FAQ – Commercial Smart Irrigation System Rebate

Learn more about smart irrigation systems and all the details you need to know to make the SAWS rebate work for you.  


Frequently Asked Questions

What is a smart irrigation system?

Smart irrigation systems, also referred to as central control, is a network of irrigation controllers and flow sensors that are all connected to the internet. The system can be managed and adjusted remotely, using a fixed schedule or a weather-based program that adjusts automatically. These systems also provide notifications on runtime, water use and alerts about leaks.  

Can I apply for a rebate on a system I have already installed?

No, you must submit your site’s plans for a smart system upgrade before beginning any work. If approved, you will receive a pre-approved maximum rebate amount.  

What are the Annual Irrigation Checkup and Annual Backflow Assembly Testing requirements?

Per City of San Antonio Ordinance, commercial properties five (5) acres or larger with in-ground irrigation and properties that used over 1 million gallons of water for irrigation in the prior calendar year with in-ground irrigation systems must submit an annual irrigation checkup to the SAWS Conservation department by May 1 each year. Properties must submit an annual irrigation checkup report before applying for a rebate. Annual testing of backflow prevention assemblies is required by Chapter 24 of the City of San Antonio’s Plumbing and Fuel Gas Code, Chapter 34 of the City of San Antonio Code of Ordinances, and the SAWS Cross-Connection and Backflow Prevention Control Program.

Do I need to submit an invoice for the parts purchased or installation labor?

Yes, collect invoices for each part and service, and ensure invoices are itemized. You will submit these once your project is completed and schedule a site visit with SAWS to verify the installation. Here’s an example of what an itemized invoice might look like:

Meter 1234567: $4,000 in labor, $600 for Brand Model controller, $800 for four Brand Model flow sensors. Total $5,400

Meter 1234589: $6,000 in labor, $1,200 for two Brand Model controller, $2,000 for ten Brand Model flow sensors. Total $9,200

Meters 1234928, 1293847: $10,000 in labor, $600 for one Brand Model controller, $1,000 for five Brand Model flow sensors. Total $11,600

Meter 1234589: $1,000 in labor, $600 for one Brand Model controller, $400 for two Brand Model flow sensors, $1,000 for a Brand Model master valve. Total $3,000

Can I apply for this program if I am only installing a single controller?

Please see the Commercial Smart Irrigation Controller Rebate page for information on upgrading a single smart controller. 

Can this rebate be used for new systems?

No, you must use it to upgrade existing irrigation systems.  

Can I use any manufacturer for my system?

Yes, you can use components from any manufacturer as long as each component meets the rebate program requirements. 

Are systems where the parts are owned and managed by a third-party company eligible?

No. To qualify for the rebate, all system equipment must belong to the organization that owns the property and pays the SAWS water bill. 

Can I include labor and parts costs for adding new zones in the project?

No, construction of new zones will need to be excluded from the project costs.  

How long does it take to receive a rebate?

Once you have received your final rebate approval email, you will receive your check within eight (8) weeks. Checks are issued to the name on the SAWS account and mailed first class via U.S. Postal Service to the address on the final inspection agreement. If a different name or mailing address for the check is preferred, provide this information on your application. 

Rebates over $600 will require an IRS W-9 tax form. You will receive a 1099 Form from SAWS for your taxes. Rebate checks will not be issued until your completed W-9 form is received by SAWS.  

How long will this program be available?

Program funds are limited, and applications will be processed on a first come, first served basis. 

Will SAWS come to install my system?

SAWS does not conduct installations of smart irrigation systems. 

Can SAWS recommend a smart irrigation system manufacturer or a licensed irrigator to install my system?

A licensed irrigator must install the system. SAWS cannot recommend any manufacturers, products or irrigation companies SAWS does not in any way endorse or promote or guarantee the work of any irrigation company or parts manufacturer. Due diligence in hiring an irrigator is the sole responsibility of the SAWS customer. SAWS is not responsible for damages caused by the irrigator.

Do I need to maintain a contract with the same irrigator for the three required years?

Internet connectivity and a contracted licensed irrigator must be maintained for at least three years. It does not have to be the same irrigator, but you must have a contract with one in place for all three years.

I have more questions. Is there someone I can talk to at SAWS?

Yes, call us at 210-704-SAVE (7283).

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