Growth of our cities and the inevitable urban sprawl it creates also brings tremendous challenges for municipalities in management of water resources. Loss of open space to development is creating growing water quality issues as runoff of contaminants from hard surfaces such as roads and parking lots have increased, impacting water quality.
Runoff can be greatly reduced with the establishment of green spaces. Lawns and grassy areas purify water and filter contaminants as they pass through the root zone and into underground aquifers. Microbes in the soil help to breakdown chemicals and contaminants before they reach water supplies. Rain water filtered through lawn areas is often 10 times less acidic than water running off hard surfaces.1
Turfgrass slows down the flow of water across the landscape, permitting water to penetrate the soil before it runs off the surface. Grassy areas prevent and delay water runoff, helping with storm water management.
The importance of grass to our water supplies has never been greater. The filtration properties of turfgrass are so effective that many municipalities are now using reclaimed water systems to irrigate parks and golf courses. While reclaimed water can not be returned to municipal water supplies, it can be used to irrigate turf areas where it is filtered as it passes through the root zone.
Turfgrass, with its unique purifying and filtering properties, has proven to be an important asset in our efforts to clean the environment.
- 1 The Lawn Institute