Harvest rain and get a rebate

As Santa Clara County residents continue to make conservation a California way of life, Valley Water is offering a rebate for those interested in putting rainwater to good use.

With nearly half of Santa Clara County’s water supply coming from groundwater, rain gardens can serve as a valuable tool in the landscape to help capture stormwater runoff and sink it back into the ground, helping to replenish our underground aquifers.

Residential and commercial sites can redirect rainwater collected from rooftops and funneled through downspouts into shallow depressions that have been strategically located and excavated in the existing landscape. These gardens are designed to mimic the natural landscape that once existed, and can be designed to look like creek beds, or mulched and planted to blend into the landscape.

Rain gardens help filter pollutants before reaching our creeks and streams, reduce flooding, recharge our groundwater supply, and provide wildlife habitat.

Valley Water offers a rebate up to $300 for the installation of a rain garden. Customers can receive a rebate of $1 per square foot of roof area for stormwater diverted into designated rain garden areas (for a maximum of $300). The rebate rate is based on the roof area and not the size of the rain garden.

Valley Water also offers rebates for the installation of rain barrels and cisterns, two other systems geared toward keeping rainwater onsite for reuse within the landscape.

Homeowners and businesses can receive a rebate of up to $35 per rain barrel installed (40-199 gallon capacity). These simple barrels, designed specifically for rainwater capture, can be easily connected to an existing downspout to collect rainwater that will be redistributed into the landscape through a garden hose or watering pail.

For sites wishing to install a larger, more robust rainwater capture system, a rebate of $0.50 per gallon is available for installing cisterns (large above- or below-ground water storage tanks) that hold a minimum of 200 gallons of rainwater. The collected water can be used in an automatic irrigation system when equipped with an electric pump system and backflow device.

For all rebates under the Landscape Rebate Program, including the rainwater capture rebates, application submittal and approval is required before purchasing any new equipment or starting any work. Please visit watersavings.org for more information or call our conservation hotline at (408) 630-2554.

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