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NEW! Spring 2018 RainSmart will be reimbursing rain barrels!!


What is a rain garden?

A rain garden is a landscape feature for reducing stormwater runoff. It is a shallow depression filled with sandy soils, and planted with native plants suited to fluctuating water levels. For our purposes, the rain garden will be collecting rain water from your roof via your gutter downspouts.

  • Rain gardens are NOT water gardens.
  • They do NOT contain standing water year-round.
  • Rain gardens capture water during a rain event and then dry out within 72 hours (preventing any mosquitos from breeding)
  • They are NOT meant to decrease or prevent erosion
  • They are NOT meant to decrease or prevent flooding


About RainSmart

RainSmart is a homeowner's incentive program that reimburses City of Chattanooga residents for installing water quality projects on their property. 

  • Our Goal: Reduce stormwater runoff

  • Stormwater runoff is excess rainwater that can carry pollutants into our natural water bodies

  • Rain gardens and rain barrels capture stormwater runoff 

  • Have these installed on your property and you may be eligible for a rebate!*
  • RainSmart rain gardens are for capturing and infiltrating stormwater runoff from the roof of your home. If you are experiencing stormwater on your property originating from off site, it is likely that RainSmart won't be able to address those issues

*Reimbursement is under discretion of the City. Must meet all requirements and documentation as provided by the RainSmart program.


How does the program work?

  1. If you meet our eligibilty requirements below: Contact us via email at with "RainSmart Applicant" in the subject line, and attach this application.
  2. We will reply and schedule a day to come out and assess your property for the project.
  3. You can either install the project yourself, or have one of our RainSmart Qualified Landscapers or someone else do it for you. 
  4. Your property will have to pass a "percolation test" - this measures the infiltration rate of your soil and is vital to a sucessful project. It's easy. Just follow these perc test directions
  5. We need a plan drawn of the project - either by you, (We will provide templates to help you) or our landscapers - which we will have to approve.
  6. We will have you sign our "Homeowner's Agreement".
  7. The project will need to pass 2 inspections to make sure the construction meets our standards.
  8. You or the landscaper will turn in all receipts for materials and labor along with our signed Homeowner's agreement.
  9. We will begin processing your rebate!


You can do it 2 ways:

1.) The "Install Only" Option: Contact us and follow the steps above to install a water quality project at your home.

2.) The "Workshop" Option: Contact us and follow the steps above to have your water quality device installed. In addition, we will host an educational workshop at your home where the public will help with planting while learning about water quality!

(Both options are eligible for reimbursement) 


Am I eligible?

Applicants will be prioritized based on site constraints on the property that allow or prevent a successful water quality project. 

  • Must be a City of Chattanooga resident
  • Applicant must own the property 
  • Project must demonstrate runoff reduction
  • Cannot currently work for the City of Chattanooga
  • Must be up to date on their water quality fee and property taxes


Thinking of building your own?



Interested in the Workshop Option? 

Interested in the Install Only Option?


Serve people with integrity and improve the infrastructure and environment through excellence.

Justin Holland, Administrator
1250 Market Street
Chattanooga TN 37402 (map)
(423) 643-6311  


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