Additional monitoring added to study quantifying benefits of replacing turf lawns

Posted January 26, 2024

SCCWRP and the County of San Diego have added an additional year of monitoring to a study seeking to quantify the runoff reduction benefits of replacing residential grass with drought-tolerant landscaping, following promising initial results that suggest turf replacement can reduce volumes of dry- and wet-weather runoff by absorbing more irrigation and rainfall on site.

The expanded monitoring phase, launched in January, uses continuous soil moisture sensors to quantify how much more dry- and wet-weather runoff stays on site after turf and traditional spray irrigation are replaced with drought-tolerant landscaping and drip irrigation. Turf replacements are a type of non-structural stormwater BMP (best management practice).

Water districts commonly offer property owners rebates and incentives for turf replacements to reduce water usage. By evaluating the potential of turf replacements to soak up irrigation and rainfall, the County of San Diego study is exploring via this first-of-its-kind study if turf replacement also is effective as a non-structural BMP.

More news related to: Runoff Water Quality, Stormwater BMPs