Water for Community Gardens Program

Whether you’re planting vegetables or flowers, or initiating a neighborhood greening project, a community garden is a wonderful way to bring people together! We are happy to see that so many neighborhoods have incorporated them into their communities.

Watering Together, Growing Together

Photo of purple cone flowers at a rain garden in Pittsburgh

To support these projects, it has long been our practice to make potable water available to community gardens, gateway gardens, and vacant land greening projects within our water service area. 

We provide a flat donation of $500.00 per growing season to approved gardens. This volume of water will generously provide for the needs of flowers and vegetables throughout the growing season on a typical garden lot. Most gardens are expected to use much less.

If approved for water assistance, we will coordinate with the project leader to provide water access at the site. If a garden exceeds its assisted water usage limit ($500.00 worth of water), bills will be issued monthly at the residential rate for consumption over the assisted amount. 

Common Questions

How can I determine if my garden is eligible for water assistance?

Map of Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority's Service Area

Check our interactive water service area map to see if your existing or proposed community garden or neighborhood greening project is within our water service area. 

How can I apply for water assistance for my eligible garden?

  1. Review the Water Access Request Form and Guidelines
  2. Fill out the request form and sign in ink
  3. Email a scan or photo of the form to water4gardens@pgh2o.com, mail a hard copy to 1200 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15222, or stop by our 1200 Penn Avenue office
  4. Review the Water For Gardens FAQ to understand your responsibilities as a garden leader. A printable version is also available.

What can I do if I think my garden will exceed the assisted water limit?

To request additional water for your garden, please send a letter to PWSA’s Executive Director at 1200 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15222. Your request should outline the need for additional water. The Executive Director approves requests for additional water on a case by case basis.

Can I capture rainwater at my garden?

Yes, we encourage rainwater harvesting whenever possible for gardens and greening projects throughout the entire city. Rainwater harvesting is important because it reduces the amount of water flowing into our city’s sewer system while providing water for your garden. Rainwater collection systems can include rain barrels on neighboring buildings, standalone rainwater catchments, designs that use swales, berms, or the natural slope of the land to keep rainwater on-site, or other creative solutions. 

To learn more about rainwater harvesting, see our Help Manage Stormwater page. If you would like help evaluating rainwater harvesting opportunities, please contact our Green Stormwater Infrastructure Team at greeninfrastructure@pgh2o.com.  

Where can I find resources related to gardening in Pittsburgh?

Contact Info

If you have additional questions about water assistance for gardens or greening projects, please email water4gardens@pgh2o.com