The StormwaterWise Landscapes Program provides funding for voluntary projects that will reduce stormwater runoff from your property. Stormwater carries pollutants such as oil, bacteria, dirt, and lawn chemicals to our local streams. Installing practices on your property that collect or slow stormwater — allowing it to soak into the ground — keeps pollutants out of streams.
Through a lottery system, HOA/business and residential applicants are selected for the program year. Commercial, religious and institutional properties, and properties managed through a home owners association (HOA), should apply through the HOA program.
You do not need to have a project plan ready in order to apply. If you are accepted, County staff will conduct an assessment of your property. Following the assessment, participants will receive a written report containing a list of site-specific recommendations for reducing stormwater runoff. The StormwaterWise Landscapes Program is made possible through a partnership between the County and EcoAction Arlington.
Approved StormwaterWise Projects
The StormwaterWise program supports the four types of voluntary projects listed below. The StormwaterWise Contractor List contains a list of contractors that have been pre-qualified to install StormwaterWise projects. The maximum reimbursement for a residential participant is $2,500.
- Conservation landscapes – Conversion of lawn or non-native invasives to conservation landscapes. Must cover a minimum of 150 square feet. Average cost to date: $5-$25 per square foot, or $3,000 per project. Program reimbursement: 50 percent of the project cost up to $1,000.
- Pavement removal – Removal of impervious pavement, followed by soil amendment and native planting. Must cover a minimum of 150 square feet. Average cost to date: $4-$10 per square foot, or $3,000 per project. Program reimbursement: 50 percent of the project cost up to $1,500.
- Pervious surfaces – Replacement of existing impervious pavement with permeable interlocking pavers or pervious concrete. Pervious asphalt, ribbon driveways and turf driveways aren’t eligible. Must cover a minimum of 150 square feet. Average cost to date: $20-30 per square foot, or $9,500 per project. Program reimbursement: 50 percent of the project cost up to $2,500.
- Rain gardens – Bowl-shaped garden captures and absorbs runoff. Average cost to date: $20-$30 per square foot, or $3,000-$5000 per project. Program reimbursement: 50 percent of the project cost up to $1,500.
Learn more about additional stormwater-reducing practices that you can implement on your own.
- Own private residential property in Arlington County. Only one acre of property will receive a stormwater assessment.
- Sign and return the participant agreement to County staff by your site visit (if not before).
- Be willing to implement at least one stormwater reduction recommendation from their stormwater assessment.
- Be willing to be featured in a case study for the program or a similar outreach initiative.
You’re not eligible to participate in StormwaterWise if:
- You have already participated in StormwaterWise.
- You’re unwilling to sign and turn in the participant agreement at the start of the site visit.
- You have an open or pending land-disturbing activity permit.
Reimbursements will not be provided for any stormwater management practices required by federal, state or local permit or as mitigation for any regulatory violation, or installed concurrently with any development or re-development project that requires a land disturbing activities (LDA) permit.
Program funds can’t pay for:
- Non-native plants.
- The addition of new hardscape, such as the expansion of a driveway or patio, even if the new hardscape is permeable.
- The maintenance or replacement of any stormwater management practices that were previously installed as a federal, state or local requirement.
How to Apply
StormwaterWise Program applications are typically accepted in early spring. One entry per household and only complete applications will be considered for the program.
Because of the Covid-19 public health emergency, the schedule for StormwaterWise Landscapes program is currently paused.
- For a rain garden project, if the total cost is $3,000, then I would be eligible for a 50 percent reimbursement, which is $1,500, correct?
Yes, that’s correct. Remember: You can spend more than $3,000 for the project, but the maximum reimbursement you will receive is $1,500.
- To be reimbursed, do I just need to save my receipts for materials or invoices for work completed?
Yes. Provide receipts that are as detailed as possible. If you purchase plants, we prefer for the name of the plant to appear on the receipt. If the names of the plants aren’t listed on the receipt, save the plant labels and submit those. Hired labor is a reimbursable expense. For reporting purposes, provide a copy of the cancelled check that was used to pay the workers, and a detailed invoice that includes the date the work was completed and a detailed description of the work.
- We had mulch delivered from the County. Can I include this receipt as part of my cost?
Yes. If the mulch is used for the StormwaterWise project, it can be included with your receipts for reimbursement.
To Be Reimbursed
- After the practice is installed, inform County staff that it’s ready to be inspected.
- County staff will visit the homeowner’s property to make sure that the practice is properly installed.
- Following inspection, County staff will send an email indicating approval of the installed practice, or will indicate any necessary changes.
- After receiving approval, you will submit receipts to EcoAction Arlington for reimbursement with a fully completed reimbursement form.
- Note that funds received from the StormwaterWise program are considered taxable income. A W9 must be completed and provided to EcoAction Arlington with your reimbursement form for reimbursement requests of $600 or more. EcoAction Arlington will submit a 1099 to the IRS for the tax year in which you receive the reimbursement.
- A reimbursement check for the installed practice or practices (based on the practice-specific funding guidelines) will be issued by EcoAction Arlington within eight weeks. As previously mentioned, accepted applicants may have their project featured in a case study.