Turf Replacement Program

Effective July 1, 2018
City of Modesto residential and commercial customers may be eligible for a rebate when they replace their grass with polyethylene/nylon artificial turf products or any qualifying drought tolerant landscape products. Funding is limited and applications will be accepted on a first come, first served basis. The City of Modesto reserves the right to terminate this program at any time and for any reason.

Customers who install qualifying products are eligible for a rebate in the amount of $1.25 per square foot for a maximum of 1,000 square feet. The rebate amount may not exceed $1,250 per City of Modesto water account.

Outdoor landscaping is the single largest use of water in a typical California home. In most yards, grass consumes the most water, therefore reducing or eliminating how much grass you have in your landscape can have a significant impact on your water use.

How to Apply

  1. Obtain an application using one of the following methods:
    1. Apply Online
    2. Download Turf Replacement Application (PDF)
    3. Email
    4. Telephone: 209-342-2246
  2. If you are not applying online, send completed paper application and the original sales receipt to one of the following:
    1. Mail:
       City of Modesto Attention:Water Division - Rebate Program
      PO Box 642
      Modesto CA 95353 
    2. Fax: 209-577-4983
    3. Email

A City of Modesto representative will contact you to schedule a brief appointment to verify your existing landscape.

Program Guidelines and Participation Section

Who Qualifies?

  • City of Modesto customers who pay a water utility bill to the City of Modesto
  • Customer accounts that are in good standing
  • Tenants who provide written approval from the property owner or property manager
  • Existing turf areas to be converted must currently be maintained and intact. Turf that is already removed at the time of pre-inspection is not eligible for the rebate.


  • Program applies to turf replaced between July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2019.
  • A pre-inspection will be scheduled once the application is approved.
  • After approval of pre-inspection, you will have 60 days to complete the conversion of your old landscape.
  • Once completed, contact the City of Modesto to schedule the post-inspection.
  • If not approved at post-inspection, you have 30 days to make corrections and to schedule a final inspection.

Turf Replacement (qualifying for rebate)

  • Plants must be Drought Tolerant and adapted to our climate.
  • Hardscape must be of permeable material (e.g. decomposed granite.) impermeable materials such as concrete are not allowed as part of the conversion area.
  • All planting areas must have a minimum of three inches of mulch.
  • Customer must provide a sketch of the proposed landscape as well as photos of the existing landscape. Photos must be clear and in color.
  • When replacing turf, irrigation system must be converted, capped, or eliminated.
  • Turf replacement must be maintained and kept in a healthy condition for a period of five years.
  • Turf replacement must be installed within the Modesto City service area and at the location on application.
  • The customer must provide a list of proposed plants with the application. Visit the state website for an approved list.
  • Irrigation system - if using for converted area, it must be low volume drip.
  • The system must be in good working order, free of leaks and malfunctions.
  • If only part of the lawn is converted, the new planting area must be irrigated on a separate valve from the remaining lawn.
  • Sprinkler system for the remaining lawn must be modified to avoid spray onto the converted area.


  • Existing artificial turf, turf installation costs, new construction, accessories, and taxes do not qualify.
  • Rebate checks will be mailed within 8 weeks after completing the rebate process.
  • Rebate amount cannot exceed the purchase price of the turf replacement.
  • Rebates are limited to 1000 sq ft per utility billing account per fiscal year (July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2019).

Application and Rebate Approval or Denial

  • On-site compliance verification is required.
  • The original itemized dated sales receipt for the turf replacement is required at final inspection.
  • Incomplete, incorrect or unsigned applications cannot be processed. We will contact you with any discrepancies and may require you to submit a new application.
  • Customer must fulfill all program guidelines in order to be eligible for rebates.

Other Considerations

  • The Rebate Program is not responsible for materials lost by mail.
  • Submission or possession of a rebate application does not guarantee receiving a rebate.
  • Rebates are processed on a first come, first served basis.
  • Funding for this rebate program is limited to available resources.
  • Rebate amounts are subject to change without notification.
  • This program shall at all times be subject to change or termination without prior notice.
  • Existing turf must be removed prior to the installation of drought tolerant landscaping
  • Any mulch or material used for ground cover (bark, decomposed granite, pea gravel) must be maintained on the property by a border(e.g. bender board, concrete strip, wood frame).