Easy as 1.2.3! (4.5.6…)

Rain gardens, trees, and cisterns add financial and ecological value to landscapes, help with drainage issues, and conserve water.

The rebates and discounts offered through the pilot program can cover some or most of the cost of installing rain gardens and cisterns on your property. The other incentives, like free site assessments & design renderings, and assistance throughout the rebate process help make the program easier for participants.

Step 1

Find out if your property is within the current boundaries. Visit the map here, and see if your address is within the Phase 1 or 2 map boundaries.

Map of Rain Catcher Pilot Program Phases

If you’re in one of the future Phases, or if you live outside of the Pilot Program areas, you can still benefit from many excellent rebate programs offered by the City of Austin, Austin Water, and the Forestry Department.

We’re happy to help you figure out how to apply for and complete your applications for the rebates you are eligible for. Whether you’re in the current Rain Catcher Pilot Program boundaries or outside, feel free to contact us if you’re not sure how to get started with rebates for your special landscaping projects!

Step 2

If you’re property is within the boundaries of the pilot program area, contact us in one of the following ways to learn more and schedule a quick site visit.

email: raincatcher@austintexas.gov  
call: Denise Delaney 512.974.2581

A program ambassador can:

  • walk you through process details,
  • measure your property and house to calculate your rain catchment potential,
  • help you test your soil for rain gardens,
  • identify problem spots where you may be experiencing runoff or ponding, and
  • prepare a site assessment report for you to use with future contractors.

At that visit, you can also spend time talking with a landscape designer who will work to understand how you like to use your space, consider some rainwater catchment system designs with you, and talk with you about any problems you’ve been wanting to solve through low impact landscaping changes.

Step 3

Following your site visit, you’ll receive a report prepared by City staff showing you your rainwater catchment potential, your impervious cover calculations, and noting all the typical site constraints that will define where you can and cannot install certain rainwater features. The report will also confirm whether your yard is eligible for a new street tree or two through the program, and the designer will have reviewed the report in order to help you choose some options and start finding a contractor to help you pull it all together!

Step 4

After you receive your report, a representative from Urban Patchwork will contact you to help you talk through some frequently asked questions and help pair you with installation contractors who are qualified for the program.

You may need to contact a gutter installer, have some prep work done before a contractor can start, or an arborist may need to be called if your work includes removing invasive trees or bushes, etc.

Urban Patchwork can help you organize ALL those moving parts and help you find contractors who are just the right fit.

Step 5

Next you’ll meet with a contractor, share the report and the initial design concepts, and dial in on a project plan that meets your needs and fits your budget.

At the same time, Urban Patchwork staff will be ensuring you’re maximizing all your rebates and benefits, and we’ll start the paperwork process for those rebates so you don’t have to.

When you’re happy with the contractor’s plans, the cost estimates, and the rebates, you’re ready to schedule your new system installation! To do so, all you need to do is pay the homeowner co-pay, finish signing any necessary contracts, and pick a start date!

Step 6

The contractor will take things from there and see your installation through, start to finish. Urban Patchwork staff will check in to be sure everything is on point and on schedule, and we’ll be ready to finalize all your rebates once the project is complete. After you sign off that the project is complete, and the contractor is paid and done, Urban Patchwork will create a report for you that walks you through exactly how you need to fill out the Drainage Utility Fee (DUF) discount paperwork with Austin Water in order to get your monthly DUF discount based on that water you’re catching instead of sending into the stormwater drains!

All done! Enjoy saving water, saving the environment, and saving money!