Frequently Asked Questions - More

What is Envirofill? 

Envirofill is an acrylic-coated round sand. We  selected this infill for our athletic fields because it meets a variety of our needs. Specifically, Envirofill:


• Will not compact over time, thereby giving our athletes firm support and shock absorption for the lifespan of the field

• Has 75% less fly-out than traditional crumb rubber, meaning it will not stick to athletes’ skin or clothing

• Maintains a cooler surface, up to 25% cooler than traditional crumb rubber

• Is environmentally-friendly, with no leaching of the coating and it can be reused for

two field lifecycles

• Offers us a 16 year warranty, double the warranty of most infill products on the

market today.


Envirofill has been installed at 125 athletic fields across the country, including Newburyport High School in Massachusetts. Swampscott, MA is installing an Envirofill field later this year.  


How long do artificial turf fields last? 

The warranty on the Envirofill product is for 16 years with is double the industry standard warranty of 8 years for most turf fields.  In addition, the shock pad that sits under the field has a 25- year warranty, long enough to last through 2 lifecycle of the turf field.


How will we pay to maintain and ultimately replace the fields once they are installed? 

Turf field maintenance is estimated to be approximately $5,000 per year. Money collected from field rental fees and other fundraising efforts will help defray the cost of maintenance.


Today, the cost to replace a turf field is approximately $400,000 - $500,000. As part of this capital campaign, an endowment fund will be established to accept gifts for future field improvements. We also expect to use rental fees and future sponsorship dollars to help fund the eventual replacement of the fields.


Do artificial turf fields pose a health risk? 

Some people have raised concerns about the possible association between playing on artificial turf. However, studies to date do not show an elevated health risk from playing on artificial turf fields.


We believe Envirofill is a safe product for our athletes to play on. We will continue to evaluate new artificial turf products as they become available and any health reports that are released, to ensure we make future decisions that minimize public concern and the possibility of risk to our athletes.


Is there a significant cost difference between a natural grass field and an artificial turf field? 

There are numerous studies available that estimate the cost difference between installing and maintaining a natural grass field vs a synthetic turf field. The results vary widely depending on the source. A report presented in March 2016 by the Loudon County (VA) Public Schools Division of Construction Services compared the cost of fields using six different infills to the cost of natural grass. The report shows that, over 24 years, the cost of a turf field that uses Envirofill is only 13% more than the cost of natural grass. We believe the value of the increased playing time that we will have with an artificial turf field far outweighs this cost difference.


Does artificial turf contain lead? 

Lead is not used in the manufacture of the turf products we are considering for this project.


Can the turf carpet be recycled or repurposed at the end of its life cycle? 

Yes, turf carpet can be recycled and/or repurposed. Today, the carpet can be ground and used in the production of the shock pad that sits under the carpet. The carpet can also be cut up and reused at indoor facilities, like batting cages, or used outdoors in landscaping. Over the next 10-12 years, until we need to replace the carpet at SHS, we expect the turf industry to develop more opportunities for recycling the carpet.


Do you have to use any chemicals to keep artificial turf sanitized?

No chemicals are required to maintain or sanitize the turf products we used.


Will the water coming off the field be a health concern to our drinking water? 

No concerns with water runoff have ever been raised on turf fields that don’t contain crumb rubber.  Runoff from parking lots and natural grass with their weed killer and fertilizer are more of a concern; no chemicals will be used on our turf fields.  There is no reason to believe the turf fields will be a risk to our water supply.  According to Catherine Hamilton, DEP Drinking Water Program/Boston, “DEP does not identify artificial turf to be a threat to drinking water quality”.  See Mass DEP Well Head Protection Regulations document for more information.