Turf Removal Program Frequently Asked Questions

 

The following is a list of common questions about the program

Q What is the current status of the Program?
A

Funding for the Turf Removal Program is available on a first-come, first-served basis. The Program is currently accepting waitlist applications for customers of certain water agencies. Please visit our home page to see if your agency is participating. If your application is removed from the waitlist and accepted into the program we will notify you by email.

All approved applicants must complete their project within 60 days from the date of their Letter to Proceed. Applicants on the waitlist will be subject to the Program rebate levels, guidelines, terms, and conditions in place at the time the application comes off the wait list and moves to active status.

 

*Rebate funding for your project is not established until you accept your Letter to Proceed. It may take up to 5 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?
A

Please visit The Garden Spot 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?
A

No - projects may not be started or complete prior to the reciept 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?
A

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?
A

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?
A

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?
A

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 California Licensed Landscape Contractors. 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?
A

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

Q What is a site plan?
A

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.

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

MWDOC is currently issuing rebate checks 12-15 weeks from the post-inspection date.

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

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

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

Yes. The area must be irrigated with a low-flow irrigation system, such as drip tubing, low-volume spray heads, or hand-watered. Areas that are unplanted must be covered with at least 2-3 inches of mulch.

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

Yes. Synthetic or artificial turf can replace your turfgrass removal area so long as it is installed correctly and the project area is permeable to air and water.

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

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?
A

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?
A

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?
A

Extension requests will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and are not guarenteed. 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?
A

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.

Q Is there a maximum amount of turfgrass I can remove?
A

Maximum square footage varies depending on your Retail Water Agency. Please inquire with MWDOC for maximum square footage within your service area.