Higher hurdle for artificial turf


Citing water quality concerns, the city’s made it a little tougher for the park district to install artificial turf at Battle Point.

Read on…

City’s getting tough on turf
By Tristan Baurick

Artificial turf fields proposed for a north island park will need a little more scrutiny before the city gives its go-ahead.

Responding to public concerns about the project’s impact on water quality, the city this week required the Bainbridge park district to provide professional documentation that the two turf soccer fields proposed for Battle Point Park will not adversely impact drinking water in the surrounding area. The city is also asking for the last 10 years worth of water quality reports from the park’s well.

“In comments to the city, the public expressed concerns about groundwater, and we want to make sure the groundwater is safe,” said city planner Jennifer Sutton.

The city had initially determined that the project “does not have a probable significant impact on the environment” if a number of mitigating efforts were undertaken during construction, according to city documents. The city’s action this week withdraws its earlier determination and adds the two new conditions for approval.

The project would replace two sand fields with artificial turf composed of polyethylene and other materials. Many soccer and lacrosse players say the existing fields are of poor quality and could cause injury. The new fields will allow for year-round use and low-cost maintenance for the park district.

However, some nearby residents and environmentalists have raised concerns that the fields could leach harmful chemicals into aquifers.

The city submitted the project proposal to various government environmental and health agencies for review. Only the Kitsap County Health District replied, issuing a statement that possible contamination levels from the project would not exceed levels allowed under state and federal rules.

Sutton stressed that the city’s decision to include new conditions was unconnected to a recent warning from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control that some artificial turf fields can release lead into the environment. According to Sutton, the CDC warning was for nylon-based fields, and not the type of polyethylene-based fields under consideration for Battle Point Park.

The public has until July 28 to comment on the proposal.

2 thoughts on “Higher hurdle for artificial turf

  1. Yesterday, July 12, I visited two plastic & ground rubber fields at Valley Ridge Center in SeaTac. These fields were installed two years ago, according to staff. I took off my shoes at mid-field and ran to the concrete sidelines. My bare feet were burnt from the heat of the fields; I can still feel the burn this morning. Not smart, but it proves a point. This stuff does not belong in our parks, whatever the hell it is.

  2. Is that your new argument Chris? that the fields are too hot? I thought the problem was pollution?

    Get your story straight. What the heck are you doing at a soccer field anyway? Don’t you have a job? Or is your job to be a pest?

    So you decided to walk on the fields in the hottest time of the year. let me guess, you did this around 3 pm as well?

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