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Why does EPISD water artificial turf?

A KFOX14 viewer named Richard sent me a good question: "Why is Andress high school watering artificial turf?"

Richard said he saw a large sprinkler watering the football field one recent morning and wondered why since the main reason the El Paso Independent School District said it wanted to install artificial turf on all of its athletic fields was to save money on watering and maintenance.

It costs the school district hundreds of thousands of dollars to replace the real grass on each field with artificial turf.

I sent Richard's question to EPISD spokesman Gustavo Reveles. He said even fake grass needs occasional watering to clean it and remove debris from the field, which can include everything from dust and rocks to bird droppings.

In addition, I learned that watering artificial turf can help remove pathogens that could build up on the field from players' sweat, spit and blood.

Finally, watering artificial turf is sometimes needed in our hot weather to cool it off because the plastic that's used to make it absorbs heat.

Reveles said EPISD grounds crews water artificial turf, on average, once a week during the summer and once every three weeks in the winter. That compares to having to water real grass fields up to three times a week.

So it does appear artificial grass saves EPISD money on watering costs.

All of the district's high school athletic fields now have artificial turf.

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