Lawn areas of a landscape have the highest water demand areas and take the most irrigation compared to other ornamental plants in residential and commercial landscapes. Under this lawn replacement program, lawn areas anywhere in your yard can be removed and replaced with low-water landscaping to qualify for an incentive. This is not a rebate program, but rather an incentive to assist you in the cost of re-landscaping to be more water efficient.
Weber Basin’s Landscape Lawn Exchange program is intended to remove lawn and replace it with low-water landscape materials including plants, to create attractive, low-water alternatives to grass areas. The incentive for this program will be $2.50 per square foot for any area in your yard that is currently grass lawn that is removed and replaced with a more water-efficient alternative. Program participants will apply for the program using
the Utah Water Savers website (www.utahwatersavers.com). The application must be completed in full and District staff will review applications as they come in to approve participation in the program. Application must be approved before removing the lawn and starting the program.
- Project area must be currently landscaped with living, well-maintained lawn. If lawn has been killed or removed prior to a pre-conversion site visit, you are not eligible for this program.
- The participant must be in good standing with a participating water provider. Unpaid water bills will disqualify participants from the program.
- Participation is voluntary. Projects required by governmental codes or policy are not eligible for this program.
- Projects must be located in an eligible area. A list of Cities that have adopted the necessary landscape standards is listed below.
- Projects that replace lawn with artificial turf are eligible, however, artificial turf does not meet requirements for plant coverage with is a minimum of 35% in this program.
- Projects replacing a traditional lawn area with a native or drought-tolerant lawn, are not discouraged, but are not eligible for the rebate program. This is a lawn removal and replacement program.
- Replacement of existing drip, mulch/rock/gravel, or plants does not qualify for a rebate. This program is intended for lawn replacement only.
- It is the participant’s responsibility to verify that their project complies with city ordinances and requirements.
- An agreement will be required to be signed by each participant.
- Projects that have been started or completed before applying, digital site visit, or signed agreement are ineligible for this program.
District staff will work with participants to make sure they are meeting all the requirements of the program and successfully completing the projects to meet the program objectives.
*Do not remove any lawn from existing landscapes until after your property has been approved by program staff. Only lawn that is currently living and in the landscape at the time of the initial visit will be counted toward your rebate.
- Participants log in to www.utahwatersavers.com to apply for the program. Verify eligibility, check deadlines, and ensure funds are available.
- Create a basic plan/description of the project area (lawn to be removed, and what will go back in).
- Allow up to 3 weeks for application to be reviewed and an initial online visit to be done by staff.
- Participants will need to sign the Program Agreement which has to be notarized. This can be done at the District offices or can be emailed and printed by participant and notarized and returned to the District.
- A W-9 form from the IRS is required to receive payment for the program. Download W-9 Form
- Once participation in class is verified and the agreement is signed, the participant will be authorized to start the project and do the work.
- Photos of each step of the process will be required. This includes grass before removal, grass removed, the irrigation system converted to drip, new plants installed, and the final product which includes mulch (bark or rock).
- Participant will then return to Utah Water Savers and schedule a final site visit once all the work is complete. This site visit will be in person and must happen when water is still on for the season so that the irrigation system operation can be verified.
- The participant will then receive the rebate of $2.50 per square foot for the area that was converted via a check in the mail. Payments may take 2-4 weeks to be processed.
- This program has a 12-month completion time frame to receive the incentive payment. If not completed in one year, the project will become ineligible for payment.
- If upon completion your project is missing something to qualify, you will have 60 days to correct items and get it inspected again.
Program Requirements and Restrictions
- Participant must be a residential customer within the District’s service area in a city that has modified ordinances to meet water efficiency requirements. (see list below)
- Projects may not result in areas of lawn less than 8 feet wide at their narrowest point.
- Lawn within the project area may not be on slopes greater than 25% or 4:1 grade. Lawn may not be in parkstrips or used as a path.
- Lawn (overhead sprinklers) and planting beds (drip irrigation) may not be on the same irrigation valve (irrigation zone).
- Total relandscaped area must have at least 35% plant coverage, excluding tree canopies. Participants must install perennials, shrubs, and/or trees to achieve 35% plant coverage.
- At least 3-4 inches of mulch (such as bark, rock, or gravel), permeable to air and water, shall be used in planting beds to control weeds and improve the appearance of the landscaping.
- Participants will be advised to not remove existing trees as part of the conversion, but doing so will not disqualify them from receiving the incentive. Trees must be planted or left in the landscape if required by the city.
- Participant waives and releases Weber Basin Water Conservancy District and their contractors or agents from any and all claims and causes of action arising out of the installation and use of devices pursuant to this program.
- Planting areas must be irrigated with low-volume drip systems. Drip systems must include filter and pressure regulators visible for inspection.
- Drip emitters must be rated at 5 gallons per hour or less.
- Micro-spray emitters and soaker hoses are not allowed.
- Drip emitters and spray heads must be on separate zones.
Weber Basin Water Conservancy District has budget funds for this program each year. The program is based on a first-come, first-served basis and will continue until funding is gone for the current year. Funding will be monitored, and applications may be denied or put on hold if funding runs out. Any participant approved in the program will be allowed to complete the program and receive the incentive.
Community Qualifications to Participate in the Program
Minimum requirements for cities to be included in the program are for the intent to promote and allow water-efficient landscaping to be done in park strips, front yards, side yards, back yards, and in commercial and institutional landscapes.
The minimum requirements that must be adopted into landscape ordinances by municipalities or counties include:
- Areas within the public right of way between the curb and gutter and the sidewalk shall not be landscaped with lawn.
- Lawn areas will not be allowed in areas that are less than 8 ft wide at its narrowest point.
- Lawn areas will not exceed 35% of the front and side yard landscaped areas for single-family residential.
- New commercial, industrial, institutional, and multi-family developments shall not have lawn areas that exceed 15% of the total landscaped area, outside of designated active recreational areas that meet District design and landscape standards.
Qualified Cities to Date:
- Farr West
- Fruit Heights
- North Salt Lake
- South Ogden
- Summit County (Snyderville Basin)
- Washington Terrace
- West Bountiful
- West Haven
- Woods Cross