's tax payers $2.7 million dollars, about half paying to convert one field to synthetic turf, and the other half paying for the conversion to synthetic turf of the other field. The contractor who will be installing the turf at both schools says that the slope of the fields will have to be modified for optimal drainage. It's always good to get it right the first time by hiring a top-of-the-line installer if you want no problems down the road. The assistant superintendent said that adding synthetic turf to the fields will be beneficial to the entire community and its students. Well said. The synthetic turf will accommodate football, soccer, field hockey, and lacrosse.