As Tampa Bay gets drenched in rain, St. Petersburg relaunches its rainwater rebate program

'Customers may even receive a free rain barrel upon completion of a Rainwater Guardian Workshop,' the city says.

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click to enlarge As Tampa Bay gets drenched in rain, St. Petersburg relaunches its rainwater rebate program

St. Petersburg announced today that the city is relaunching its rainwater rebate program, which gives utility rebates to residents who help conserve drinking water.

“Stormwater utility customers may be available for rebates when they install rainwater catchment devices such as rain barrels, rain totes or rain gardens that help conserve potable (drinking) water,” Benjamin Kirby, communications director for the City of St. Pete wrote in a press release. 

I bet you wish you had that rain barrel right now, huh?

The devices that can be used to catch the rainwater yield different rebates.

  • Rain Barrel: $50 rebate for each barrel
  • Rain Tote: $100 rebate for each tote
  • Rain Garden: $100 rebate for each garden

A rain barrel usually holds around 55 gallons, while a rain tote is a larger collection device, often around 300 gallons. A rain garden is a depressed area in the landscape that collects rain water from a roof, driveway or street and allows it to soak into the ground.

The city of St. Pete says that collecting rainwater from 1,000 square-feet of roof during a half-inch of rain can yield about 300 gallons of water to be used for watering lawns and landscaping. This not only conserves drinking water, but also reduces the amount of stormwater runoff from the property.

In order to receive a rebate, St. Petersburg utility customers must attend a Rainwater Guardian Workshop and meet other qualifying criteria. Workshops are free and pre-registration is required. 

“Customers may even receive a free rain barrel upon completion of a Rainwater Guardian Workshop,” the city says.

Any questions should be directed to [email protected] or handled over the phone via 727-892-5611. For detailed information, program documents can be found at St. Pete’s Water Program website.

Pinellas County says that The Florida-Friendly Landscaping Program offers monthly workshops (currently virtual) on rainwater harvesting. The next class is on Nov.20.

Hillsborough County says the county and the City of Tampa do not currently have a rainwater rebate program, but they do offer rainwater harvesting workshops for $5 per household. Workshop participants receive a free rain barrel, a free composting kit or a free micro-irrigation kit, depending on the workshop they attend. Their monthly workshops are from February through November, one Saturday each month.

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About The Author

Justin Garcia

Justin Garcia has written for The Nation, Investigative Reporters & Editors Journal, the USA Today Network and various other news outlets. When he's not writing, Justin likes to make music, read, play basketball and spend time with loved ones. 

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