Over the last decade, more than 20 taxpayer-funded artificial turf fields in San Diego County have fallen apart before their warranties expired .
Public records show that schools throughout San Diego County have paid FieldTurf more than $33 million, but some of the Canadian company’s fields that were supposed to last eight years or more fell apart after only a couple years of normal use.
FieldTurf gave schools with failing products the option of choosing a free replacement field with the same turf material that fell apart, or paying $25,000 to $300,000 more  to upgrade to a sturdier turf.
Some public agencies paid up, even though their first field was still under warranty. Others chose a free replacement.
In this week’s San Diego Explained, NBC 7 San Diego’s Monica Dean and Voice of San Diego’s Ashly McGlone detail how both the turf company and local schools have been handling the problem.