Two solutions, to two different problems could be coming together at City Hall. Last week $107 million was set aside for a trio of surge ponds in Mill Woods, to handle flooding that happens in extremely heavy rain. A couple of weeks before that, Coun. Bryan Anderson made an inquiry looking for more artificial turf sports fields in district parks and high schools.
Since the emergency storm water ponds will be where sports fields are, city infrastructure staff are looking to see if it’s possible that artificial turf can be used in these locations as well.
“If some of that work that we’re doing to answer Coun. Anderson’s inquiry helps support this then we’ll do our best to incorporate that,” confirmed deputy city manager for infrastructure Adam Laughlin. “But it’s too early to identify if it’s a possibility.”
Surge ponds hold storm water for a day or two to give the sewer system time to recover from excessive rain. The city has a grass field one outside of Avalon Junior High in Lendrum. It has sand, membranes and other material that allows the system to capture the water. The system also includes release gates that pumps excess water from the sewer system so it doesn’t overflow on city streets.
Coun. Anderson can see the link that could have both systems, emergency storm ponds, and artificial turf sports fields, working together. “Once you do an adequate base preparation, excavation, road crush, the possibility of weeping tile to drain away water, the replacement every 12-15 years of the actual turf piece drops seventy-five per cent,” Anderson said in an interview.
“The reason I made the motion is can we get more for our dollar, bang for the buck. Are there any negative side effects or any positive side issues that we haven’t identified yet.”
“In a heavy, heavy, heavy rain on a storm water pond that happens to have playing fields on its lowest surface, once you pump that out the actual re-use time, just a guess from me, I think would be dramatically less.”
Laughlin hasn’t given a time line on when an answer on if the city can combine the two solutions into common projects. An answer to Anderson’s inquiry is expected in the new year.