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District’s 2019 Scheduled Synthetic Turf Field GMAX Testing to Begin

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Essential protocols also set for synthetic turf fields District-wide

(WASHINGTON, DC) – The Department of General Services (DGS), working with its agency partners at the Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) and DC Public Schools (DCPS) is pleased to release the summer schedule of GMAX hardness testing for the District’s synthetic turf fields. Testing will occur between Tuesday, June 18th and Monday, June 24th. Fields will not be disturbed or closed while testing is underway, however, if a field fails impact testing, it will temporarily be taken off-line in order to make repairs. Testing dates may vary at the city’s 54 synthetic turf field locations, based on weather and field accessibility.

"As the District gears up for outdoor summer activity, we know how important it is to have safe synthetic turf fields for everyone," said Keith A. Anderson, Director of the Department of General Services. Testing, maintaining and monitoring these fields in all eight wards ensures that residents and visitors can enjoy them as they were intended."

GMAX testing is the standard method developed for testing and determining the shock attenuation of artificial and natural turf athletic fields. The American Society for Testing Materials (ASTM) International’s standard F1936-10, the most commonly used standard, established a GMAX value of 200 for the maximum allowable limit for safety.

DGS is also pleased to announce the official establishment of District protocols for the city’s artificial turf fields by the Interagency Working Group on Artificial Turf and Playgrounds. The workgroup, comprised of representatives from Department of General Services, DC Public Schools, Department of Parks and Recreation, as well as the Department of Energy and Environment, the Office of Disability Rights, the Office of the City Administrator, and the Office of the Deputy Mayor of Education, worked for more than a year to ensure all residents and visitors have access to safe and accessible recreational fields and play surfaces. Its mission also included identifying ways to minimize inconveniences caused by regular maintenance needs and ensuring that the District is using taxpayer dollars wisely. The protocols address artificial turf internal and external communications, maintenance and site suitability assessment criteria for the selection of surface material on athletic recreational fields.

The Department of General Services is responsible for building, maintaining and sustaining more than 191 million square feet of space for the District of Columbia. By partnering with eco-conscious companies to create safe, stateofthe-art facilities, including modern green spaces, we have and continue to develop a sustainable living and working environment for our residents.

DGS looks forward to the continued partnership with these agencies to ensure the safety of District residents and visitors and to monitor any advances in the scientific research regarding field and playground surface materials.

Additional information from the Interagency Working Group on Artificial Turf and Playgrounds is available here.