City of Wasco installs 51k square feet of synthetic turf to conserve water, improve safety

WASCO, Calif. - The city of Wasco has installed 51,000 square feet of synthetic turf as an effort to drastically reduce water usage.

City officials started planning ahead a couple of years ago during the beginning of the dry conditions.

"Over the past few years we haven't seen a lot of rainfall in the Central Valley, particularly here in Wasco. We took that into consideration with the governor's drought mandate, reinforced are our city councils thinking of limiting the amount of turf, the type of turf and drought resistant plants we use," said Dan Allen, Wasco City Manager.

Year ago the city received a grant from CalTrans to do some center median improvements on Highway 43 that included a sound wall and walking paths.

Additionally, the city used a portion of the money to install synthetic turf along Highway 43, between Filburn Street and Poso Avenue.

"We are anticipating it will save us about 1 million gallons of water per year," said Allen.

Additionally, the city has installed synthetic turf around a new housing development and has future plans for more synthetic turf along Highway 46 between Central and Palm avenues.

"Our council's primary concern is to conserve our natural resource. We're trying to make a difference in our community," said Allen.

The city took the idea of using synthetic turf after the city of Porterville began using the turf as an effort for water conservation.

Last year Bakersfield city officials had synthetic turf installed at City Hall North. However, that effort was to stop irrigation leakage into the basement parking structure, not to conserve water.

Wasco city officials say the synthetic turf will not only help conserve water, but provide an added measure of safety for city workers who do landscaping along Highway 43.

"We won't have our workers out there on the center median as much as we would if it was grass," said Allen.

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