Questions to ask before buying turf
From the University of Arkansas's Turf Tips:
Artificial turf (in-fill type) is a relatively new product. As such, its complete life span and maintenance requirements are not fully known. When considering the purchase of one of these systems, the answer to several questions should be researched prior to purchase. These questions include (adapted from Natural Grass and Artificial Turf: Separating Myths and Facts)(3):
- Will the artificial turf manufacturing and installation company provide a warranty specifying the expected life of the product?
- Will the selling firm provide a warranty bond for the life of the product? This will ensure that there is some legitimate recourse in the event of a product failure even if the seller is no longer in business.
- What is the longest period of time the artificial field being specified has been in use at another school, college, or university?
- What conditions or maintenance practices will void the field’s warranty?
- Does a single warranty cover all aspects of the artificial field’s soil base preparation, base materials, artificial turf materials, etc; will there be separate warranties and warranty voiding conditions for each element, some of which could contravene each other?
- What is the minimum and maximum financial investment in specialized equipment that must be purchased to maintain the artificial field at a level that will provide maximum playing conditions and maintain the warranty?
- What level of technical training is supplied, recommended, or required for the maintenance crew in order to properly maintain the area and the warranty conditions?
- What are the warranty requirements or recommended processes to address each of the following repair or replacement demands of the artificial surface:
- Damage caused by fire? Large and small areas.
- Damage caused by vandalism?
- Discoloration of areas caused by wear pattern differences?
- Replacement of areas caused by wear or other physical or weather-related damage?
Does "organic" mean "safe to breathe"?
"Organic" means "contains carbon."
More specifically: "organic" means any substances that "contain carbon, excluding simple carbon oxides, sulfides, and metal carbonates." Occupational Lung Diseases, Johns Hopkins Medicine.
"Inorganic" means "does not contain carbon."
Breathing organic dust can and does cause any number of well-documented respiratory diseases, including cork workers lung, or suberosis.
Is it worse to breath cork and/or coconut-shell dust than soil dust?
Grassrootsirvington.org doesn't know, and neither does the Board.
Given that soil harbors microorganisms shown to reduce anxiety and improve learning, grassrootsirvington volunteers would choose soil over cork. But we're guessing.
We aren't guessing when we ask why the district would allow young children to "choke on dust," especially given the danger of dust storms to school-age children who have asthma.
As anyone who has played tennis on a clay or "Har-Tru" court knows, playing areas require proper irrigation whether they are covered by grass or not. Clay tennis courts have to be watered (e.g.: "Your tennis court is only as good as your irrigation system"). So do pitcher's mounds.
Sprinkler systems cost a few thousand dollars -- The Masters School recently received a bid of $6K to install a system for its tennis courts. Meanwhile the district runs an annual budget surplus well in excess of $2M.
If children are "choking on dust" at Dows Lane, that isn't a fields problem.
That is a management problem.