Rainwater Harvesting Rebate Program

Rainwater harvesting is the collection and storage of rainwater before it runs into streets and gutters. Besides being a great way to conserve water, there are many other benefits like:
  • It's simple. All you need is gutters and something to catch the water in.
  • Rainwater is free! All you have to buy is the collection system.
  • Plants love it! Rainwater is low in dissolved minerals and almost pH neutral.
  • It's an alternative water supply so it's exempt from drought restrictions.
  • It's a great way to reduce storm water runoff, thus reducing erosion and pollution of streams and rivers.
  • It can reduce summer load on water treatment and distribution systems.

Rainwater Harvesting Rebate Program


To encourage rainwater harvesting, the City offers a rebate for purchasing rainwater system components including:
  • Backflow devices installed at the City water meter
  • First-flush diverters
  • Leaf screens
  • Primary filtration systems
  • Pumps
  • Rainwater barrels or tanks
  • Screened gutters
  • Tank pad/foundation
The rebate is not applicable to miscellaneous pipes and fittings, advanced treatment systems (for potable water), irrigation system components, maintenance agreements or warranties.

Rebate Amounts


The rebate amounts are $0.50 per gallon of storage capacity for non-pressurized systems, and $1 per gallon of storage capacity for pressurized systems. Rebate cannot exceed 50% of total system cost. The maximum lifetime rebate amount is determined by water meter size:
  • For 5/8 x3/4 inches meters (residential) the max rebate is $5,000
  • For 1 inch water meters the max rebate is $10,000
  • For 1.5 inches water meters the max rebate is $15,000
  • For 2 inches meters and larger the max rebate is $20,000

For Small Systems (Less Than 500 Gallons of Storage)


  1. Review the City of San Marcos Rainwater Harvesting System Guidelines (PDF).
  2. Purchase and install qualifying rainwater harvesting equipment.
  3. Submit completed application (PDF) along with itemized receipts within 30 days after purchase date.
  4. City staff may call to schedule an inspection to confirm installation.
  5. Rebate will be issued as a credit on your next utility bill.

For Large Systems (500 Gallons of Storage or More)


  1. Review the City of San Marcos Rainwater Harvesting System Guidelines (PDF).
  2. Submit completed rebate application (PDF) before purchasing and installing your rainwater system.
  3. City staff will review application and check funds availability, and may contact you to schedule a pre-installation inspection.
  4. Staff will issue a Letter of Approval to proceed with purchase and installation of your rainwater harvesting system.
  5. Purchase and install your system, and submit itemized purchase receipts or invoices with 90 days after the date of the Letter of Approval.
  6. City staff will contact you to schedule a follow-up inspection. System must be installed and functional at the time of the inspection.
  7. Rebate will be mailed to you or issued as a credit on your next utility bill.