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The problem with artificial grass

San Diegans deal with the impermeability

Outside Valvoline Instant Oil Change shop in City Heights.
Outside Valvoline Instant Oil Change shop in City Heights.

When I get in at 6:50 am,” Jeffrey said, “it’s already here: fresh poop.”

Almost every morning, Jeffrey opens up the Valvoline Instant Oil Change shop in City Heights.

“I’m like saying, 'Don’t do it, bro, don’t do it.'”

“When I see people with dogs, I’m waiting,” he said. “I’m like saying “Don’t do it, bro, don’t do it.”

The business he manages has artificial grass by the sidewalk along University Avenue and 39th Street — and despite the pet waste bags within seven feet, dog-walkers aren’t taking them.

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“We have to come out and clean up every morning,” Jeffrey said.

As I took photos of his shop’s artificial grass, it looked clean, but the smell of urine was apparent.

“Before sunset, you spray an enzyme cleaner like Simple Green Outdoor Eliminator, but do not ever rinse it off because it works overnight,” advised Deanna, co-owner of ZasGrass Artificial Turf – Recycled Turf in Lakeside.

I spoke with Deanna on September 29 at her location off El Nopal by Highway 67; she was selling football field remnants to a family for 50 cents a sq./ft. and measuring it out with a Rolatape.

Katherine from Imperial Beach has the same problem with the stench coming from her artificial turf.

“After the dogs pee, we spray water to rinse it off and no matter how much we rinsed it [especially] when it was hot outside — it smelled,” Katherine said. “The turf is supposed to be better to cut back on water but if you [and your neighbors] have dogs, this isn’t going to save you money on water.”

Katherine has two lab/pit mix-breed dogs. “It was easier for poop to maintain because the smell went away,” she said, “but in time, the pee smell got worse and you didn’t even want to be outside on a hot day.”

Katherine’s neighbor speculated the stench could be coming from another source. “Water may be seeping through the turf and causing root-rot in your soil giving out a nasty smell.”

Deanna, who’s been dealing with artificial turf/grass for eight years and installing it during the last three — disagrees.

“There’s two things that stink and it’s not the turf: the turf doesn’t really hold the smell. It is likely the weed blocker that [might’ve] been put underneath the artificial turf that holds the stink of the urine when it seeps through. The second thing is, if you put silica sand [infill] which are put in the fibers to hold the grass blades up. Silica absorbs and holds the smell and it’s going to stink like crazy if the dogs pee in there.”

“There’s another [infill] option called ZeoFill that comes from Nevada in Death Valley,” she said, “that is what you [can] use instead of silica sand — ZeoFill [infill] absorbs the urine and releases the ammonia. It’s double the price to use it but you are going to get double the smell if you don’t."

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Outside Valvoline Instant Oil Change shop in City Heights.
Outside Valvoline Instant Oil Change shop in City Heights.

When I get in at 6:50 am,” Jeffrey said, “it’s already here: fresh poop.”

Almost every morning, Jeffrey opens up the Valvoline Instant Oil Change shop in City Heights.

“I’m like saying, 'Don’t do it, bro, don’t do it.'”

“When I see people with dogs, I’m waiting,” he said. “I’m like saying “Don’t do it, bro, don’t do it.”

The business he manages has artificial grass by the sidewalk along University Avenue and 39th Street — and despite the pet waste bags within seven feet, dog-walkers aren’t taking them.

Sponsored
Sponsored

“We have to come out and clean up every morning,” Jeffrey said.

As I took photos of his shop’s artificial grass, it looked clean, but the smell of urine was apparent.

“Before sunset, you spray an enzyme cleaner like Simple Green Outdoor Eliminator, but do not ever rinse it off because it works overnight,” advised Deanna, co-owner of ZasGrass Artificial Turf – Recycled Turf in Lakeside.

I spoke with Deanna on September 29 at her location off El Nopal by Highway 67; she was selling football field remnants to a family for 50 cents a sq./ft. and measuring it out with a Rolatape.

Katherine from Imperial Beach has the same problem with the stench coming from her artificial turf.

“After the dogs pee, we spray water to rinse it off and no matter how much we rinsed it [especially] when it was hot outside — it smelled,” Katherine said. “The turf is supposed to be better to cut back on water but if you [and your neighbors] have dogs, this isn’t going to save you money on water.”

Katherine has two lab/pit mix-breed dogs. “It was easier for poop to maintain because the smell went away,” she said, “but in time, the pee smell got worse and you didn’t even want to be outside on a hot day.”

Katherine’s neighbor speculated the stench could be coming from another source. “Water may be seeping through the turf and causing root-rot in your soil giving out a nasty smell.”

Deanna, who’s been dealing with artificial turf/grass for eight years and installing it during the last three — disagrees.

“There’s two things that stink and it’s not the turf: the turf doesn’t really hold the smell. It is likely the weed blocker that [might’ve] been put underneath the artificial turf that holds the stink of the urine when it seeps through. The second thing is, if you put silica sand [infill] which are put in the fibers to hold the grass blades up. Silica absorbs and holds the smell and it’s going to stink like crazy if the dogs pee in there.”

“There’s another [infill] option called ZeoFill that comes from Nevada in Death Valley,” she said, “that is what you [can] use instead of silica sand — ZeoFill [infill] absorbs the urine and releases the ammonia. It’s double the price to use it but you are going to get double the smell if you don’t."

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Oct. 10, 2022
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