Soccer Field to Tap Drinkable Water for Artificial Turf

By: 
Bill Pearl
WATER DEPARTMENT crew taps into a drinkable water line on March 31 to irrigate the artificial turf soccer field.

Veteran El Dorado Park advocate Ann Cantrell repeatedly noted in public meetings on the chronically controversial El Dorado Park artificial turf soccer field that unlike natural turf – which can use reclaimed water – artificial turf requires using costlier drinkable water for cleaning.

Sure enough, on March 31, 2021 a Long Beach Water Department crew installed a pipe to tap into drinkable water from the west side of Studebaker Road to the field across the street. 

Installation of the $3.1 million total cost soccer field (site just south of the Long Beach Parks & Recreation Department (PRD) administration building north of Willow Street) is being managed for PRD by the city’s Public Works Department.

Public Works Community Relations Officer Jennifer Caray says the crew dug a trench and installed a 4” pipe from the residential west side of Studebaker Road to the field to deliver potable (drinkable) water to irrigate the artificial turf soccer field and the cost is included in the total project budget.

A sign on the construction fence confirms the Beachcomber’s prior coverage that the project’s total cost is $3.1 million.  Councilwoman Stacy Mungo initially said the amount was a typo and has declined to date to acknowledge the sum in her Neighborly News newsletters. 

Councilwoman Mungo steadily advanced the project during her term of office and made the Dec. 8, 2020 council motion that approved spending the $3.1 million total cost (listed by staff in the agendizing memo’s fiscal impact section.) Councilwoman Mungo’s motion carried 7-1 (Supernaw dissenting, Andrews exiting before the vote.)

Objections to the artificial turf field focused on environmental (anti-plastic) and taxpayer (cost) grounds with public testimony split on athletic issues (Pro: avoids ankle twisting gopher holes; Con: excessive field heat for players.)

A city sign on the construction fence lists among the field’s community benefits “enhance water efficiency.” City staff has previously said the artificial turf field will use less water than natural turf.

Project completion is currently scheduled for September 2021.

 

Bill Pearl publishes lbreport.com, a local, online news source since August 2000.

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