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Foothill Residents Encouraged to Trade Turf for Cash

Rebates are now $2 per square foot removed!
Rebates are now $2 per square foot removed!

With the impacts of drought and climate change, water resources are being stretched.  Summer is the perfect time to remove your grass so that you can replace your water thirsty lawn with drought tolerant landscaping.

“The water that residents are putting on their lawns runs through miles of pipes and a rigorous treatment method before it reaches the consumer.  This energy-intensive process for water deliveries could be avoided by converting to California native and drought tolerant landscaping,” said Rich Atwater, Board President of Foothill Municipal Water District (Foothill MWD or District).

FMWD encourages its residents to take advantage of increased turf removal rebates currently offered through SoCal Water$mart.  Incentives for live lawn or natural turf removal have increased from $1 to $2 per square foot removed.

While naturally resilient and tough to kill, the historically drier summer months offers a great opportunity to plan for the expiration of turf.  A list of three popular methods is provided below.  Before you start on any method, please visit http://www.fmwd.com/Conservation.aspx to apply.

Solarizing:  This method works best in dry and sunny months.  Lawns must be cut as short as possible and then watered thoroughly.  Immediately after soaking the lawn, a plastic tarp or sheet needs to be placed on top and weighed down with stakes, bricks or stones.  The turf will naturally expire in at least six weeks.

Sheet Mulching:  Lawns should first be covered with six or more layers of paper material or cardboard.  Add four to six inches of mulch on top and water thoroughly.  These layers prevent sunlight from reaching the turf and allowing growth.  This process takes approximately two months and the paper layer should be fully broken down.

Excavation:  Excavation requires adequate time to ensure that roots are completely removed.  Avoid tilling or aerating as the process will disturb soil life and allow grass to grow again.

In addition to the increased funding for turf rebates, effective June 1st, residential high-efficiency toilet (HET) rebates will also be increased from $50 to $100 for each HET installed.

These new measures were adopted in response to Governor Brown’s second emergency drought declaration calling on all Californians to redouble their conservation practices and strive to achieve a 20 percent reduction in water consumption.  These incentive increases come before an expected summer period of peak water demands.

“We ask that our residents do what they can to answer the Governor’s call,” said General Manager Nina Jazmadarian.  “As we enter the historically drier months of summer, limiting water consumption where possible will help to extend the value of Southland water reserves.”

For more information on the turf removal rebate, as well as all other water-saving rebates offered, please visit www.socalwatersmart.com or www.fmwd.com/conservation.aspx.  Residents and businesses must prequalify for rebates prior to starting any work.


Foothill Municipal Water District provides imported water to Crescenta Valley Water District, La Cañada Irrigation District, Mesa Crest Water Company, Valley Water Company, Lincoln Avenue Water Company, Las Flores Water Company and Rubio Cañon Land & Water Association.  Kinneloa Irrigation District, another retail agency, takes no water from Foothill.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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