Turf and irrigation

Dear Editor: (Re: “Artificial Turf,” Letters to the Editor, 3/27/14) I am a retired county employee from the Department of Parks and Recreation and served many years as a journeyman plumber, construction project coordinator and safety officer.

During my many years with the county, management tried to curtail water usage by installing (at great expense) artificial plants and turf in median strips on south Hawthorne Boulevard in Rolling Hills Estates. This was also done during a long drought in the 70s and the political leaders of the county at that time thought it would provide the required landscape ambiance along the highway while also reducing costs of landscape maintenance and water usage.

Well, the only thing it reduced was money from the county budget. The artificial turf was difficult to maintain as it got dirty from road dust and litter and had to be blown off and hosed regularly. Oh, and don’t ask me about vandalism. The county finally had enough complaints form residents of that area and ripped it all out, replacing it with irrigated plants and turf.

The city of Downey has been and is a good steward of water resources and consistently uses reclaimed water instead of potable drinking water in many of its irrigated landscaped areas that are very well maintained and show their pride in our city. It’s my understanding that reclaimed water is not available for the Firestone Boulevard project but they are going to use drought tolerant plants in the median strips and irrigate them with drip irrigation installed under the topsoil so that only the plant gets irrigated and not the surrounding soil.

I think the city of Downey and its dedicated employees deserve our praise and gratitude for the way they take care of our wonderful city.

John Wehrly




Published: April 3, 2014 - Volume 12 - Issue 51