Systems Planning

Residential Stormwater Credits

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​​​​Save money while helping Ann Arbor’s natural resources!

Here’s how you do it.

  • Decide which option(s) works for you
  • Contact the city at with a description, including photos if necessary, a​nd address
  • If you already have a rain barrel, rain garden, cistern or dry well on your property, apply for your credit now.

Money-Saving Credit Options

RiverSafe Home partner

The RiverSafe Homes program​ helps Washtenaw County residents identify water quality protection activities they currently practice around their homes, and to commit to additional pollution prevention actions they may not have considered before. 

Becoming a RiverSafe Home partner can result in a savings of $1.16 per quarter, and there is no cost to enroll. Once completed, please email with your address to obtain the credit.

Rain barrels


Rain barrels capture water from a roof and hold it​​ for later use such as on lawns, gardens or indoor plants (water from roofs should not be used on vegetables or other things you may consume)​​​. Collecting roof run​off in rain barrels reduces the amount of water that flows from your property. It's a great way to conserve water. Plus, it's free water for use in your landscape.

Rain​ barrels can be purchased online or ​at local retailers.​ One to five rain barrels (minimum size 35 gallons) can result in a savings of $3.06 per quarter. The City of Ann Arbor does not sell or provide rain barrels. 

Rain Gardens


Rain gardens ​​​are attractive landscaping features that double as areas to allow rain and snowmelt to make their way into the soil. Depressions, where water migrates, are planted with deep-rooted native vegetation, thereby allowing the soil to absorb excess rainwater runoff from a house or other impervious area. Rainwater is routed to the garden and filtered naturally by the plants and soils of the garden. This filtration process removes nutrients and pollutants.​​ Installing a rain garden can result in a savings of $6.35 per quarter.  

Dry wells


Dry wells​ are underground structures that store water in the void space between crushed stone or gravel and allow the water to slowly percolate downward into the subsoil. They are best able to handle smaller storms and must include some kind of overflow design. Installing a dry well can result in a savings of $6.35 per quarter. Only one credit can be taken for utilizing a dry well or cistern.



A cistern, similar to a rain barrel but much larger, is built to catch and store rainwater for irrigation during drier periods. Cisterns may be located underground, at ground level or on elevated stands. Installin​g a cistern can result in a savings of $6.35 per quarter. Only one credit can be taken for utilizing a dry well or cistern.​

Commercial properties exclude single- and two-family dwellings and are billed at the rate of $767.06 per impervious acre per quarter, plus a $4.07 customer charge per quarter. The following actions can be undertaken to receive credits on the quarterly stormwater bill.​​

Ways for you to make a big difference by being Stormwater Smart.

If you don’t have fun doing important work, the important work may not get done. So, we work hard at coming up with fun ways (seriously) for you and your family to be Stormwater Smart. Each person has the potential to not only change their own behavior but also to influence other community members.​

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