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Sprinkler Audit PLUS


Interested in replacing grass with a low-water landscape, but not ready for a big project? Sprinkler Audit PLUS will evaluate if an eligible sprinkler zone exists that could be easily converted from spray heads to drip irrigation–from grass to a Garden In A Box (video). Customers may receive a $110 rebate plus additional sprinkler equipment for installing a qualifying project. Funds are limited – first come, first served!

Join the 2020 Waitlist

Eligible areas

Eligible areas must be approximately 300 square feet and contain zones that, if renovated, will not affect the watering of remaining turf zones. Examples include parkway strips and zone(s) between driveways. An area's eligibility is up to auditors’ discretion.*

What you'll need to do

Step 1: Register for a Sprinkler Audit PLUS service to find out if you’re eligible for a PLUS rebate.

Step 2: If the auditor finds an eligible zone, take your shopping list to the store and buy a Garden In a Box.

Step 3: Do a sprinkler-to-drip renovation. See handout.

Step 4: Remove turf. See handout.

Step 5: Pick up and plant your Garden In A Box(es).

Step 6: Plug in drip lines and emitters for each plant.

Step 7: Mulch.

Step 8: Send a rebate application, after photo and receipts to eGVyaXNjYXBlQGZjZ292LmNvbQ== to receive a rebate. Also, submit a rebate for qualifying drip equipment.

Step 9 (optional): Enjoy!

What you'll get

 $110 rebate for the Garden In A Box and a 50% rebate on the cost of qualifying irrigation equipment.

At the Sprinkler Audit PLUS appointment, the auditor will:

  1. Perform a free sprinkler system audit,
  2. Evaluate whether an eligible irrigation zone exists for a landscape/sprinkler swap and PLUS rebate
  3. Provide all the information needed to switch out the zone


  • Fort Collins Utilities residential water service address.
  • Single-family residence.
  • Must have a sprinkler system.
  • Must have a zone that’s easily converted to drip and drought-tolerant plants, as determined and verified by the auditor at your Sprinkler Audit PLUS appointment. Eligibility of areas is up to the auditors’ discretion.*

A few considerations for your PLUS project

Amend the soil

City code requires soil to be amended in areas that are cleared and set to hold plant material. Satisfy this requirement by removing grass with the lasagna method and/or according to Utilities’ recommendations.

Get HOA approval

It's up to you!

Did you know? By state law, HOAs cannot require grass on landscapes.[1]

[1] Colorado Revised Statute 8 §38-33.3-106.5 (1)(i)

Water the trees

If there are any existing trees in the area to be renovated, be sure to provide irrigation or a hand-watering schedule. Don’t know how much water your trees need? Check out resources from the City of Fort Collins Forestry Department.

Get City approval

Some parkway strips require approval from City of Fort Collins Zoning. Drop us a line, and we will help you figure out if you need to get City approval. eGVyaXNjYXBlQGZjZ292LmNvbQ==

Plant coverage

Plant material must cover 50% of the front yard.

Walk this way

Consider access points to your backyard or from a car parked along the curb.

Mix and mulch

Consider different mulch patterns and materials to break up monotony and add texture. The cost of the project goes up depending on how much rock you use, including boulders. The cost of the project goes down depending on how much material you can find (i.e. ask your neighbor, Craiglist, etc.) Did you know? You can pick up free mulch at two City sites year-round. Visit the Forestry website for more information.

Snow removal, tripping hazards and aesthetics

Be sure the finished grade of your mulch is at or below the grade of the adjacent hardscape.

*The Sprinkler Audit PLUS program is a pilot program for 2019. Utilities cannot guarantee an eligible area exists on each property.