U.S. Water News Online
DENVER -- Coors Field will be green when the Colorado
Rockies host baseball teams at home this summer, but it won't be
because the team is ignoring statewide drought conditions.
``Any idea that we waste water on the field, just because it's so
green, is totally wrong,'' said Coors Field head groundskeeper Mark
This summer, to deal with a three-year drought, Denver Water's
residential customers will probably have to limit lawn watering to 15
minutes twice a week for each zone covered by the reach of the
sprinkler. That works out to just under three-fourths of an inch of
water a week, or almost as much as Coors Field uses to keep green.
Denver Water plans to use stiff surcharges on excessive water use
to pressure its 1.2 million customers to cut back this summer. Even
the Rockies must reduce overall water use by 30 percent or pay hefty
Ballparks and other big-time water users will have a set amount of
water to use as they please. Penalties could go up to 500 percent
above normal charges for going over budget.
When the ballpark was built a decade ago, the Rockies engineered a
field with the right soils and drainage to use as little water as
The Rockies' watering regimen is based on keeping players safe,
with victories, pro careers and big bucks at stake.
``We've got million-dollar players out there,'' Razum said. ``We
can't have dry, slick, loose turf and lose a player like Larry
Walker,'' a seven-time Gold Glove winner and a former National League
The Rockies are still conserving water, though.
The team has switched from fire hoses to highly efficient sprayers
to clean the seats after each game, which could conserve 3.5 million
gallons this season.
Players at Coors Field will bathe beneath low-flow shower heads,
which will reduce the stadium's water use by 500,000 gallons this
season, said Kevin Kahn, the Rockies' vice president of ballpark
Instead of hosing down sidewalks, concourses, ramps and gate
areas, crews will use scrubbers that recirculate water.
As the ballpark upgrades or repairs its 74 restrooms, it will put
in only low-flow toilets, Kahn said.
Until the drought is over, ponds and fountains in the 76-acre
stadium will have no water, he said.
Coors Field's playing surface is 3 acres, about the same amount of
grass along a city block in most Denver neighborhoods.
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