Raleigh Rainwater Rewards
Would you like to capture and recycle the stormwater runoff that comes from your property? This program provides funding for stormwater quality projects that capture and clean rainwater before it goes into storm drains and local waterways. These projects are good for the environment because they mimic nature and absorb pollution from impervious surfaces, like roofs and driveways, that impact the water quality of streams and lakes.
Here are six easy steps that will help reduce the amount of pollution that reaches Raleigh’s streams and allow you to make an affordable investment in the environment and your property.
Anyone who owns property in the City of Raleigh and pays the City's stormwater utility fee can participate in this program.
Program Policy Updates
In March, Raleigh City Council approved several new program policies that make the application process more seamless. Under the new policy:
- The approval process for smaller projects is simpler and quicker. Projects less than $5,000 are approved directly by Raleigh Stormwater staff and the maintenance requirement after construction is reduced from 10 to five years; and,
- Projects that cost $30,000 or less do not need to be presented to Raleigh City Council for approval. Accepted projects will now be approved by Raleigh Stormwater staff and the Stormwater Management Advisory Commission (SMAC).
If you have questions about the new policy, please contact Raleigh Stormwater at 919-996-3940 or RainwaterRewards@raleighnc.gov.
Step 1: Choose Your Project
Most stormwater quality practices that capture and treat stormwater will be considered for funding. Here are a few great options to choose from:
- Rain gardens;
- Permeable pavement;
- Disconnecting downspouts;
- Green roofs;
- Pavement removal;
- Stormwater wetlands; or,
- Tree wells.
Before deciding on a project and applying for funding, contact the Stormwater Management Division for a consultation at 919-996-3940 or RainwaterRewards@raleighnc.gov. You may also request a consultation online.
Participation in this program cannot be used to meet regulated stormwater requirements or to receive utility fee credits from the Stormwater Management Division. These projects also are not suited for treating major off-site drainage problems.
Step 2: Apply for Funding
After meeting with Stormwater staff to review potential projects and to determine if the program is a good fit for you, please complete the necessary application forms. These forms are available by contacting the Stormwater Management Division at 919-996-3940 or RainwaterRewards@raleighnc.gov.
Stormwater staff will review your application and let you know if any additional information is needed. When additional information is needed, please allow City staff extra time to review your application.
Step 3: Find out How Much You Can Save
Depending on your location, you may receive 75 to 90 percent reimbursement for your project once it is complete. Reimbursement is based on available funding and project cost. Projects in high-priority areas are likely to receive 90 percent reimbursement since it is in an area that is more severely polluted and needs more immediate attention.
(Please note: Funding support may not include removing existing impermeable pavement to replace it with permeable pavement or structural support for green roofs. Also, projects that are likely to receive $30,000 or more in funding are required to follow land-use restrictions.)
Find Out How Much You Can Save - Enter in your address to see if your project is in a priority area.
Participants may receive a lower utility fee based on how much the project decreases the property’s impervious area (or areas that don't allow stormwater to soak into the ground).
Step 4: Get Approval
There is a three-step approval process for this program. Projects are reviewed by:
- Stormwater Management Division
- Stormwater Management Advisory Commission (SMAC)
- Raleigh City Council
Step 5: Start Your Project
It's time to get your project in the ground! Stormwater staff can answer questions that you may have about choosing a project vendor or contractor.
After your project is approved, you will be asked to:
- Give the final design of your project to Stormwater staff before it is installed;
- Allow Stormwater staff to observe construction;
- Agree to maintain the project for 5-10 years; and,
- Turn in annual reports to track the condition of the project to make sure it is working properly.
Step 6: Get Your Reward
Reimbursement for each project is received after it is installed and reviewed by Stormwater staff. Thank you for making our streams cleaner by putting a stormwater quality project on your property!
Looking for a Smaller Project? Try Rain Barrels.
Rain barrels are a good option for anyone – like residents, schools, churches, businesses – looking to do a smaller project on their property that will help recycle rainwater and reduce stormwater pollution. Rain barrels capture rainwater from gutters and downspouts. Reusing rainwater protect streams, lakes, and rivers. And, the rainwater can be used to tend to your garden or yard and even wash your car or spray your walkway/driveway.
Rain barrels are not part of the cost-share portion of Raleigh Rainwater Rewards.
How We Can Help
Contact the Stormwater Management Division at 919-996-3940 or RainwaterRewards@raleighnc.gov to discuss project ideas and learn more about the application process for this program.
Watch These Videos to Learn More
Funding a Rain Garden
There are many ways that Raleigh residents can capture and use rainwater to positively impact the environment and the community. Watch as Lory Willard explains how residents and businesses can participate in Raleigh Rainwater Rewards, which offers funding for installing affordable and sustainable stormwater management options that reduce pollution to Raleigh’s streams and lakes. This is the first video in a three-part series.
Planting a Rain Garden
In order to make a positive impact on the environment while teaching its congregation about stormwater management, St. Ambrose Episcopal Church installed a 500-square-foot rain garden that captures stormwater runoff from its property. Watch as Father Jemonde Taylor explains why his congregation chose to install a stormwater device at the church and how Raleigh Rainwater Rewards made the project possible. This is the second video in a three-part series.
Constructing a Rain Garden
From design to installation, there are many steps to installing a rain garden. Watch as Christy Perrin, from Water Resources Research Institute (WRRI), shares how the stormwater project at St. Ambrose Episcopal Church came to life with the help of several community partners, including Raleigh Rainwater Rewards. This is the third video in a three-part series.
**These videos were produced under the former program name (Stormwater Quality Cost Share Program).