Residential Properties

Be the Solution to Stormwater Pollution

As a Howard County resident, you can make a big impact on reducing stormwater pollution by increasing the amount of surfaces on your property that absorb stormwater runoff. In addition to protecting the environment by reducing runoff, you'll also have the opportunity to reduce your Watershed Protection Fee and/or be reimbursed for your projects. 

The reimbursement is a one-time payment for installing a CleanScape practice, and credit is an annual percentage (based upon the impervious that has been treated by your practice) towards your Watershed Protection Fee. All practices are eligible for reimbursement and credit--In order to recieve reimbursement and/or credit you must meet the minimum requirements.

    How does the process work?

    1. Pick Your CleanScape Practice

    Use our CleanScapes Program Guide, for detailed information about each practice, as well as minimum levels for credit and reimbursement for each practice. Our Eco Friendly Gardening Cheat Sheet is a list of resources available to help you, including local contractors and financial resources. If you are interested in doing a project yourself, take a look at our Green Registry for local stores that carry native plants and materials for projects.

    All CleanScapes practices are eligible for reimbursement and credit and include the following:

    Pictures of example practices are at the bottom of this page. You can also check out this video to see how installing a CleanScape saved a Howard County homeowner's yard from stormwater runoff.

    2. Install Your CleanScape

    During your project, keep all of your information in these cheat sheets—or ask your landscaper to fill them out, so you can easily enter it into the SMART tool later (see below). The information you'll need to complete the SMART tool depends on what practice you are installing.

    **Please note** If the contractor you choose has installed less than 5 CleanScapes practices through this program, we will require these additional documents: planting plan (if applicable), profile view of practice (detailing soil amendments, depths, etc.), and calculations or observations justifying design.

    Cheat Sheets:

    3. Apply for Credit and Reimbursement

    **Your home must have been built before 2003 to be eligible for the program**

    Complete the application for a CleanScapes Reimbursement and credit.  Use the handy cheat sheet you filled out while installing your CleanScape (above) to enter data into the SMART tool.  The SMART tool application must be completed before your application can be processed further. You must apply for credit by April 15, 2017 to be considered for credit against the July 2017 Watershed Protection Fee.

    4. Inspection, Review, and Award

    A SMART Certifier Inspection will take place on your property to ensure your practice meets the minimum requirements.  You will be given at least 48 hours advance notice and do not need to be present for the visit, although you may join the inspectors to provide more information during the site visit if you wish.  Information collected during the site visit, along with the initial application, will be reviewed by staff to determine the final award of credit or reimbursement. Inspections are performed on a rolling basis from Spring to Fall. 

    Please note that reimbursements will not be granted for:

    • items not related to the project, or in excess of project needs
    • for items installed before the program start date of November of 2011
    • We cannot grant credit or reimbursement for structural BMPs installed at the time of development as required by development regulations

    Contact us with any questions: cleanwaterhoward@howardcountymd.gov

    Maintaining Your Rain Garden

    You have a rain garden, but how can you keep it gorgeous for years to come? Find information from local experts offered at a recent event here!

    Rain Gardens for Clean Water

    A Simple, Cheaper Way to Be Water-Friendly at Home. 

    Do you dream of a landscaped yard that can solve erosion and runoff problems? What if we told you this landscaping can also help local pollinators, local streams, and local businesses and we’re picking up 75% of the cost? Not a gardener? No problem; we’ll supply tips to maintain or you can get a maintenance package for an additional charge. And you won’t even have to find your own landscaper. Learn more here