Rainwater Harvesting System Rebate

Seasonal outdoor system: $0.10/litre of tank storage
(to a maximum of $400)
All–season indoor/outdoor system: receive a $2,000 rebate.

Rainwater harvesting is used to collect large amounts of water from rain and snow. Collected water is stored in tanks and can be used both outside and inside the home. These systems reduce the use of high–quality drinking water for tasks not requiring it, ultimately saving money by lowering utility bills.

To help homeowners understand rainwater harvesting system design and construction requirements, the City of Guelph has designed a Residential Rainwater Harvesting Design and Installation Best Practices Manual.
451 kBRainwater Harvesting Seasonal Tank Application107 kBAll–Season Indoor/Outdoor Rainwater Harvesting System Application

For more information

519-837-5627
rainwater@guelph.ca

Seasonal Outdoor System

During spring and summer, Guelph’s water use increases by as much as 30 per cent due to outdoor activities such as garden and lawn watering, and car washing. Capturing free rainwater and using it outside your home for activities that don’t require drinking water saves you money, helps conserve Guelph’s precious groundwater, and reduces demands on the municipal water system during high–use periods. Install an approved seasonal outdoor rainwater harvesting seasonal tank and receive a one–time rebate of $0.10/litre of tank storage (to a maximum of $400)
Illustration showing an above–ground, seasonal rainwater harvesting system.

A seasonal outdoor rainwater harvesting system typically includes a leaf screen, large–volume storage tank (≥500litres), conveyance system, a small pump, and is connected via a downspout. The tank can be placed above ground or buried underground.

The list of off–the–shelf options for rainwater harvesting system seasonal tanks is growing. Homeowners may consider purchasing a system package, or consult with an engineer to design a system to meet their specific needs. The City of Guelph has designed a Residential Rainwater Harvesting Design and Installation Best Practices Manual to assist you in determining what you need.

To qualify for a rebate, a single–unit rainwater harvesting system seasonal tank must be ≥500litres and collect water from at least 50 per cent of a home’s roof area.

To ensure the seasonal tank you purchase and install qualifies, please refer to the following:

106 kBTerms and Conditions: Seasonal Outdoor Rainwater Harvesting System Seasonal Tank Rebate Program451 kBRainwater Harvesting Seasonal Tank Application86 kBList of known Seasonal Outdoor Rainwater Harvesting System Seasonal Tank Providers

This list is provided as a courtesy. The City of Guelph: does not endorse any of these retailers or any of their products, services or prices; has not confirmed that these retailers carry products that qualify for rebate through the program; has not confirmed the location of these retailers or verified that these retailers would provide their products or services in Guelph; has not confirmed the quality of the products or services of these retailers; reserves the right to amend or remove this list at any time, without notice.

All–Season Indoor/Outdoor System

During spring and summer, Guelph’s water use increases by as much as 30 per cent due to outdoor activities such as garden and lawn watering, and car washing. In addition, toilet flushing and laundry account for almost 50 per cent of a home’s annual water use. By using free rainwater for these activities a family can cut their water bill in half! All–season indoor/outdoor rainwater harvesting systems are individually engineered for each home. To help homeowners understand rainwater harvesting system design and construction requirements, the City of Guelph has designed a Residential Rainwater Harvesting Design and Installation Best Practices Manual. All–season indoor/outdoor systems are required to be designed and constructed in accordance with the Ontario Building Code, and the City of Guelph’s home rainwater harvesting system design standards.
Illustration of a home in cross–¬section showing an all–season indoor/outdoor rainwater harvesting system.

An all–season indoor/outdoor rainwater harvesting system collects and filters precipitation captured from downspouts year–round and stores it. This water can then be used—inside and outside—for activities that don’t need drinking water, such as laundry, toilet flushing and landscaping.

92 kBTerms and Conditions: All–Season Indoor/Outdoor Rainwater Harvesting System Rebate Program107 kBRebate Application Form: All–Season Indoor/Outdoor Rainwater Harvesting System

Other Resources

Frequently asked questions

Not all tasks or water–using activities in our homes require drinking–quality water, for example, watering the lawn, or flushing the toilet. By capturing high–quality rainwater to use in and around the home, you can offset the need to pay for municipally–supplied drinking water to do those same tasks. This saves you money on your water bill, helps conserve Guelph’s precious groundwater, and reduces overall demand on the system during high–use periods.

Rainwater harvesting systems are individually engineered for the home at which they are installed. All–season indoor/outdoor rainwater harvesting systems are required to be designed and constructed in accordance with the Ontario Building Code, and to meet local by–law requirements.

To help homeowners understand rainwater harvesting system design and construction requirements, the City of Guelph has developed a Residential Rainwater Harvesting Design and Installation Best Practices Manual.

Assuming all criteria are met as per the rebate’s Terms and Conditions, a rebate will be provided to by either a credit applied to the water account, or a mailed cheque. If the application is approved, the rebate amount will be provided within 12 weeks of receipt of the complete application and verification of project completion.

A building permit is required for any installation or alteration to a plumbing system. A seasonal outdoor rainwater harvesting system only requires a building permit if the seasonal system is in any way connected to a home’s plumbing system (e.g. hose bib or other tap). An all–season indoor/outdoor rainwater harvesting system would require a building permit.

For more information on these requirements, visit guelph.ca/building.

Seasonal outdoor rainwater harvesting systems can be simple or complex. If installing a single–unit, off–the–shelf system, following manufacturer’s specifications is recommended and can often be done on your own. However, some component–based irrigation systems may require assistance from a contractor or engineer familiar with rainwater harvesting systems and/or a qualified plumbing contractor.

The design and installation of an all–season indoor/outdoor rainwater harvesting system must be completed by a rainwater harvesting contractor, engineer and/or qualified plumbing contractor to be eligible for a rebate.

Rebates are limited to one per household.

Rebate applications for an approved seasonal outdoor rainwater harvesting system seasonal tank must be received within the calendar year during which the latter of purchase or installation occurred. Rebates for these systems are available as of May 24, 2014, with systems completed on or after that date being eligible for a rebate.

Rebates for approved all–season indoor/outdoor rainwater harvesting systems will be honoured for purchases and installations completed on or after January 1, 2010.

No. The seasonal tank must be a single–unit with ≥500 litres of storage, designed and manufactured for the direct purpose of rainwater collection, and include a secure lid (child–proof), leaf screen, and—for above–ground installation—must be algae– and UV–resistant. Repurposed or homemade tanks do not qualify for the rebate.

The Ontario Building Code allows for the residential use of treated rainwater for toilet flushing, priming your floor drain, laundry, and outdoor activities such as garden and lawn watering, including subsurface irrigation.

Water treated by a rainwater harvesting system does not meet the provincial drinking water quality standards and should not be consumed under any circumstance.

Potential health concerns arise with any type of rainwater harvesting system if rainwater is ingested. If installed incorrectly, an all–season indoor/outdoor rainwater harvesting system’s supply lines may be crossed with the drinking water supply. To prevent this, all water service lines in the home carrying rainwater must be clearly labelled “Non–potable water—do not drink!/Advertisement: Eau non–potable—ne pas boire!” during installation. This labelling serves as an indicator that water carried through these lines is not of drinking water quality, and that plumbing lines should not be crossed during any future work.

Water treated by a rainwater harvesting system does not meet the provincial drinking water quality standards and should not be consumed under any circumstance.