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Waterwise Landscaping

Rebates for Removing Your Lawn?

Waterwise Landscaping

Waterwise Landscape: Artificial Turf, Natural Stone Dry Stream Bed, Landscape Wall, and Interlocking Pavers

It’s no secret that California is in the midst of one of its most severe droughts in history. Rainfall totals are reaching historic lows and reservoirs across the state are seeing dangerously low levels. With extreme droughts come government regulations and programs aimed at lowering water consumption by the general public. This includes voluntary and mandatory water use restrictions. Along with use restrictions, some water districts and municipalities offer rebate programs to incentivize customers to limit water usage by switching to high-efficiency, water smart appliances or irrigation systems. One rebate program being offered by many municipalities in Southern California can help with your long-desired outdoor home improvement project: the turf removal rebate program. Homeowners may receive up to $2.00 per square foot of water-intensive grass turf removed and replaced by water conserving landscaping options. This rebate program can be a fantastic way to help homeowners pay for their landscape projects but there are some restrictions and eligibility requirements to consider before starting your project.

Rebate Eligibility

The first and most important step is to visit www.socalwatersmart.com to familiarize yourself with the rebate process and to ensure your property and municipality is included in the turf removal rebate program.  The website even includes an estimator to give you an idea how much you will receive in your rebate. In order to qualify for the program the proposed project area must include grass that will be removed. Your completed project must not include live turf or “turf looking plants” but should include water-smart plants. Synthetic turf projects are eligible for the rebate unless specified in your area. Some areas or municipalities may have further requirements for eligibility. That’s why it is important to visit the above website before starting your project. Each approved property is eligible for only one turf removal rebate. So if you plan on doing your project in stages, it is better to it all at once in order to maximize your rebate.

Applying for the rebate is a two step process. It is important to follow these steps in order to qualify for and receive your rebate.

Step 1: Get Rebate Approval BEFORE You Start

It is important to remember that you must apply for and receive project start approval BEFORE beginning removal of any of your grass. Your rebate approval specifies a project square footage and reserves a rebate amount based on based on the measurements you provide on rebate application. You cannot add square footage of removal area to your rebate amount after you’ve been approved for a rebate so it is important to accurately measure and calculate your area before applying. To start the approval process, visit the SoCal Water Smart website and set up a log in account. Here you will find the application to fill out, which you will submit with five color photos of the removal area and a photo or copy of your most recent water bill. The website has a section that highlights the photo requirements and has examples of what your photos should include. http://socalwatersmart.com/index.php/qualifyingproducts/turfremoval#photoGuidelines

Once you complete and submit the application and necessary photos you will have to wait to receive an approval email before starting your project. This approval will arrive approximately two weeks after your application submission. Once you have received project approval you have 120 days to complete your project.

Step 2: Complete Rebate Application After Completion

Once you have completed your project within the 120 days, log in to your account on the SoCal Water Smart website to complete your rebate application. With your application you must submit five new color photos of your completed area and photo or copy of your most recent water bill. If your completed project includes synthetic turf you must also submit a photo or copy of your synthetic turf receipt. Once you submit your rebate application, you will receive an email with the results of your application review within four to five weeks.

Trilogy II Artificial Turf

Trilogy II Artificial Turf from RCP

It is important to visit the website to familiarize yourself with the program requirements, application process, photo requirements, and all other aspects of the rebate process.

Visit any of RCP’s six convenient locations for materials for your turf removal project like synthetic turf, decorative ground cover rocks, cobble stone, landscape boulders, tools and more.

Water Conservation with RCP Products

It seems as though it is a topic that finds itself constantly in the press. We continuously see its effects in both the decreasing levels of San Diego’s once teeming reservoirs, as well as in the increasing presence of wild fires around the county. The current drought situation in the state of California, more-so in the desert landscape of San Diego, is a problem that affects all California residents.

drought-signWith California facing one of the most severe droughts in history, a State of Emergency has been declared by the Governor. State officials, as well as the residents of California, are being called upon to take any and all necessary steps to conserve one of our state’s most precious resources.

One of the most noticeable results of California’s water shortage is evident in the water bills of its residents. Due to the shortage, the price of water service has increased dramatically in recent years. This is a price we pay for living in the desert landscape. Of course, this also means that the idea of water conservation equates directly with a lower water bill. The trick is figuring the best place to cut out water use.

It has been estimated that nearly 60% of a person’s household water footprint can be attributed to lawn and garden maintenance. Residents care about the aesthetic of their homes so much, that they spend more than half of their water in an effort to keep their yards looking nice. Cutting this watering out can have a dramatic effect on reducing a household’s water bill, but it will also leave your lawn and plants withering in the soaring temperatures of summer.

Finding a balance between water conservation and making sure the aesthetic of your outdoor area does not succumb to the heat is a battle faced by many homeowners around the county. Many residents have found their answer through an assortment of products available at RCP Block & Brick.

Incorporating Natural Rock & Stone

Rock LandscapeA popular option chosen by many homeowners has been to either completely replace or limit unused lawn areas with natural rock and stone. Incorporating this type of product into the landscape design of your yard can completely eliminate the need for watering while still leaving an aesthetically pleasing yard. Although some residents find it easiest to simply cover the area with one of our available decorative rock ground-covers, other have planned out beautiful rock landscapes (such as dry stream beds), that incorporate a mixture of decomposed granite, decorative rock ground cover, medium sized cobble stone, and larger landscape boulders. It is amazing what you can create with a little bit of imagination and the available products at RCP Block & Brick. For every bit of natural rock and stone that you use in your landscape design is that much less water you need to keep your yard looking great. Some residents have completely eliminated the need for water while still having an aesthetically pleasing landscape design.

Native and Drought Tolerant Plants

Although absolutely gorgeous landscapes can be created from rock and stone alone, plants add an organic, natural element to all landscapes that just cannot be duplicated. Expanding on the above idea of adding rock and stone in your landscape design, consider adding native or drought tolerant plants to the design. These plants will thrive in their natural outdoor environment while requiring only the most minimal watering. They will also add that finishing touch the design as a whole.

Replace Your Lawn with Artificial Turf

artificial turfFor those who simply do not want to give up the look of their lush, green lawn but are being hit hard by the high water bills, there is still hope. RCP Block & Brick carries an expansive line of the highest quality, most realistic artificial turf available.

If you haven’t seen it, come check it out. Our artificial turf is not your standard “Astro-turf” or fake looking grass. Through years of development and testing, our turf providers have come up with a line of highly realistic fake grass. Using a variety of blade lengths, colors, and textures, they have come up with a line of artificial turf that closely matches the beauty of real grass. RCP Block & Brick has all the turf supplies needed to installing artificial turf in your yard.

Brick in the Toilet

brick in toiletIt sounds like a joke, but has actually been standard practice for years with older, non-water conservation toilets. By placing a fired clay brick in the reservoir of your toilet, you can displace the amount of water that is used every time the toilet is flushed. So for every flush, you are using a brick amount less in volume of water. Over the course of time, you can save hundreds of gallons! RCP Block & Brick has a variety of brick sizes in assorted colors and styles. Not that the color and style matter, but we have them for those customers that want to have a little bit of extra flare in their toilet tanks.

Note: Be sure to not add too many bricks. If you displace too much water, a single flush might not “do the job” and then require a second flush… thus negating the water savings that you were trying to achieve. Also, be sure to use fired clay brick as they are less likely to dissolve in water and affect your plumbing. It might even be a good idea to wrap the brick in heavy plastic just to be safe.

water tolerant landscapeThese are just a few ideas on how you can save on your water bill with products available from RCP Block & Brick. Hopefully some of these suggestions can help keep your hard earned money in your wallet as opposed to being used to water your lawn, or flushing it down the toilet.

For more information on any of the above products, or to speak with one of RCP Block & Brick’s knowledgeable sales staff, please contact an RCP location near you!