Terms and Conditions for the Turf Removal Program

All potential Program participants must review the following Terms and Conditions:

PROGRAM TERMS

* All approved applicants must complete their project within 60 days from the date of their Letter to Proceed. Program funding varies by city and water provider, for some applicants, the program may be closed and you may be placed on a waitlist. Please visit the Getting Started page to find out if funding is available for your area. Applicants on the waitlist will be subject to the Program rebate levels, guidelines, terms, and conditions in place at the time the applicant comes off the wait list and moves to active status. If your application is removed from the waitlist and accepted into the Program we will notify you via email.

* The converted area must remain in compliance with all Turf Program conditions for a period of five (5) years. If this requirement is violated, you may be required to refund all or a portion of the rebate. This requirement to maintain Program conditions is not binding on successor owners.

* By submitting a Turf Removal Rebate Program application, you are authorizing your retail water agency to release your water consumption history and data for the purpose of evaluating water use as a result of participation in this Program.­­

 

Eligibility:

  • Areas to be converted must have living turf (free of weeds and patches of bare soil) and must be irrigated with potable water at the time the Pre-Turf Removal Site Inspection is performed. All sites must have an on-site inspection in order to be eligible.
  • Well maintained turf areas that have gone brown due to not being watered are eligible as long as the brown turf grass area is free of bare or weedy areas. Bare areas will be factored out of the overall square footage.
  • Projects may not be started prior to the receipt of your Letter to Proceed. MWDOC must be able to gather an accurate measurement of your existing grass/turf during the pre-inspection process.
  • A minimum of 250 square feet of turf must be removed. Exception: Projects less than 250 square feet may qualify if the Project will completely eliminate grass from the property
  • Prior to submitting a rebate application, applicants must have obtained any necessary approvals for their turf removal project from their city’s code enforcement and/or HOA/CC&R board. Delays from your failure to obtain an approval will result in your rebate application being cancelled.
  • The property must receive water service from a participating Orange County, CA retail water agency. Contact your retail water agency to find out if it is participating in this Program.
  • Eligibility of sites irrigated with and/or designated to be irrigated with recycled water are subject to approval by the participating Retail Agency. Some recycled water sites may not be eligible.
  • All turf removal conversions, including historic sites, are subject to the terms of their local agency’s landscape ordinance and must comply with all applicable Federal, State, and local laws, as well as applicable Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions and/or Homeowners Association restrictions.

 

Once approved, below are the eligibility requirements for a completed project:

 

  • The removal area does not include any turf.
  • The removal site has at least 3 new plants installed, unless replacing your entire area with synthetic turf.
  • The water system, if any, is a low flow system (drip or high efficiency, low precipitation rotating nozzles). If part of a lawn is converted, the sprinkler system must be properly modified to provide adequate coverage to the remaining lawn without spraying the converted area.
  • If the irrigation system is not replaced with a low-flow system, it must be properly capped off or removed.
  • All exposed soil is covered with a 2-3” layer of mulch. Acceptable mulch includes but is not limited to: compost, bark, wood chip, decomposed granite, river rock. Mulch is not required in areas planted with creeping or rooting groundcovers.
  • Converted area is permeable to air and water.
  • Weed barriers must be permeable.
  • Concrete, plastic sheeting, or other impermeable surfaces do not qualify for incentives under the Program.
  • Grout and/or mortar used with pavers are not considered permeable and will disqualify the site from the Turf Removal Rebate Program if installed.
  • Pavers that are adequately spaced, at a minimum of 2 inches between pavers, may be installed

Application Process:

The details of the Participation Process are detailed below. In summary form they are as follows:

  1. Potential Participant applies to the Turf Program via the Program web portal
  2. If application is approved a mandatory pre-construction site inspection is conducted
  3. If the pre-site inspection further qualifies the applicant, a Letter to Proceed will be emailed. This will be the Applicants official approval notice and Participant can now proceed with their project.
  4. Participant completes their project and notifies the Turf Program by logging back into the web portal and uploading 3-5 photos of completed project and all applicable receipts/invoices.
  5. A mandatory post-construction site inspection is conducted (this may occur after your deadline).
  6. If all passes, a rebate check is mailed to Participant up to 12 weeks after the District receives the post-construction site inspection results from Participant's inspector.
  • The Participant’s application must include the following documents: site plan, 3-5 photos of your current grass/turf area, and a recent copy of your water bill. Failure to provide these documents will result in your application being cancelled.
  • Water bills must be as recent 3 months within your application date. The listed payee name and address on your application MUST match the full name and address on your water bill.
    • The name on the rebate check may be changed, if the customer listed on the water bill sends the Program a formal, signed letter requesting the payee name be someone other than themselves.
  • A simple design plan showing the proposed turf removal area along with a description of the items (i.e. plants, mulch, pavers, synthetic turf) intended to be installed in place of the grass/turf, must be submitted with the application.
  • Photos must reflect the current grass/turf area at the time of applying. Google Earth/satellite images will not be accepted in place of photos.
  • Please apply for the maximum area you plan to convert.

Program Timeline:

  • Converted areas are subject to mandatory Pre- and Post-Turf Removal Site Inspections. If the Pre and/or Post-Turf Removal Site Inspections cannot be scheduled and completed during the Program term, rebates will not be issued.
  • Any disputes over grass/turf measurement or eligibility of a project should be established at the time of pre-inspection or on receipt of your Letter to Proceed. Do not accept your Letter to Proceed if you have disputes over measurements or eligibility.
  • Do not remove grass/turf until you receive your Letter to Proceed and have accepted the terms and conditions associated with your Letter to Proceed. Funding for your project is not established until you receive this document. A Letter to Proceed may take up to 5 weeks after your Pre-Turf Removal Inspection has been conducted to be sent out.
  • Extensions are not guaranteed and may be granted on a case-by-case basis.
  • Projects must be completed and the Post-Turf Removal Site Inspection must be requested prior to project completion deadlines. Projects not completed by the project deadline will be dropped from the Program, and the Participant will need to re-submit your application and be subject to the rules and funding limits in place at the TIME of re-submittal.

Completed Projects:

  • To request the Post-Turf Removal Site Inspection, applicant must upload to the Turf Program website copies of all invoices and/or receipts showing any costs incurred during the Project. Costs may include the required plant and mulch materials, dumping fees, rental equipment, design work, and labor performed by a licensed California Landscape Contractor. The purchase cost of a tool is not considered a project cost. If the work is performed by an unlicensed party, labor costs will not be considered as part of the overall project cost. The license must be a C27 California Landscape or C-61 for synthetic turf and must be included on the Contractor’s invoice/receipt you submit.
  • If the project work involves public works as defined by Labor Code section 1720 et seq., then the applicant is responsible for complying with all applicable wage/labor laws and will ensure compliance with these requirements by all of its subcontractors.
  • Invoices and receipts representing project costs must be legitimate documents from a licensed business. If more details are needed regarding accepted receipts and invoices, please view the Participation Process Page or contact MWDOC staff.
  • The Post-Turf Removal Site Inspection shall establish the following:
    • The removal area does not include any turf of any kind.
    • The removal site has at least 3 plants installed, unless replacing your entire area with synthetic turf.
    • The water system, if any, is a low flow system (drip or high efficiency, low precipitation rotating nozzles). If part of a lawn is converted, the sprinkler system must be properly modified to provide adequate coverage to the remaining lawn without spraying the converted area.
    • If the irrigation system is not replaced with a low-flow system, it must be properly capped off or removed.
    • All exposed soil is covered with a 2-3” layer of mulch. Acceptable mulch includes but is not limited to: compost, bark, wood chip, decomposed granite, river rock. Mulch is not required in areas planted with creeping or rooting groundcovers.
    • Converted area is permeable to air and water.
  • Weed barriers must be permeable.
  • Concrete, plastic sheeting, or other impermeable surfaces do not qualify for incentives under the Program.
  • Grout and/or mortar used with pavers are not considered permeable and will disqualify the site from the Turf Removal Rebate Program if installed.
  • Pavers that are adequately spaced, at a minimum of 2 inches between pavers, may be installed
     
    • Project area converted to swimming pools/Jacuzzis, ponds, fountains, or other water containing fixtures do not qualify.

** For any questions regarding the eligibility of your project, please contact Program staff prior to installation. **

Important Information Regarding Rebate Checks:

  • Maximum rebate paid will not exceed the cost of the project, as described on the Program application.
  • Funding is limited. This offer is available on a first-come, first-served basis to eligible Participants only while funding lasts. If funding has been exhausted prior to issuing your rebate check, your project will not receive a rebate.
  • Do not begin your project until you receive your Letter to Proceed. Letter to Proceed may take up to 5 weeks after your Pre-Turf Removal Inspection to be sent out.
  • Rebates may be considered taxable income, and a signed IRS W-9 form may be required for rebates of $600 or more. Municipal Water District of Orange County, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, and your local retail water agency are not responsible for any taxes, penalties, or interest that may be imposed in connection with your receipt of any rebate.

** For any applications submitted on or after July 01 2017 **

  • Residential sites have a life time maximum of 2,000 square feet of turf removed. (Customers of some retail water agencies may have higher caps, please contact your local water agency for more information.)
  • Commercial sites have an annual maximum of 25,000 square feet of turf removed. (Customers of some retail water agencies may have higher caps, please contact your local water agency for more information.)
  • Public sites have an annual maximum of 50,000 square feet of turf removed. (Customers of some retail water agencies may have higher caps, please contact your local water agency for more information.)
  • Commercial and public sites may phase their projects across multiple years, with each subsequent year subject to the terms and funding limits of that year. (Customers of some retail water agencies may have higher caps, please contact your local water agency for more information.)
  • MWDOC does not guarantee funding or that the current level of funding will be available in future years. Commercial sites will need to re-apply for all future year phases, and the application date establishes the year in which the current term and funding levels will be assigned. For purposes of this Program, the Program year begins July 1 and ends June 30.
  • Rebate checks for projects not completed within 60 days cannot be issued. You must request your mandatory post inspection by your project completion deadline.*

IN ORDER FOR THE REBATE TO BE ISSUED, ALL PROGRAM TERMS, INSTRUCTIONS, AND GUIDELINES MUST BE MET.

 

RELEASE OF CLAIMS AND INDEMNIFICATION

Neither the Municipal Water District of Orange County, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, your retail water agency, or their contractors or agents makes any representation or warranty regarding the contracted services or products that you may select for your Project under this Program. Removal of turf and installation of water efficient devices and plants does not guarantee reduced water use.

By participating in the Program and accepting the rebates provided, you thereby release the Municipal Water District of Orange County, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, your retail water agency, and their contractors and agents from any and all claims and causes of action that may arise out of your removal of turf from your property and/or the purchase, installation, and/or use of water efficient devices in connection with this Turf Removal Rebate Program. Any and all claims or causes of action you may have in connection with any defect or failure of performance of any contracted service or installed product or device provided to you for your Project may only be pursued with the contractor you hired or the appropriate manufacturer/distributor.

The Municipal Water District of Orange County, your retail water agency, and/or their representative will take photos of landscapes being renovated through this Turf Removal Rebate Program and use those photos for reproduction or promotional purposes. Identifying location features, such as address numbers, will not be included in any promotional materials.

The Municipal Water District of Orange County, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, and your retail water agency are responsible for operating and enforcing the terms and conditions of the Turf Removal Rebate Program. You, as the Program Participant, are responsible for ensuring that your Project complies with all applicable Federal, State and local laws, as well as applicable CC&Rs and/or HOA restrictions. Quality of work and appearance of the converted area are the responsibility of the Participant.

Further, you agree to indemnify, defend, and hold harmless the Municipal Water District of Orange County, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, your retail water agency, and their directors, officers, employees, contractors, and agents from all liability and claims of any kind arising out of or related to your removal of turf and purchase, installation, and use of water efficient devices in connection with this Program.