Battle Over Artificial Turf: Save Water or Create Heat-Island Effect?

In an effort to conserve water, homeowners across the country have replaced their lawns with artificial turf. One city has had enough and is taking a stance against the faux grass. City leaders in Glendale, CA, have banned artificial turf and have begun issuing warnings to violators. Enforcement officials have issued six notices of violation to residents who, despite the city-wide ban that was approved nearly three months ago, cling tenaciously to their artificial front lawns.

Glendale permits the turf to be installed in backyards, away from public view, but the City Council will not tolerate the fake grass in front yards. Councilmembers have voiced concerns about lead poisoning and other environmental hazards, including the heat-island effect, which occurs when unnatural surfaces are heated. One method of reducing the heat-island effect, which can earn a LEED credit, is to cover heat producing surfaces with native grasses, thereby reducing the energy required to cool that surface.


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