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Fake turf saves green with rebate from Metropolitan Water District Program

10:00 PM PDT on Thursday, July 24, 2008 By IMRAN VITTACHI
The Press-Enterprise
For Moreno Valley homeowner Steve Jacobs, the weekend chore of watering and maintaining the natural grass carpet of his front lawn used to be a constant battle with resident mulberry and alder trees.

Their roots were so extensive that they encroached on and twisted around his sprinkler system, preventing it from properly watering the lawn.

Jacobs and his wife, Jordana, had the two trees cut down and their roots pulled out.

After the couple got permission from their homeowner’s association to cover sections of their front yard with artificial turf, as part of a project to redo the landscape in front of their house, they invested $6,937 to cover three sections of the yard with 750-square-feet of artificial turf.

The Jacobs are happy they made the switch from natural to artificial turf. It looks — and almost feels — like real grass and remains green throughout the year.

“I didn’t like fighting with my sprinklers on the weekend, and I didn’t like being written up for my grass being brown,” Jacobs said. Now, “I don’t have to do anything to it. That’s the best part.”


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Terry Pierson / The Press-Enterprise

Steve Jacobs relaxes on the artificial turf at his Moreno Valley home. The Jacobs family invested $6,937 to cover three sections of the front yard with 750 square feet of the turf.

The Jacobses recovered $225 from the investment after they learned in April they were entitled to a rebate from the Eastern Municipal Water District of 30-cents off the price tag for each square-foot of artificial turf.

Had they waited until July to install the turf, the Jacobses could have been eligible for 50 cents off each square-foot of synthetic turf.


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Steve Jacobs runs his hand through the artificial turf in his yard. He’s happy that he doesn’t have to water it.

As of July 1, the Los Angeles-based Metropolitan Water District of Southern California has been offering a direct 30-cent rebate for synthetic turf purchases to its commercial and residential customers throughout its service area. MWD’s 5,200-square-miles encompass Eastern and other member water district serving western Riverside County and the southwest end of San Bernardino County.

The rebate is part of a campaign by the district to promote water conservation and more efficient water use among customers by offering them of financial incentives for purchasing synthetic turf and more water-efficient sprinklers, toilets and clothes-washers, said Andy Hui, MWD’s conservation program manager.


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Terry Pierson / The Press-Enterprise

Steve Jacobs recovered $225 from his $6,937 investment after receiving a rebate from the Eastern Municipal Water District of 30 cents per square foot of artificial turf.

Installing synthetic turf on a lawn the size of Jacobs, 750-square-feet, could cut water use by as much as 33,000 gallons per year and save the consumer money, said Peter Odencrans, spokesman for Eastern.

The 30-cent synthetic turf rebate is available to customers who pay their water bills to smaller local water districts or utilities: Lake Hemet Municipal Water District, the Nuevo Water Company, water departments of the cities of Hemet, San Jacinto, and Perris, as well as the Rancho California Water District, Odencrans said.

On July 1, Eastern started to contribute an additional 20 cents to the money provided by MWD, bringing the total synthetic turf rebate available to customers billed by Eastern to 50 cents.

Before July 1, MWD used to reimburse its member districts for rebates paid out to their customers, but the rebates and cash payouts are now centralized, Hui said.

MWD also has a program offering 75 cents off the price per square foot for purchases of artificial turf by public agencies, including city governments and school districts. Some Inland public agencies have taken advantage of this rebate. Moreno Valley got more than a quarter-million dollars back after covering four new municipal soccer fields with 310,100-square-feet of synthetic turf, Odencrans said. Perris Union High School District got $60,078 back after installing 80,104-square-feet of turf, he said.

Richard Beck, Hemet Unified School District’s assistant superintendent for business services, said the district plans to obtain the same rebate for carpeting the new football field at Tahquitz High School with synthetic grass. The new field and stadium will open in September.

Reach Imran Vittachi at 951-763-3467 or




For information on how to obtain rebates from the Metropolitan Water District for installing artificial turf, water-conservation material, or devices for your home or business, call 888-376-3314 or go to

Source: Metropolitan Water District of Southern California

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