Ogden officials against artificial turf as water conservation option

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OGDEN, Utah – Ogden city residents and businesses concerned about water conservation are hoping the city will allow artificial grass as an option for landscaping. But city planners are against that idea.

Pamela Clark from the Family Support Center of Ogden said she was given a citation for installing artificial turf in front of her business. But she said she did it to conserve water after she saw how high her water bill was getting.

“Between the amount of water we were consuming and the size of our water bill, it just became not very cost efficient for the Family Support Center to continue to try to water grass,” Clark said.

Clark said the city almost immediately issued her a warning after the fake grass was installed.

“I called them and I said, ‘it doesn’t say I can’t have artificial turf,’” she said.  “And the city planners came back and said ‘well it doesn’t say that you can.’”

John Mayer from the Ogden City Planning Commission said there is an ordinance prohibiting artificial grass because of the way it looks and the risks it poses to the environment.

“It’s a plastic, if you will, and it doesn’t have a natural cooling agent that soil and grass do, and so the plastic overheats and contributes to what we call the heat island effect,” he said. “There’s also the concern of cleanliness. Bacteria can build up, especially from salts or animal waste.”

Clark and another Ogden resident who put artificial turf down filed petitions to change the law.

Clark said the current city ordinance is outdated and believes artificial turf is a great way to conserve water.

“There’s a lot of people that live in the West and there’s just not enough water to go around,” she said.

While it is up to the city council to make the final decision, Mayer said, the planning commission is against the idea.

“I think I would prefer to see an option that allows a limited use of it,” he said.

The Ogden City Council plans to address a possible change to the ordinance in their meeting at the end of April.


  • Vincent S

    Didn’t California go through this last year? Against the law to water your lawn but yet issued citations for a brown yard. Ogden, you can’t have it both ways!! How much will Ogden taxpayers pay for water for the city parks?

    • El Bobbarino

      From what I remember, Californians started spray painting their dead, brown grass, to a nice green color. Lol, that’s I’ve way around it.

  • bob

    Try watering less. A LOT less.

    I watered my lawn 3 times last year. THREE. I flooded it each time, but the overall water use was a tiny fraction of what most people use.

    People are already watering. It’s March 30th, and they’re watering their lawns. WHY???? I don’t even turn my sprinklers on until June.

    My lawn is green by the way. And tough as nails, The roots go halfway to China.

  • Kt

    I am surprised Utah doesn’t have a better water saving system in place. Take Arizona’s for example.. they can only have so much grass per yard on their properties. The rest is beautiful desert landscaping. We SERIOUSLY need to do something and fast.

  • Jacob

    Having helped lay down that turf on volunteer time, I was disgusted when I learned the center was fined for it. Many people around the Ogden area donated to start the project, and now (almost a year later) we are facing the project to be undone?

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