A rain garden with tall, green plants and yellow flowers that soaks up water when it rains.

Apply for Raleigh Rainwater Rewards

Capture and recycle stormwater runoff from your property to reduce water pollution

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How it Works Request a Consultation Choose a Project Requirements Program Process

Do you want to help protect the environment and get paid to do it? You can right from your home or business! This program provides funding for projects that help preserve Walnut Creek and Crabtree Creek in Raleigh.

This program is part of Raleigh’s Sustainable Business Toolkit, a collection of programs designed to help businesses and other organizations save money and help reach the goals in the city’s Community Climate Action Plan.

How it Works

We'll work with you to: 

  • Choose a project that's right for your property; 
  • Make sure the project goes smoothly; and, 
  • Reimburse you once construction is complete and you've met all requirements

See if You're Eligible and How Much You'll Save

We cover up to 90% (percent) of the cost for a project. Enter your address on this map to see how much you would be reimbursed and learn about other projects nearby.

Blue Area = 75% (percent) reimbursement

Pink Area = 90% (percent) reimbursement

Raleigh Rainwater Rewards Subsidy Program

Raleigh residents may also qualify for 100% (percent) reimbursement through the Rainwater Rewards Subsidy Program. See if you are eligible by sending an email to rainwaterrewards@raleighnc.gov.

Request a Consultation

Are you interested in learning more? Complete our Rainwater Rewards Consultation Request Form. A consultation is required to move forward with a project.

See the full process for more information.

Choose a Project

There are several different projects you can choose from for this program. We'll help you figure out what is the best one for your property. 

Features like rain gardens mimic nature and absorb pollution from impervious surfaces, like driveways and roofs. This reduces the amount of water pollution reaching storm drains and streams.

Project Types    
Cistern Pavement removal Tree well
Disconnecting downspout Permeable pavement Man-made wetland
Green roof Rain garden/Bioretention area  

Project Examples

This is a backyard rain garden that collects stormwater runoff from the property's roof and sidewalk when it rains. The plants and soil in the garden help protect Walnut Creek from water pollution.

This type of pavement on a driveway allows stormwater runoff to soak into the ground when it rains protecting Pigeon House Branch from pollution. It captures about 1,600 gallons of water during a storm.

Can you believe it – this used to be a tennis court! Participants for this project removed pavement from their neighborhood tennis court and replaced it with green space that can be used for a variety of outdoor activities.

One of six cisterns at the Longleaf Hotel in downtown Raleigh that collects rainwater that would normally flow to a stream called Pigeon House Branch. The cistern helps conserve water when it is collected and used for landscaping at the hotel.

This green roof at Raleigh Union Station collects rain before it falls to the ground or evaporates into the air. This type of planted roof helps reduce pollution to a stream called Rocky Branch.


Here is what's required to complete a Rainwater Rewards project: 

  • Live in the City of Raleigh and pay the stormwater fee*; 
  • Cannot do a project to meet regulatory requirements or for utility fee credits; 
  • Final design must be approved by staff; 
  • Share regular construction updates with staff; 
  • Agree to a 5- or 10-year maintenance agreement; and,
  • Turn in a report that provides an update on your project each year. 

* You may see a lower utility fee based on how much impervious surface is treated from your property. 

Learn more about how we prioritize projects

Program Process

Start Your Project!

Here's what you need to do to complete a project. This process can take several months. The timeline varies based on the project type, location, and approvals.

All of these steps are required to complete a project. 

Step Description
1. Request a consultation Complete this online form to request a consultation with staff. We will meet with you to get a better idea of what project is a good fit for your property. We'll also talk with you about next steps to get a project started. Please double check that you meet program requirements. After the consultation, submit your application provided to you by staff. 
2. Get approval  City staff, the Stormwater Management Advisory Commission, and Raleigh City Council approve projects. The timeline for approval depends on project cost. City staff approves smaller projects. The Commission and City Council approve larger projects.
3. Work with your contractor 

You are responsible for working with a contractor to install your project. We'll inspect your project during design and construction to ensure that you continue to qualify for reimbursement. 

4. Keep your documents  You will need to provide the total amount for reimbursement along with invoices and receipts for the project. This will help us streamline the reimbursement process. Please email this information to RainwaterRewards@raleighnc.gov
5. Get Reimbursed  You may receive 75 or 90 percent reimbursement for your project once it is complete! High-priority areas with a lot of water pollution receive 90 percent reimbursement. Use this map to see how much you would receive. We'll mail you a check within two weeks after the final site visit for your project. 

Post-Project Annual Maintenance

After the project is completed, you are required to submit an Annual Maintenance Report to verify the continued and proper functioning of your stormwater project. The online form should be completed each year following the project’s completes date through the agreed-upon five (5) or 10-year maintenance term.

Common Questions

Take a look at these common questions to learn more about participating in the program.  

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