Thinking of swapping your natural grass lawn for an artificial alternative? You may want to think again after research shows replica surfaces are raising the likelihood of flash flooding.
The study, conducted by Kings College London, discovered that although natural living lawns can absorb most rainfall, artificial surfaces allowed over 50% of the equivalent amount to persist on the surface.
Longer, more densely packed, artificial grass performed worse in the tests and none came close to replicating the absorption provided by a natural surface.
Unlike natural lawns, rain can rest upon artificial surfaces rather than being absorbed to help prevent floods.
Lawns, both on private and publicly owned land, help reduce the risk of flooding particularly in times of heavy rain when drainage systems can be overloaded.
With more intense periods of rainfall growing in frequency across the US due to climate change, a widespread shift to artificial lawns could necessitate the need for investment into new draining systems for our cities and towns.
It is not just artificial grass causing issues but natural too. Last year, Las Vegas, Nevada outlawed natural grass in a bid to cut down on water use as the state experiences severe drought. Seeing all non-functional grass being dug up and replaced with a new surface suitable for the desert environment.