On November 1, 2010 Bob Astrove posted here about the 19 bags of crumb rubber he saw lined up at Richard Montgomery HS. He posted the following questions:
1. Why did this relatively new [artificial turf] field require an additional 19 bags of infill (aka crumb rubber)?
2. Does the fact that the field had to have a replacement of 19 bags of infill mean that the equivalent of 19 bags has been washed into the Chesapeake Bay watershed over the last two years?
3. Did Montgomery County Public Schools pay for these 19 bags of infill? What was the cost?
4. Did Montgomery County Public Schools pay for the supplier to spread the contents of the bags using their equipment? How much did this cost?
5. How often will additional infill material be required at Richard Montgomery?
On November 15, 2010 or thereabouts I sent an email to the County Council requesting answers to those questions. I received these answers today. Here is the email response, thanks to Mr. Keith Levchenko, Senior Legislative Analyst with the County Council (below).
Paula Bienenfeld, Education Committee Chair, Montgomery County Civic Federation
I asked MCPS staff to respond to your questions. They spoke with FieldTurf staff and the answers are below. I apologize for the delay in getting back to you.
1. How much did the 19 bags cost taxpayers?
- No Cost. FieldTurf added the infill under warranty.
2. How much crumb rubber was in the bags, by weight?
- Approximately 2,000 lbs per bag
3. How was the crumb rubber in the 19 bags applied to the field?
- A spreader and brush were used to apply the crumb rubber to the field.
4. Where did the crumb rubber go that was in the original field? Did it go into the storm drains?
- FieldTurf Response:
“The field settled because not enough infill was put in initially or had rubber removed due to plowing (this is 99.9% of the reason for low infill rates). Sometimes at installation due to a variety of reasons (weather, static electricity, operator error etc), not all infill is put into the field that is needed. Also snow plowing fields can lead to rubber removal if not done correctly.* We decided to just infill it to the proper level under warranty instead of inquiring about snow removal techniques. However, if it happens again, more then likely it will be the result of improper snow plowing. One of the major reasons that Montgomery County only installs Fieldturf is the pervious backing coupled with our patented infill. By not having holes in the backing to be pervious, and combined with its patented infill, the Fieldturf infill does not migrate from the field vertically or laterally like many of our competitors. No infill from a Fieldturf field is lost to the Storm Sewers.”
5. If so, is a permit required to allow 19 bags worth of used auto and truck tires to be dumped into the Chesapeake Bay, and does MCPS have this permit?
- No permit was required for adding the infill to the RM field. Also, see answer to #4 above.
Senior Legislative Analyst
Montgomery County Council Staff