A new study finds that it might not be the best idea for some warm climate areas to replace turfgrass with artificial turf as the increased surface temperature can prohibit usage.
The study by researchers at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) and the Desert Research Institute found that artificial turf can reach upwards of 170 degrees in warm months, well above the 122 degrees deemed suitable for usage.
"Surface temperatures during the summer months could entirely preclude recreational use on artificial turfgrass during daytime hours, thereby offsetting any benefits realized by reduced irrigation," said Dale Devitt, professor of soil and water in UNLV's College of Sciences.
Researchers pointed out that the study was conducted from August 2006 through March 2007 and did not include the two hottest months of the year.
It also appears that for some extremely warm climates, the cost savings from water conservation on artificial turf is lost. Devitt told the Las Vegas Sun that a number of area universities need to water their artificial turf fields every 30 minutes to keep the temperature down.
Marking a dramatic change in the role artificial turf plays in the sports world, the Houston Astros - the pioneers of artificial turf - installed 2.3 acres of turfgrass in Minute Maid Park last month.