Water Conservation

SprinklerThe City of Farmington on average pumps about 700 million gallons of water from seven wells. In the winter, water demand is about 1.2 million gallons per day. In the summer, demand can reach 6.5 million gallons per day. 

The city has to have infrastructure in place to provide water during these summer months. Reducing the water used for irrigation not only helps you save money but cuts down on future infrastructure needs which can significantly impact rates.


Odd/Even Water Restrictions

The city has an odd/even watering policy in place year round. Not following the city's Water Use Policy could result in a fine. 

Determine if it’s “your day” to water: Addresses ending in an odd number may water on odd- numbered calendar days, and likewise for an even-numbered addresses and days. Address example: “1234 Spruce  St.”  ends in an even number so the water calendar for that address would look like the one below.

Check the clock: No watering (garden sprinkling or other irrigation) is allowed between noon and 6 p.m.

New sod/seed: FREE watering permits for new sod/seed allow for daily watering before noon and after 6 p.m. for 21 days and are available on through the website and at City Hall, 430 Third Street, Farmington, MN 55024.

Don't worry about:

  • Hand watering (hose must be attended) of plants is not restricted.

  • Children’s water toys, WHEN IN USE by children is not restricted.

  • Vehicle washing is not restricted.

Water Efficiency Rebate Program

Clean Water Land and Legacy Amendment LogoMetropolitan CouncilThe City of Farmington is now accepting applications for the 2020-2022 Water Efficiency Rebate Program. To encourage water conservation, the program is funded, in part, by a grant from the Metropolitan Council to establish a program to reduce municipal water use in both residential and commercial properties within the city. The program offers rebates to water customers who replace old, inefficient toilets, washing machines and irrigation systems with WaterSense® and Energy Star® certified appliances and equipment to help conserve water and reduce utility bills.

Rebate Program
As a result of this grant funding the City of Farmington is offering rebates to residents who replace existing devices with specified water efficient devices. Rebate funds are limited and will be issued to qualified applicants on a first-come, first-served basis until June 30, 2022 or until fund are exhausted, whichever comes first. Rebates will be in the form of a credit on the resident’s utility bill.

Rebates are offered for 50% of the pre-tax purchase price of the following items:WaterSense

  • WaterSense® toilets up to $50

  • Energy Star® washing machines up to $200

  • WaterSense® irrigation controllers up to $150

  • WaterSense® sprinkler head replacement up to $10 per unit with a max of $150 Energy Star

Property owners should look for the WaterSense® or Energy Star® certification from the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Energy.

  • Click here for a list of WaterSense toilets or irrigation controllers

  • Click here for a list of DOE Energy Star washing machines

What qualifies for a rebate?

  • The rebate program is available to property owners who are connected to the City of Farmington water supply system.

  • Eligible expenses for the rebate include the out-of-pocket cost of the replacement device. Taxes are not eligible.

  • The new devices must meet the EPA WaterSense® or Energy Star® certification.

  • Devices must be purchased between Jan. 1, 2020 through June 30, 2022 (or until funds are depleted).

  • New construction and new development are ineligible as the grant program is intended as a replacement program of existing inefficient water devices.

How do I apply for a rebate?
Rebates will be processed in the order they are received until funds are exhausted or through June 30, 2022, whichever comes first. To apply for a rebate please submit the following:

  1. Rebate Application Form

  2. Receipt of purchase. The receipt must clearly show:

    • Date of purchase

    • Vendor the item was purchased from

    • Product Information (SKU &/or Model name)

    • Payment method

Rebate applications and receipts can be submitted the following ways:

  1. Email: WaterRebates@FarmingtonMN.gov

  2. Mail to:
    City of Farmington
    430 Third Street
    Farmington, MN 55024
    ATTN: Water Rebates

Once an application is received, it will be reviewed to ensure the installed devices meet the criteria for the rebate and adequate purchase documentation is provided. You may be selected for inspection in order to verify products have been installed. Rebates will be issued as a credit on the next water bill following approval of an application.  

FAQs

  1. Who is eligible for the water efficiency rebates?
    City of Farmington water utility customers with non-delinquent accounts are eligible. Well water users are not eligible because they are not connected to the public water supply.

  2. Is there a limit to the number of rebates per address?
    No, at this time there is no maximum number of rebates per address. The city may impose a maximum in the future.

  3. Are multi-unit complexes eligible for the water efficiency rebate program?
    Yes, any property connected to the city’s water supply system is eligible for the water efficiency rebate.

  4. I just installed a qualifying product in 2019, am I eligible for the water efficiency rebate?
    No. Only qualifying purchases made on or after January 1, 2020 are eligible for the rebate provided they have been installed in a qualifying location.

  5. What documentation is required to receive the Water Efficiency Rebate?
    Receipts must be provided along with the completed and signed application. The receipt must clearly identify the model, date of purchase and reflect the payment method.

  6. When will I receive my rebate?
    Assuming grant funds are available, rebates will be processed as applications are received, and if approved, rebate will be issued as credits to water utility customers on their next water bill.

  7. What permits might be required?
    Permits are not needed for any of the replacement devices as long as they are re-installed in the same location, however, full remodeling projects do require permits. If you have questions regarding permit requirements, please call the Building Division at 651-280-6840 or check the Building Division webpage.

  8. How do I know if funds are available?
    Even if funds are available at the time of purchase, they may be exhausted by the time you submit your paperwork for approval. There is no guarantee that funding will be available, although as funding gets closer to being depleted, the website will be updated more frequently. Residents can always call the city to verify that funds are still available. Please call Public Works at 651-280-6840.

  9. Can I get a rebate for the devices in my new home?
    No. This rebate is only good for the replacement of existing items and not intended for new construction.

Effective Watering Tips

Your lawn generally needs only about 1- inch of water per week, including rainfall, to remain green during the growing season. The average lot requires about 5,700 gallons of water per week. If this water is provided only by irrigation, the cost should be about $38 per month. Use these tips to help you save money while keeping your lawn green:

Water your lawn between 4 and 8 a.m. - When water demand is low. After 10 a.m., lawn watering is usually a wasted effort because of heat and evaporation.

Water only when your lawn needs it - Rather than on a set schedule. Installing a rain sensor on an automatic system should have a quick payback time.

Water deeply and infrequently - Watering once or twice each week with a good soaking is usually enough. Allow the grass to dry out between watering to promote deep and healthy root growth.

Get a rain gauge - This simple device will help you determine when you’ve reached 1” of water (rain or sprinklers) for the week.

Healthy Lawn Care Tips

Don’t overwater
Overwatering promotes shallow roots that are less drought-resistant and more prone to winterkill and pests.  To encourage rooting and drought tolerance, you should be irrigate your lawn infrequently (one time or less per week) with a sufficient volume of water to wet soils to a depth of six inches, assuming no rainfall has occurred. Depending on your soil type, your lawn may only need as little as a half-inch of water.

Practice Good Lawn Maintenance
Your lawn care practices have a direct impact on irrigation requirements. High mowing heights (3 inches or greater) and proper fertilizer use will improve lawn quality and reduce irrigation requirements. Aeration of a lawn followed by top-dressing with quality compost can lessen compaction and add organic matter to soil.

Design landscapes for water conservation
Choose plants that are well-suited to your site including drought-tolerant plants for dry areas. Mulch garden beds to retain soil moisture and reduce weeds. Retain water on-site using rain barrels, raingardens, and planted slopes. 

Select lawn grasses that use less water and can tolerate drought
When selecting seed for new lawn or overseeding existing turf, choice of grass species will impact irrigation requirements. Traditional grass species for Minnesota include Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, fine fescues and tall fescue. Fescue species offer the best drought tolerance. Fine fescues simply use less water, and tall fescue has a deep root system able to access more moisture.

Soggy Lawn?

If the weather has been dry and you still have a soggy lawn, common causes include:

Problem: Leaking irrigation system.
Possible Solution: Check the distribution box and all sprinkler heads.

Problem: Compacted and/or clay soils under so placed in the past 2-3 years. 
Possible Solution: Promote infiltration by aerating the lawn and irrigate deeply/less frequently to help improve root development.

Problem: Automatic sprinkler system set to water too frequently and/or water too much. 
Possible Solution: Try cutting back on watering for a week. Call Utility Billing for water use stats.

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