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Steps to Become a RiverSmart Homeowner

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1. Apply

There are two ways you can apply for enrollment in the RiverSmart Homes program: 

Filling out an application will add you to a waiting list for a site audit. The wait time for a DOEE auditor to contact you and schedule an audit for your property will vary depending on the time of the year. Due to high demand, it usually takes between three to five months before you are contacted to schedule your site audit.

2. Have a site audit conducted

DOEE will conduct an audit to assess which features – rain barrels, shade trees, rain gardens, BayScaping, permeable pavers, or re-vegetation – are appropriate for your property. A DOEE auditor will come to your home at an appointed time, review the RiverSmart Homes program with you, and ask for a brief tour of your yard. The auditor will take measurements, record notes, and make recommendations for your property. You must be present at the property during the audit, which takes approximately one hour to complete.

Two to three weeks following the audit, you will receive the auditor’s report for your property. The report will recommend which RiverSmart Homes features can reduce runoff from your property.

3. Let DOEE know what items from the audit you want installed

After reviewing the report, contact your auditor to let them know what features you would like to have installed on your property. DOEE has partnered with local nonprofits and contractors that will work directly with you to have your features installed. DOEE will pass your information and selected features on to the nonprofit or contractor who will coordinate your installation.

4. Have features installed

The nonprofit or contractor will contact you to arrange your installation. The time at which your copayment is due will vary depending on the installation. For example, the copayment for a rain barrel is due at the time of installation, but the copayment for a tree is due prior to planting.

5. Maintain and enjoy your features

After a feature is installed, it is the homeowner’s responsibility to maintain it. Information about maintenance is provided at the time of installation and is available here.

DOEE conducts random site inspections to verify and assess installation and maintenance. An auditor will give advance notice if your home has been selected for inspection.