Up to $2 per square foot of turf replaced with low-water-use plants (artificial turf does not qualify).
Replace existing high-water use turf with low-water-use plants and receive up to $2 per square foot of turf replaced. In addition to receiving a rebate, you will save money on water and landscape maintenance. The maximum turf replacement rebates from Soquel Creek Water District are $2,000 per fiscal year (July 1 to June 30) for single-family residential customers and $10,000 per fiscal year for commercial and multi-family residential customers.
When you replace turf with low-water-use plants, you can save about 17 gallons of water per year per square foot of turf replaced. That is 8,500 gallons per year for a 500 square-foot turf replacement project!
For landscaping inspiration and ideas specific to our local climate, check out the Water Smart Gardening of Santa Cruz County website. Sheet mulching is one technique for replacing lawn without tearing it out. Learn more at the Monterey Bay Friendly Landscaping website.
Soquel Creek Water District Turf Replacement Rebate Approval Process
- Schedule a pre-approval inspection. Call 831-475-8501, ext. 146 or email the Conservation Department.
- Complete turf removal and landscaping work and save all receipts for materials.
- Schedule a post-inspection.
- Submit Turf Replacement Rebate Application (PDF) and attach original receipts for plants and related materials.
Turf Replacement Rebate Eligibility
Complete rebate eligibility requirements are listed on the Turf Replacement Rebate Application (PDF). However, we still want you to be aware of the following:
- Rebate application must be submitted within 90 days of item(s) purchase. An original, dated sales receipt must have itemized cost(s) form of payment and name of vendor. If you need the original receipt(s) returned, please enclose a self-addressed, stamped envelope with your rebate application. For online purchases, a print out of the final invoice and an original packing or delivery slip is required. Purchases of used materials do not qualify for re-bate. To be eligible for reimbursement of labor costs, include original invoice from a C-27 certified landscaper or installer. Costs associated with unlicensed labor and self-performed labor are not eligible for rebate.
- All rebate applications must be signed by the legal property owner.
- This rebate requires a pre-approval inspection by Soquel Creek Water District (SqCWD) staff. SqCWD will provide the applicant with a pre-approval form that must be signed by the applicant and provided to the SqCWD representative at the time the pre-approval inspection is completed. Do not remove existing turf until after the pre-approval inspection.
- The existing turf area must have an in-ground irrigation system in place.
- The existing irrigation system must be replaced with low-volume drip irrigation or removed.
- One-quarter or 25% of the re-landscaped area must be covered at plant maturity with low-water use plants. Unplanted areas must be landscaped with permeable hardscape or covered in at least two inches of mulch.
- Re-landscaping must be completed within 120 days of the pre-approval inspection.
- The re-landscaping project must be inspected by SqCWD staff before the rebate credit is approved.
- The maximum turf replacement rebate for single-family residential customers is $2,000 per fiscal year (July 1 - June 30). Multifamily residential and commercial/institutional customers can receive a maximum rebate amount of $10,000 per fiscal year.
- The turf replacement rebate may not be combined with the drip irrigation retrofit rebate.
- No rebate will exceed the purchase price of the item(s) and qualifying labor. Sales tax is not rebated.
- The rebated equipment must be installed at an existing SqCWD service address and must be installed prior to rebate request. New development is not eligible for rebates.
- Rebates are applied as a credit that will appear on a subsequent water bill (see exceptions below). The account must be in good standing to receive a credit. Upon closing an account, any rebate credit balance will be mailed to the account holder. Allow four weeks from the date of rebate approval for credit processing.
- You will be issued a check in lieu of a credit if: (1) your SqCWD water service is in the name of your Home Owner’s Association or Condominium Board and you are the legal property owner of your dwelling unit; (2) you are the legal property owner (but not the account holder) and you purchased the rebated item(s) for your rental property; or (3) you are the tenant of a rental property but are not the account holder.
- Installation of any rebated device, appliance or fixture is the sole responsibility of the applicant, as is determination of the adequacy and compatibility of the existing plumbing system.
- The applicant is solely responsible for the proper disposal of all materials associated with the installation of rebated fixtures and equipment and the SqCWD assumes no responsibility or liability. Please recycle materials.
- SqCWD does not endorse specific brands, products or dealers; nor does it guarantee materials or workmanship; acceptance of such is customer’s responsibility.
- SqCWD assumes no responsibility or liability for any damage that may occur to an applicant’s property as a result of participation in this program. Due to circumstances beyond its control, SqCWD cannot guarantee that installation of rebated fixtures or measures will result in lower utility costs.
- The IRS requires that the Soquel Creek Water District issue IRS Form 1099 to all rebate program participants receiving $600 or more per calendar year. In order to generate an accurate 1099, The District requires that rebate program participants submit IRS Form W-9 to the District when rebates are anticipated in excess of $600 or more per calendar year. The State of California Revenue and Taxation Code, Sections 17138.2 and 24038.2, exempts turf removal rebates from state taxation, however they are still subject to federal taxation and should be reported on your federal income tax return.
- SqCWD may at any time, modify, suspend, or terminate this program without prior written notice.
- Incomplete or illegible applications will be denied.
If you have any questions regarding turf replacement rebates or need additional information, please call our Conservation Department at 831-475-8500, option 8.