FAQ Water Conservation

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Who do I contact about water being wasted? 

Landscape Rebate Program:

Why is xeriscape gardening such a big deal? 
If I replace turf with non-turf landscaping, what savings can I expect? 
I do not have a before photograph of my landscaping to submit with my rebate form? 
Will I get my photos back? 
How long does it take to get my refund or is it a credit on my bill? 
I did my yard before the City raised the amount now offered and at that time you were only getting credit for a front or back yard conversion. I want to now do my back yard, am I eligible for a rebate for that? 
Can any turf remain? 
What do you mean by “total area of turf” (square feet), “Total low water use landscaping” (square feet) and total landscape area (square feet)? 

Toilet Rebate Program:

Just my tank is leaking and needs replaced. Can I get credit for just the tank?
I have purchased several items and want to keep the original receipt, can I send in a copy?
 
What toilets qualify for my home under the rebate? 
Can I replace more than one toilet per form? 
How long does it take to get the rebate? 
Is my water use tracked?

 

Who do I contact about water being wasted? 
A: The City of Tempe has a Water Wasting Ordinance in effect that prohibits water running off a property to a street, easement, alley or right of way. This irrigation run-off damages the streets and undermines the asphalt roadways. The ordinance does not cover waste of water on private property.  To report a water wasting issue, please call the Water Conservation Program (480) 350-2668. If you have to leave a message please include the address of the violation, when it was observed and your contact information. Your information will not be disclosed to anybody other than City Staff but will be used for follow-up information that may be needed or to inform you what has been resolved.

                             
Landscape Rebate Program:  
I do not have a before photograph of my landscaping to submit with my rebate form? 
A: If you can not find a photo showing grass in the area converted we will need a dated receipt showing work has been done in the yard. Example: The delivery of rock, purchase of materials or labor to complete the job. Any picture will work even if there is family or pets in the yard just to show the turf that was there.
 
Will I get my photos back? 
A: No, the photos will not be returned and may be used to promote the Landscape Rebate Program, we actually have a section on our website showing some before and after conversions and then what they look like in 5 years. If photos are ones you can’t part with have them scanned and reprinted to send with the form.
 
How long does it take to get my refund or is it a credit on my bill? 
A:
A check will be mailed to the address provided on the form. It usually takes 3-4 weeks to go through the process and have a check sent to you. To check on the status of your rebate Please call (480) 350-2627.
 
I did my yard before the City raised the amount now offered and at that time you were only getting credit for a front or back yard conversion. I want to now do my back yard, am I eligible for a rebate for that? 
A: Yes you are. We now can offer a rebate of $250.00 for a back yard providing it has been done since October of 2004 and meets the program guidelines.
 
Can any turf remain? 
A: The program calls for the complete removal of grass to qualify, in some instances we have allowed some small turf areas in the back yard. Xeriscape principals allow for small “functional” areas of turf for pets and children to play on but it must not be the dominate area and only in a back yard.
 

What do you mean by “total area of turf” (square feet), “Total low water use landscaping” (square feet) and total landscape area (square feet)? 
A: What we are looking for is the total landscapable area of you property, how much of that still has grass and how much of that is desert landscaping. Landscapable area of your property can be determined by looking at your total lot size and then backing out of that anything that can not be landscaped such as the footprint of your home, sidewalks, patios, pools or any hardscaped surface. This would then be the total landscape area. Then the percentage of that which still is grass would be “total area of turf” and the percentage of the total area that is desert landscaped would be “total low water use landscaping”.

 
Toilet Rebate Program:  
Just my tank is leaking and needs replaced. Can I get credit for just the tank? 
A: No. Just replacing the tank will not always result in water savings and could increase water usage due to double flushing. Bowls and tanks are designed to work together. By just replacing the tank may cause you toilet to not flush properly, the old bowl (3.5gpf) is designed to have that amount of water clear the bowl and just replacing the tank can lead to double flushing to clear the bowl.
 
I have purchased several items and want to keep the original receipt, can I send in a copy? 
A: The City of Tempe Accounting Office that actually disperses the checks requires the original receipt of purchase. If you find you need to return something else that was on the receipt usually the store will accept copy of the receipt and be able to pull that transaction back up on their computers from your copy.
 
What toilets qualify for my home under the rebate? 
A: Unlike the Multifamily Rebate Program we do not specify what type of toilet you choose and all are acceptable. The Federal Government has changed plumbing codes across the country so all toilets have to be low flow regardless of where they are purchased so any toilet will qualify.
 
Can I replace more than one toilet per form? 
A: Yes you may replace all of the toilets in your home and the rebate will apply for each. We do provide a spot on the form for how many toilets were replaced.
 
How long does it take to get the rebate? 
A: It takes 3-4 weeks to get a check back in the mail. Once the Conservation office completes the approval it is forwarded off to accounting for payment. Accounting normally only processes checks once a week so please allow at least 3-4 weeks for the whole process.
 
Is my water use tracked? 
A: Yes, after applying for any rebate we track water usage on your property for one year. No personal information is released but the City of Tempe is regulated by the State of Arizona on its Conservation Programs. We have to file and annual report to the State every year, and to quantify water savings associated with this rebate program we have to track savings.