Drip and Turf Rebate Programs Frequently Asked Questions

Drip Irrigation - Frequently Asked Questions

Who can participate?
Orange County residents of single family detached homes, as well as commercial, industrial, and institutional properties. 

What is the rebate for commercial sites?
Commercial sites may be able to receive $0.20 per square foot of converted area, with a maximum of 45,000 square feet per customer per fiscal year. Contact Spray-to-Drip@mwdoc.com for more information.

What equipment should I install?
All project types (e.g., RESIDENTIAL and COMMERCIAL) must install pressure regulation and filtration. For RESIDENTIAL projects, the installed drip irrigation equipment must be listed on the Eligible Products List.  Only drip irrigation equipment on the Eligible Products List will be eligible to receive all rebate. In addition, a minimum of 250 square feet of irrigated area must be converted to drip irrigation.  In addition, for each kit a minimum of 250 square feet must be converted, and each kit must contain a minimum of one eligible Pressure Regulator and Filter and 200 linear feet of eligible Inline Emitter Tubing.

What qualifies as proof of purchase?
The submission of a purchase receipt(s) and/or contractor invoices, which must include make, manufacturer, model/SKU numbers, quantities, and price of the rebate-eligible products purchased. Labor costs, if any, are not eligible for rebate and must be listed as a separate line item.

Who receives the rebate check?
The rebate check must be issued to the party named on the water bill. 

Can I participate in both the Spray to Drip Program and the Turf Removal Program?
Yes. Please visit the Turf Removal Program page at mwdoc.com or email turfremoval@mwdoc.com for more information on the Turf Removal Program.

Contact Information
Email:  spray-to-drip@mwdoc.com

Turf Removal - Frequently Asked Questions

Q What is the current status of the Program?

Funding for the Turf Removal Program is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Please visit our home page to see if your agency is participating.

All approved applicants must complete their project within 60 days from the date of their Letter to Proceed. 

*Rebate funding for your project is not established until you accept your Letter to Proceed. It may take up to 3 weeks to process and send out your Letter to Proceed.

Q Is there a website where I can find a list of approved plants and groundcovers, gardening and watering tips, and CaliforniaFriendly Landscape classes?

Please visit www.bewaterwise.com to learn more about California Friendly Gardening. We also have a list of the Top 10 California Friendly Plants.

Q Can I apply for the Turf Removal Program if I have already removed my turfgrass and/or completed my project?

No - projects may not be started or complete prior to the receipt of your Letter to Proceed. We must be able to gather an accurate measurement of your turfgrass during the pre-inspection process. If the turfgrass is not there, an accurate measurement cannot be obtained.

Q What if my turfgrass is already dead?

To be eligible for the turf removal rebate program, at the time of your mandatory pre-inspection all proposed turfgrass removal areas must be free of weeds, dirt patches, and bare soil. Watering of your proposed turf removal area may be reduced prior to the mandatory pre-inspection. Any proposed turfgrass removal areas that do not fall within the guidelines of the turf removal rebate program may be denied eligibility. Please click on this link for examples of eligible and ineligible project areas.

Q What if I removed more turf than was approved in my Letter to Proceed?

You will only receive up to the amount indicated on your Letter to Proceed. Any additional square footage beyond the reserved amount will not be considered for rebate due to program funding limitations.

Q Do I have to include invoices and receipts to show the cost of my turf removal project?

Yes. MWDOC calculates the project costs to prevent over-payment of a rebate. All rebates are paid up to the initial reserved rebate amount calculated from the pre-inspection square footage. Your rebate amount will not exceed your project cost. For example, if your eligible rebate is $1,000.00 but your project costs are $800.00, you will receive a rebate for $800.00.

Q What can I include in my overall project cost?

Your turf removal project costs include, but are not limited to, the following: rental equipment, dumping fees, design fees, plants, irrigation supplies, mulch, weed barriers, and labor costs from a C-27 California Licensed Landscaping Contractor. If landscape architectural drawings are provided, especially construction drawings, that work must be performed by a California Licensed Landscape Architect. Applicants who perform the work themselves, use volunteers, or hire non-licensed parties will not be reimbursed for labor costs. Purchased tools will not be reimbursed as well.

Q Do I need to hire a licensed contractor to perform my turf removal project?

For reimbursement of labor costs with the rebate payment, it is required that a C-27 California Licensed Landscaping Contractor be hired for your turf removal project. Applicants are welcome to do the work themselves, however, only labor performed by a C-27 Licensed Landscaping Contractor will be eligible for reimbursement.

Q What is a site plan?

A site plan is a simple drawing of your proposed project area that includes your property boundaries, home footprint, proposed turf removal area(s), and square footage of your proposed turf removal area(s). Site plans can be hand-drawn or computer generated. Your site plan must also indicate where you will be installing plants and a sustainability feature to capture rainwater.

Q How long does it take to receive my rebate check?

MWDOC is currently issuing rebate checks 4-6 weeks from the Post-Inspection date, but rebate checks can take up to 12 weeks to be issued.

Q Can I replace my turfgrass removal project area with a swimming pool or other water containing fixture?

No. A swimming pool or other water containing fixtures (fountains, ponds, etc.) are considered impermeable and therefore not eligible for a rebate.


Can I replace my turfgrass removal project area with a vegetable garden or raised planter beds?.


Yes. The area must be irrigated with a low-flow irrigation system, such as drip tubing, low-volume spray heads, or hand-watered. A sustainability approach must also be incorporated. Areas that are unplanted must be covered with at least 3 inches of mulch.

Q Can I replace my live turfgrass with a synthetic or artificial turf?

Synthetic turf is not eligible for a rebate through this Turf Removal Program and could void your rebate. Contact your local retail water agency to find out if it is offering separate funding for synthetic turf components.

Q What is considered “permeable to air and water?”

Any time water is applied to your final turf removal project area (either by a garden hose or precipitation), that water must not leave the project area as runoff. The water should be able to seep down into the ground and not pool on or flow off of the surface. Installing drains does not make your final turf removal project area permeable to air and water.

Q How long does it take for my mandatory pre-inspection to be scheduled?

It can take up to five (5) weeks to have your inspection scheduled. Typically, you will be contacted between 7-10 business days to schedule.

Q Is it possible for my rebate to be denied after my project has been completed?

Yes if your project is completed after your project deadline. Your project deadline is 60 days after your Letter to Proceed is sent. In other cases, projects have been denied a rebate due to projects not following the program rules, terms, and guidelines. Please read these to understand your responsibilities in this program.

Q Are extensions allowed?

Extension requests will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and are not guaranteed. Your project must be completed by your project deadline, which is 60 days after your Letter to Proceed is sent. Projects finishing after this date will not be issued a rebate check. Please plan accordingly.

Q Is my site eligible for a Turf Removal Rebate Incentive if it is currently irrigated and/or designated to be irrigated with recycled water?

Eligibility of sites currently irrigated and/or designated to be irrigated with recycled water are subject to approval by the Participating Retail Agency. Please contact your Retail Water Agency for information regarding the eligibility of sites irrigated with recycled water.