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Water Conservation Rebate Program

The Town of Okotoks wants to reward you for your water conservation efforts! This summer you can SAVE a lot of money on your utility bill by reducing your water use!

Mark your calendars! Water rebates are available starting May 1, 2020 through to December 31, 2020 until the fund is fully depleted. All approved rebate items purchased from January 1st, 2020 onward are eligible! This year, businesses and institutions are eligible for rebates on some items. Click on the “Qualifying Items” tab for more details.

Why do we have a Water Conservation Rebate Program?

Residents making efforts towards reducing water consumption are providing a much needed service to the community, and deserve to be recognized. The Town of Okotoks wants to reward you for your water conservation efforts! Our growing community’s water-use peaks during the summer months putting increasing pressure on the Sheep River to provide water for our activities, and on the water treatment plant for keeping up with our demand. The Sheep River currently provides enough water to sustain our Town, but using less water avoids overworking the treatment plant on warm days, and helps to maintain a healthy habitat for the other creatures who depend on it, especially during drier seasons.

For questions regarding the program please keep reading, or email Environment and Sustainability or call 403-995-6316.


How do I apply for a rebate?

Water Rebate Application Form! 

Due to the complexity of the Xeriscape Rebate and the Rainwater Harvesting System, each of these rebate items has its own application form. See the Apply! tab.

Paper Copies: If you don't have a computer/smart phone, call 403-995-6316 for access to a paper copy of the application.

Items

Descriptions

Standard Rebate Items: Purchasing any item in this category will provide you with a 50% rebate on the total cost, up to a total rebate of $200 per household.

Drought Tolerant Groundcover or Turf

Drought tolerant grass seed, sod and hydro-seed are eligible for the rebate program if they are TWCA-certified and/or composition consists of less than 30% of Kentucky Blue Grass.

Note: Proof of composition required. Please provide proof of seed mix composition from the bag or provide a product composition list from the supplier.

Drought Tolerant Plants, Shrubs, and Trees

Plants added!

Rebates provided for approved drought tolerant and deer resistant perennial plants, shrubs, and trees (deer eat most plants when hungry, these plants are less likely to be eaten).

Only items listed on the drought tolerant plant list will be eligible for rebate.

Remember that these plants must live in the ground, not in a pot/planter.

Plant List

Would you like your rebate processed quickly? If you answered yes, please note:

  • Take high quality pictures of the plant(s), including the plant label. We need to zoom in close to identify your plant properly. 
  • Take picture(s) of your new plants in their respective garden areas after planting. 
  • To conserve water, your plant roots need mulch. In the garden photo, we need to see that your plants have been provided with around 2 inches of mulch (trees need around 4 inches). Your plants don't like mulch touching their stem.

GeneralAire Water Savor controller for flow-through humidifier system

 

 

Rebate for the installation and cost of a GeneralAire Water Savor controller that is installed on a flow-through humidifier system.

Note: To ensure that your new Water Savor controller will work its best, the installation must be done by a professional. Please provide a photo of the product spec sheet with your application.

At this time, the GeneralAire Water Savor ;is the only humidifier controller available that meets the Town of Okotoks water conservation requirements

Mulch - Organic and Inorganic

 

Rebate includes all forms of organic and inorganic mulch that are used for landscaping/groundcover:

Organic examples: bark shavings, nuggets, wood chip ;mixes

Inorganic examples: rock mixes, shale

Things you will want to know:

  • Please include a photo of the mulched area after mulch is added to your yard.
  • The purpose of the mulch is to provide cover in areas that may normally be turf or bare ground around plants, to reduce a need for water.
  • A rebate will not be provided for mulch for areas under structures (decks, etc.) or dog runs.
  • Mulch must be permeable; non-permeable surfaces such as pavers or patio stones aren't mulch and are not accepted.
  • Rubber mulch is not accepted in the program.

Did you know? The price of cubic yard bags of mulch include delivery and the cost of the bag. Your rebate amount is calculated for only the cost of the mulch.

Rain Barrels

 

Residential or commercial rain barrel, any type.

A 50% rebate per rain barrel up to a maximum of $50/barrel.

Rain Sensor and/or WaterSense® labeled irrigation controller

 

Rebate provided for the installation of a rain sensor that suspends the irrigation schedule during a rain event and/or WaterSense® labeled irrigation controller. Sensors/controllers purchased for new or existing irrigation systems are eligible.

Note: To ensure that your new rain sensor or irrigation controller is working its best, installation must be done by a professional irrigation contractor. The product spec sheet must be included in your application.

Water timer

 

Rebate includes outdoor water timers that attach to an outdoor garden hose and are programmable to automatically shut off the water flow at end of programmed watering period.

Note: Follow watering schedule when using water timer. Please monitor the time needed to sufficiently water turf as it requires only 1 inch of water per week to thrive.

 

Specialty Rebate Items (Residential)

Residential Rainwater Harvesting System

(Closed for 2020)

Rebate for systems that include larger residential scaled tank systems/cisterns that collect a minimum of 4,546 litres (1,000 gallons) of rainwater. Collection system expenses such as transport piping, debris traps, filters, pumps and installation costs are eligible for rebate.

Pre-approval from the Town required. Please apply online May 1 or contact Sustainability at 403.995.6316.

A 50% rebate for total cost of installed rainwater harvesting system up to a maximum rebate of $1000 per household.

Xeriscaping Project 

(Closed for 2020)

Rebate provided for pre-approved turf removal and xeriscape landscaping project where minimum 46 m² turf is removed (90 m2 for multi-family/condo properties) and replaced with drought tolerant landscaping. New single family home build landscapes eligible.

Residential: Rebate will be provided for drought tolerant plants, soil, and mulch, with up to a maximum of $3,000 per property. Labour, installation and hardscaping is not included

Apartments/Condominiums: Rebate will be provided for drought tolerant plants, soil, and mulch, with up to a maximum of $5,000 per property. Labour, installation and hardscaping is not included.

Successful rebate - what you need to know:

  • Minimum of 40% of new xeriscape landscape area must be plants (mature size of plant is used in the calculation). 
  • All plants must be drought tolerant. 
  • Labor, install and hardscaping is not included.
  • Program awarded on first come, first served basis.
  • Pre-approval from the Town is required.
  • Project must be completed within 10 weeks of project pre-approval date.
  • Full itemized invoice is required if using a landscaping company.
  • DIY'ers, please keep your receipts and label/highlight all items you are submitting to the program.
  • Project area must be conversion of turf or a new-build/un-landscaped yard.

 

Businesses & Institution Rebates *NEW*

Rain Sensor and/or WaterSense® labelled irrigation controller 

Rebate includes the installation of a rain sensor that suspends the irrigation schedule during a rain event and/or WaterSense® labelled ;irrigation controller. Sensors/contollers purchased for new or existing irrigation systems are eligible.

Note: To ensure that your new rain sensor or irrigation controller is working its best, installation must be done by a professional irrigation contractor. The product spec sheet must be included in your application.

A Town of Okotoks irrigation assessment needs to be completed after installation before rebate is awarded. All applicants will be contacted to set up an appointment.

A 50% rebate for total cost of purchase up to a maximum rebate of $600 per property.

Apply online May 1.

Xeriscaping Program - Businesses/Institutions

Closed for 2020 - Please have your project ideas ready to go for 2021!

Rebate includes pre-approved turf removal, and xeriscape landscaping project where minimum 90 m² (or entire turfed area if smaller) turf is removed and replaced with drought tolerant landscaping. 

Rebate will be provided for drought tolerant plants, soil, and mulch, with up to a maximum of $5,000 per property. Labour, installation and hardscaping is not included.
Successful rebate - what you need to know: 

  • Minimum of 40% of new xeriscape landscape area must be plants (mature size of plant is used in the calculation). 
  • All plants must be drought tolerant. 
  • Labor, install and hardscaping is not included.
  • Program awarded on first come, first served basis. 
  • Pre-approval from the Town is required. 
  • Project must be completed within 10 weeks of project pre-approval date. 
  • Fully itemized invoice is required if using a landscaping company.
  • DIY'ers, please keep your receipts and label/highlight all items you are submitting to the program.

We would like to help you protect your investment and conserve water. If the property has an irrigation system in place, a Town of Okotoks irrigation assessment needs to be booked with Town staff member once the landscaping project is finished. You will be contacted.

Water Conservation Rebate Program application form:

Apply for a Water Rebate

Note: The Xeriscape Rebate and Rain Water Harvesting applications are no longer being accepted for 2020. Thank you Okotoks for being so water smart!


Would you like your rebate application processed quickly and without any hassle?

If your answer is a resounding YES, please ensure you read the Program Details tab and any information under the Qualifying Items tab so that you know exactly what we need to approve your application with success.

All qualifying items purchased as of January 1, 2020 are eligible.

Due to the complexity of the Xeriscape Project and the Rainwater Harvest System, each of these rebate items has its own application form.

Closed for 2020!

We've had so many applicants that the Xeriscape Rebate program is closed for this year. Great job Okotoks! Thank you for being so water smart!


What is Xeriscaping?

Xeriscaping means water-wise or water-efficient landscaping. It involves landscaping a large area (see requirements below) with plants that are appropriate to dry climates and providing healthy growing conditions.  Xeriscaping creates an environmentally friendly and beautiful landscape that can be maintained with little or no supplementary watering once plants are established.

The word ‘xeriscape’ might bring a picture of a desert-like landscape or a rock garden to mind but a xeriscape landscape can be beautiful, lush, and green.  The combination of thoughtful landscape design, good soil, well placed trees, shrubs, perennials, and a thick layer of mulch will yield a low-maintenance and eye-appealing yard.

Xeriscaping does not mean adding drought tolerant plants to existing garden spaces.  Xeriscaping includes removing a large area of turf, like a front yard lawn, and replacing it with native and/or drought tolerant plants.  It includes amending the soil depth and quality, so that plants will thrive in dry conditions, and adding a thick layer of mulch so that moisture doesn’t evaporate. The goal of a xeriscape landscape is to have a yard space that is self-sufficient, low-maintenance, and beautiful.

This sounds great! How do I start?

  1. If you have an idea for a project and are interested in finding out if it will work, go online (May 1, 2021) and fill out the pre-application form.

  2. A Town staff member will give you a call and book a preliminary yard inspection. This will ensure that implementing your idea will meet the program specifications laid out by the Town. 

    • The xeriscaping project must be a minimum of 46 m² in area for a residential property or 90 m² for a multi-family/condo, business or institutional property. 

    • 40% of the landscaped area needs to consist of drought tolerant plants (mature size taken into account).

    • If the yard area is less than 46 m² for residential or less than 90 m² for a condo, business/institution, but the intent is to xeriscape the entire area, the project would still be considered for the program.
       
  3. Develop a landscape design.
    • The landscaping company or homeowner must provide a landscape plan that calculates the area of the plants at their mature size, ensuring that it meets the 40% criteria. Tree size is calculated at 25% of mature size.
       
  4. Submit landscape design plan to the Town for approval
    • Finalized landscape design must be submitted within 2 weeks of the yard inspection with the Town representative.
       
  5. After approval is received, start your project! Applicants have 10 weeks to complete the project from the date of the pre-approval/inspection.
     
  6. Once complete, book a post-inspection with the Environment and Sustainability staff member and complete the online water conservation xeriscape rebate application (link will be sent via email prior to inspection).
     
  7. Got irrigation? Businesses and institutions are required to book an irrigation assessment with the Town after completion of the project. Residents are encouraged to book an assessment as well, but it is not a requirement.
     
  8. Upon application approval, patiently wait for your rebate cheque to arrive in the mail in 4-6 week's time.

Ensuring Success

Like you, we want this process to be as smooth as possible. For a successful xeriscape project process, please keep the following things in mind:

  • Items eligible for the rebate are: drought tolerant/deer resistant plants (see Drought Tolerant Plant List), soil amendment, mulch, and turf removal equipment rental (DIY projects).
  • Items not eligible for the rebate are:  labor/installation fees, artificial turf, concrete, boulders, pathways, arbors, pergolas, or decking.
  • DIY'ers, please keep your receipts for all of these items. Please label and highlight purchased plants (pot-sizes and quantities), mulch, and dirt, on receipts. It works to your benefit if we know exactly what you purchased and at what cost.
  • Ask your landscaper for a fully itemized invoice to provide clarity on what materials were purchased for your landscape and at what cost. 
  • We want your plants to survive and thrive as much as you do! Please give plants a mulch depth of 2 inches over the entire xeriscape area, and a depth of 4 inches around tree and root area. Ensure that mulch is not touching the trunk of the tree, but is 3-4 inches away from the trunk.

Why is creating a xeriscape landscape important? 

#1 - The Town of Okotoks wants to encourage and reward you for your water conservation efforts!

#2 - With growing demands on water supply and potential droughts, it is everyone’s responsibility to rethink appropriate water use. As up to 30% of summer residential water is utilized on lawns and gardens, xeriscaping can play a significant role in reducing potable (treated) water consumption. 

Why should I have an irrigation assessment if I have an irrigation system in place?

A xeriscape landscape needs less water than a traditional landscape. Participating in an irrigation assessment will help to optimize your irrigation system so that it provides water when and where your new landscape needs it. Save water, and protect your investment!

GenernalAire Water Savor™ Controller FAQs

 

What is the Water Savor™ controller?

The Water Savor™ controller is a unit that attaches to a flow-through humidifier system found on a home’s furnace. The controller conserves the amount of water the system uses while still meeting a home’s humidity needs (as recommended by Health Canada).

How does it work?

The Water Savor™ powers on when the humidifier needs water. In a traditional humidifier, water runs continually through the system until the set humidity level is reached. The Water Savor™ controller senses and delivers only the amount of water needed, avoiding excessive water use.

How much water can it save?

Using a Water Savor™ controller can reduce humidifier water use by at least 50% and up to 90%.

The Water Savor™ controller can be installed on any model/brand of flow-through humidifier. In order to qualify for the Water Conservation Rebate Program it needs to be installed by a professional. 

Frequently Asked Questions