Pierce County Parks & Recreation has installed two new fields made with an antibacterial infill that is purportedly better for the environment than traditional infills.

The artificial turf has been installed on baseball and soccer fields at the Heritage Recreation Center in South Hill, located at 9010 128th St. E. The fields were installed, in part, to broaden the fields’ accessibility to the community for all weather conditions throughout the year, day or night, according to a news release.

The population of Pierce County has grown by 10 percent over the past 10 years, so the new material will reportedly be better able to handle the increased demands on the park district’s fields, and will increase the number of games that can be played in inclement weather.

The material used in the fields is called Envirofill, described in the release as “a revolutionary, reusable, high-tech product.” It’s filled with an anti-microbial compound called Microban that reportedly prevents the growth of bacteria, mold, and mildew which would otherwise cause odors and hasten the fields’ deterioration.

The material is produced by Cincinnati-based company USGreentech. Artificial turf has traditionally used crumb rubber infill, made from shredded tires. Envirofill, manufactured with special quartz sand mined in central Texas, is an alternative that is purportedly better for the environment. The material is guaranteed to last 16 years.

“Product considerations included cost-effectiveness, public health, safety and longevity,” said Benjamin Barrett, capital projects manager for Pierce County Parks & Recreation. “Envirofill was determined to be the safer, cleaner, longer-lasting, and more cost-effective choice. It is the only re-usable infill on the market. Envirofill’s performance and benefits will be monitored to evaluate durability, ease of maintenance and the reduction of future capital costs of replacement.”