Virginia Conservation Assistance Program

Availability:
available in person   In Person

The Virginia Conservation Assistance Program (VCAP) is available to all homeowners, commercial and public land in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. This program provides financial incentives for 13 Best Management Practices (BMPs) to help non-agricultural landowners reduce their “stormwater footprint” and improve water quality. Funding availability varies for VCAP. For more details on VCAP and urban BMPs, contact Charles Lively at (840) 501-5176.

For more information: http://vaswcd.org/vcap

 

NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS!

Contact Charles Lively at 501-5176 or liv042@henrico.us for information.

 


 

Program Overview

To be eligible for the program your property must meet the following criteria:

  • Sites must have been developed for three years or more to be eligible for cost share assistance. Exceptions may be granted on a case-by-case basis.
  • Sites must be unencumbered by any regulatory programs.
  • Sites must be released from any erosion and sediment control (or land-disturbing) permits as applicable.
  • All applicable federal, state, and local permits must be obtained prior to any contract approval.
  • Proposed practices must provide water quality benefits above and beyond that which is already provided for the site.

All practices require an Operation and Maintenance agreement to be signed upon completion of the project. This agreement ensures proper maintenance of the project for the duration of the lifespan. Urban nutrient management plans are valid for 3 years; Pet Waste Stations have a lifespan of 3 years and all other practices have a lifespan of 10 years. Once installed, projects should be considered permanent landscape features and an effort should be made to continued management past the lifespan.

 


 

 

 VCAP process

  1. Fill out and submit an application.
    A Henricopolis staff member will be in contact to set up a site visit (this can be arranged prior to submitting an application if technical assistance is needed).
  2. The application is taken to the Board for approval (see the Henricopolis calendar for Board meeting dates).
  3. Approval letter is sent to the homeowner detailing funding amount and information needed for final plans, which may include a professional engineer design certification for some practices.
  4. Final plans are submitted to Henricopolis for approval by the homeowner prior to beginning construction. Upon approval, construction may begin.
  5. After completion, a Henricopolis staff member will schedule a follow-up site visit to ensure the practice was installed and follows the approved plans. An engineer “as-built” certification is required for some practices.
  6. Upon submittal of all invoices and certifications, a reimbursement check is sent to the homeowner.
  7. Spot checks will be conducted randomly for the duration of the lifespan. If a practice fails the spot check, the homeowner will receive written notice and be allowed adequate time to fix the issue. If the issue is not resolved, the homeowner will be required to pay back a portion of the cost-share funds.

 


 

 Eligible VCAP Practices

For additional information and materials on these practices, see the links in the VCAP Documents section of this page.

 

Rainwater Harvesting

Rainwater harvesting systems intercept, divert, store, and release rainfall for future use. Rainwater harvesting includes the collection and conveyance into an above or below ground storage tank where it can later be used or directed to on-site stormwater disposal/infiltration. Uses of the harvested rainwater may include flushing of toilets and urinals inside buildings, landscape & garden irrigation, exterior washing, fire suppression systems, etc.

In many instances, rainwater harvesting can be combined with a secondary (down-gradient) runoff reduction practice to enhance runoff volume reduction rates and/or provide treatment of overflow from the rainwater harvesting system.

VCAP cost share for this practice is limited to the installation of cisterns with a capacity of at least 250 gallons. Henricopolis has smaller, 50-55 gallon, rain barrels available to purchase at our workshops throughout the year. For more information, contact Stacey.

The payment rate is $2.00 per gallon of storage, up to $10,000.00 maximum payment. For full technical specifications please refer to the VCAP manual, all design and installation plans must be certified by an engineer and must meet the specifications of  the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Stormwater Management Design Specification No. 6.

 

rainGarden1

Rain Gardens

A Rain Garden is a shallow landscaped depression that temporarily ponds runoff 6 to 12 inches above the mulch layer and then infiltrates into the underlying native soil. This practice is designed to treat runoff from small areas, such as individual rooftops, driveways and other on-lot features in single-family detached residential developments. Inflow is typically from a downspout with energy dissipaters or can be sheet flow from a driveway/patio or lawn. When planted with native plants, these landscaped areas can also serve as habitat for local pollinators and other important wildlife. This urban practice is intended for individual homeowners or public spaces, and is appropriate for areas with a drainage area of 0.5 acre or less.

This practice is eligible for 75% cost share up to $2,000 per application.

 

Bioretention

This practice is similar to rain gardens but is larger and must contain an underdrain system. Bioretention systems are intended for larger public or commercial spaces with a drainage area over 0.5 acres.

The funding is 75% cost share up to a maximum payment of $10,000. For full technical specifications please refer to the VCAP manual, all design and installation plans must be certified by an engineer and must meet the specifications of DEQ Stormwater Design Specification No. 9.

 

Conservation Landscaping 

This practice encompasses the conversion of turf grass areas or bare soils to native planted areas – herbaceous and woody species. Changing landscape practices collectively in a community can have significant beneficial impacts on local water quality and that of the Chesapeake Bay. Replacing managed turf areas with native plants improves water quality by reducing the amount of chemicals need to maintain the plants and infiltrating more water allowing the soils to naturally filter out other potentially harmful pollutants. Planting native plants also improves wildlife habitat which is especially significant for the very important pollinators of this area.

The incentive payment rate has three levels of application as follows. Note that only one cost share rate may be applied per planting area.

  1. MEADOW: herbaceous native plants in meadow setting, $250 per 1,000 square feet;
  2. FOREST: no-mow-zone forested landscape, using sapling trees, tree tubes, and a ten foot spacing, up to $9.00 per tree;
  3. LANDSCAPING: landscaped woody bed setting, $250 per 1,000 square feet.

*Payments will not exceed the total cost of the project*

*Maximum payment for any Conservation Landscaping project is $3,500.00. Only one cost share rate can be applied per planting area.*

 

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Permeable Paving

Traditionally paved surfaces are impermeable, converting rainfall to runoff. Permeable pavement promotes a high degree of runoff volume reduction and nutrient removal.. Permeable pavements are alternative paving surfaces that allow stormwater runoff to filter through voids in the pavement surface into an underlying stone reservoir where it is temporarily stored and/or infiltrated. A variety of permeable pavement surfaces are available, including pervious concrete, porous asphalt, and permeable interlocking concrete pavers. Most permeable pavements have a similar structure, consisting of a surface pavement layer, an underlying stone aggregate reservoir layer and a filter layer or fabric installed on the bottom.

This BMP is funded at 50% cost share, up to $3 per square foot with a maximum payment of $12,000.00. For full technical specifications please refer to the VCAP manual, all design and installation plans must be certified by an engineer and must meet the specifications of DEQ Stormwater Design Specification No. 7.


Impervious Surface Removal

The amount of impervious surface (eg. pavement) in a watershed is directly linked to poor water quality. Removing impervious surfaces and replacing it with a surface that can infiltrate water (either pervious pavers or native plants), reduces the amount of stormwater runoff, which directly improves water quality.

This practice is funded at $2.50 per square foot of impervious surface removed up to $10,000.00 maximum payment. The impervious surface must be replaced with either native vegetation or permeable pavement to qualify.

 

Vegetated Stormwater Conveyances

Vegetated Stormwater Conveyances serve to prevent scour and erosion, providing  water quality treatment while conveying stormwater. They are constructed trapezoidal channels lined with vegetation to inhibit erosion. From a water quality perspective, they are preferable to pipes because they allow more opportunity for infiltration. The two types of vegetated conveyances are Dry Swales, and Wet Swales, with an optional grass channel as a pretreatment.

Dry swales and wet swales are funded at 75% cost share. For full technical specifications please refer to the VCAP manual, all design and installation plans must be certified by an engineer and must meet the specifications of DEQ Stormwater Management Design Specification No. 10 (Dry Swale) or 11 (Wet Swale).

This BMP is funded at a 75% of costs reimbursement rate, with a maximum payment of $5,000.00 for Dry Swales and Step-Pool Conveyances, and $3,000.00 for wet swales. Pre-treatment costs, if necessary, are included in the cost of the primary practice.

 

Constructed Wetlands

Constructed wetlands are artificial systems built to mimic the functions of natural wetlands. A constructed wetland can temporarily store, filter, and clean runoff from driveways, roofs and lawns and thereby improve water quality. To properly function in this regard, the wetland should be designed and constructed to retain water or remain saturated for two to three weeks.

The wetland environment provides an ideal environment for gravitational settling, biological uptake, and microbial activity. Constructed wetlands are the final element in the roof-to-stream runoff reduction sequence. They should only be considered for use after all other upland runoff reduction opportunities have been exhausted and there is still a remaining water quality or channel protection volume to manage.

Constructed wetlands are funded at 75% cost share with a maximum payment of $5,000.00. For full technical specifications please refer to the VCAP manual, all design and installation plans must be certified by an engineer and must meet the specifications of DEQ Stormwater Design Specification No. 13.

 

Green Roofs

Green roofs or vegetated roofs are alternatives to traditional roofing materials. They contain drought loving plants, as well as a waterproof membrane and underdrain system. A portion of the captured stormwater evaporates or is taken up by plants, which helps reduce runoff volumes, peak runoff rates, and pollutant loads on development sites. This practice is intended for situations where the primary design objective of the vegetated roof is stormwater management. Green roof installations provide many other environmental benefits such as energy efficiency, air quality improvements, and wildlife habitat.

This practice is funded at $10 per square foot up to a maximum payment of $10,000.00.

 

Dry Well

A Dry Well is a subsurface storage facility that receives and temporarily stores stormwater runoff from roofs of structures and may be either a structural chamber or excavated pit filled with gravel. Discharge of this stored runoff from a dry well occurs through infiltration into the surrounding soils. Due to its storage capacity, a dry well may be used to reduce the total stormwater quality design storm runoff volume that a roof would ordinarily discharge to downstream stormwater management facilities. This practice is designed to treat runoff from small areas, such as individual rooftops, driveways and other on-lot features in single-family detached residential developments. Inflow is typically from a downspout with energy dissipaters or can be sheet flow from a driveway/patio or lawn.

This practice is funded at a 75% resimbursement rate for costs with a maximum payment of $2,000.00.

 

Infiltration Basin

Infiltration is a practice that provides temporary surface and/or subsurface storage of runoff. Examples include gravel trenches or sodded area over an underground gravel bed or storage chambers with or without an underdrain. Infiltration practices typically treat larger drainage areas such as parking lots, multiple lots and/or commercial rooftops. Inflow can be either sheet flow or concentrated flow. Infiltration should be located in common area or within drainage easements, to treat a combination of roadway and lot runoff and can be sized for either Level 1 (1 inch rainfall) or Level 2 (1.25 inch rainfall) treatment.

This practice is reimbursed up to 75% of costs with a maximum payment of $10,000.00.

 

VCAP PROJECTS

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These projects are the first to be completed in Henrico County.  To find out more or to see this beautiful landscape in person, contact Charlie Lively at 501-5176 or liv042@henrico.us.

 

 

Contact Us

Henricopolis Soil and Water Conservation District

Henricopolis SWCD
8600 Dixon Powers Drive
Henrico, VA 23228

Charles Lively
804-501-5176
Lindy Durham
804-501-5175
Stacey Heflin
804-501-5289

HSWCD Fax
804-501-5919

Henricopolis SWCD
P.O. Box 90775
Henrico, VA 23273

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