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 [email protected] with a description of your property, including photos if necessary, a​nd address, to determine if your property meets the credit criteria. 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 $1.44 per quarter, and there is no cost to enroll. Once completed, please email [email protected] 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 through Washtenaw County, online, at landscape suppliers ​or ​at local retailers.​ One to five rain barrels (minimum size 35 gallons) can result in a savings of $3.80 per quarter. The City of Ann Arbor does not sell or provide rain barrels. 

Rain Gardens​


Rain gard​ens ​​​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 $7.86 per quarter​​, if the credit criteria are met.  

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 $7.86 per quarter, if the credit criteria​ are met. 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. Installing a cistern can result in a savings of $7.86 per quarter, if the credit criteria​ are met​. Only one credit can be taken for utilizing a dry well or cistern.​

Chapter 63 Compliant Stormwater C​ontrol

Locations may be able to install a stormwater management system that meets the standards outlined in Chapter 63 (changed to Stormwater Man​agement, Section 5.22 of the Unified Development Code).  This is a potential credit option for one- and two-family residences that are part of a larger development with a stormwater management system.   For more information, email [email protected].

This option reduces the customer stormwater discharge rate by 28.87%. 

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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