Residential irrigation efficiency rebate program explained |

Residential irrigation efficiency rebate program explained

South Tahoe Public Utility District

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. – Since more than 50 percent of residential water use takes place outdoors, water efficient gardens and landscapes translate into significant water savings. It is possible to have beautiful gardens and landscapes and still be water efficient.

The South Tahoe Public Utility District is offering up to a $400 rebate to encourage residents to use water wisely in their home landscaping by upgrading to a more efficient irrigation system.

What is irrigation efficiency? Irrigation efficiency is a critical measure of irrigation performance in terms of the water required to irrigate a landscape. It can be defined in terms of system performance, the uniformity of the water application, and the response of the landscape to the irrigation. Having an efficient system is better for the landscape and saves water.

Irrigation systems/equipment that are poorly designed, inefficient or not maintained reduces the degree of control over the water application.

The Residential Irrigation Efficiency Rebate Program was developed to help customers upgrade their irrigation systems to make them more efficient. Examples of efficiency improvements can include replacement of existing systems with alternatives such as low volume drip irrigation system, high distribution uniformity or multi- stream nozzles with a flow rate of 1.20 inches per hour (In/h), pressure regulators for optimal system performance or check valves or low lying sprinklers at the bottom of a slope to stop excess drainage.

The program offers a rebate of up to $400 which covers 50 percent of the irrigation equipment cost and 25 percent of the labor to install it. Itemized receipts are required. Eligible irrigation equipment includes equipment that improves irrigation efficiencies as determined by a South Tahoe PUD representative. Efficiencies may include drip irrigation systems, replacing mis-matched sprinkler heads with like-kind heads, water pressure regulating devices, check valves, low precipitation, high distribution uniformity or multi stream rotating nozzles, rain shut off devices, moisture sensor or smart controllers.

Eligible parts are those that reduce water use in the landscape by operating at a lower volume, have a more uniform spray pattern or have high distribution uniformity. Common types are:

• Precision nozzles: Spray nozzles that distribute<1.20 inches per hour, high efficiency- variable arc (HE-VAN) nozzles

• Drip irrigation systems: each emitter distributes<2.5 gallons per hour

• Micro-sprays: each micro-spray distributes<2.5 gallons per hour

• In- Line irrigation systems: drip line to distribute water at<1.0 gallon per hour per built-in emitter.

• Multi-stream rotating nozzles: nozzles that distribute<.92 inches per hour.

To request a free landscape water efficiency evaluation or obtain advice on Tahoe friendly landscaping practices, contact the Tahoe RCD at or 530-543-1501 ext 113.

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