According to reports, stormwater runoff is one of the biggest water pollutions factors in Maryland.
To counteract this, state government has been directing funds towards repairing Maryland’s waterbodies, including the Chesapeake Bay. In addition, in Montgomery County, there is also a rebate program called RainScapes which rewards homeowners, businesses, and organizations for taking measures to reduce stormwater runoff on their properties.
If you would like to benefit from the RainScapes rebate and take action to protect Montgomery’s waterways, you need to understand how the RainScapes program works. Otherwise, you might invest money into a project on your property that does not qualify.
To get clued up on the RainScapes rebate project, keep reading as we take a look at what it is, and what how to qualify.
The Purpose of the RainScapes Program
The aim of the RainScapes program is to encourage landowners to take measures to slow and sink stormwater runoff on their properties. The end goal of this is better water quality and healthier waterbodies in the Montgomery county.
Besides working to ease the problem of water pollution from runoff, the RainScapes program also acts to raise awareness around the environmental dangers of stormwater runoff.
How Much Is the Rebate?
For most homeowners in Montgomery, a primary consideration is the value of the rebate. Not everyone can afford to spend a lot of money optimizing their property to stall runoff. This is one of the reasons why the RainScapes program is in place, and why the rebate is so generous.
The maximum lifetime rebate amount used to be $2,500 per property. However, the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection has recently increased this to $7,500 per property.
Who Can Apply?
If you would like your property to benefit from the RainScapes program, the first thing to check is whether you are eligible to apply.
According to the MCDE, anybody in Montgomery County that is outside the municipalities of Takoma Park, Rockville, and Gaithersburg is eligible to apply for the rebate.
If you live in Rockville or Gaithersburg, take note that you can apply for their respective RainScapes programs, the Gaithersburg RainScapes Program, and the Rockville RainScapes Program.
Private homeowners are eligible, as well as businesses, other organizations, and clubs.
What Features Qualify for a RainScapes Rebate?
There are a number of features that landowners can install which can qualify for a rebate from the RainScapes program. All of these are directed at either harvesting, sinking, or slowing stormwater runoff, and include:
- Rain barrels
- Permeable paving
- Paving removal
- Rain gardens (sunken garden areas designed to hold and sink water)
- Conservation landscaping (with water-holding and sinking areas)
- Green roofs
As you can see, not only are these features beneficial for stalling runoff, they can also be valuable additions to your property.
Features like rain barrels and cisterns allow you to collect your own rainwater. Permeable paving and paving removal can allow you to spruce up unsightly areas.
Rain gardens, green roofs, and conservation and green landscaping can also add value to your property and increase its visual appeal.
Besides these benefits, installing approved RainScapes features also allow you to do something positive for the environment n Montgomery. You can get compensated for it, while at the same time mitigating the damaging effects of runoff on your property.
Stormwater runoff is not only detrimental to waterbodies. It can also wreak havoc on your yard and land. When heavy runoff happens, it erodes valuable topsoil.
At the same time, any runoff that is occurring on your property means that your ground is storing less water than it could. By sinking runoff into your soil, you will be able to keep it moist and fertile. If you have large stores of sunken runoff water in your soil, you won’t have to irrigate or water your garden as often during dry spells.
How to Apply
If you are planning on doing upgrades to your property that include possible RainScapes features, the first thing you need to do is apply with the Montgomery Department of Environmental Protection. You can do this by heading over to their website and clicking the “Apply Here” button.
From there you will be guided through the application process. After you have applied, the Department of Environmental Protection will contact you to schedule a mandatory preliminary inspection. This must be completed before you begin any projects.
After this, you will need to submit any required supporting documents.
Once you have an approval letter from the Department of Environmental Protection, you are free to go ahead with your project.
Once you have finished your project, you will need to contact the Department of Environmental Protection and schedule a final inspection. During this, you might receive a list of adjustments to make to your RainScapes feature. If so, you will need to take photos of these an email them to the DEP before your rebate can be issued.
If there are a number of adjustments to make, you might need to schedule a final inspection.
Once everything has been passed, the final task is to send copies of all of your receipts for the project to the DEP. These need to be itemized and have sales tax deducted from them. Along with this, you will also need to send in an electronically-signed property owner agreement.
Once this has been received your rebate will be issued.
Take note that all features must be installed six months after the date on your approval letter.
Also, be aware that you do not need approval for rain barrel installations. You can receive a water barrel rebate without having pre-approval. However, all other installations need to be approved before you start.
Need Help With Your RainScapes Feature? Call Us
As you can see, being approved for a RainScapes rebate requires a little work on the behalf of property owners. However, this is well worth it when you consider the benefits of making RainScape upgrades and qualifying for the rebate.
Want to know how you can make your RainScape approved upgrades happen seamlessly? Call us to install them.
We have some of the best customer reviews and ratings in Montgomery. Our customers are our number one priority, and we are always on time with our work, never setting a completion date we can’t make.
What’s more, we carry a $2 million property insurance policy, screen and train all of our workers meticulously, and carry workers’ compensation.
Sound like your kind of landscaping service? If so, apply for a free quote for your RainScapes feature today.