what is a stormwater drainage swale

What Is A Stormwater Drainage Swale?

A swale is a long, gently sloping, landscaped depression that collects and cleans stormwater. When. it rains, water runs over pavement and other hard surfaces, picking up pollutants along the way. Much of this polluted stormwater runoff goes to storm drains and into our rivers and streams.

How does a swale drain work?

Swales follow the contours around the base of a natural or created slope, redirecting storm water and filtering runoff as it sinks into the soil, instead of keeping it in one place, like a rain garden. Plants suck up the water along a swale’s gently sloping banks and sometimes down the center of the channel.

What is the function of a swale?

The swale is vegetated with flood tolerant, erosion resistant plants. The design of grassed swales promotes the conveyance of storm water at a slower, controlled rate and acts as a filter medium removing pollutants and allowing stormwater infiltration.

What is the purpose of a Bioswale?

Bioswales are storm water runoff conveyance sys- tems that provide an alternative to storm sewers. They can absorb low flows or carry runoff from heavy rains to storm sewer inlets or directly to sur- face waters.

What is the purpose of a swale as an Bioretention stormwater treatment system?

Bioretention swales are shallow, vegetated, landscaped depressions with sloped sides. They are designed to capture, treat and infiltrate stormwater runoff as it moves downstream.

Are swales effective?

Vegetated swales are most effective on soils that allow infiltration. If infiltration is desired, the underlying soil drainage rate should exceed 0.5 inches per hour. Amended topsoil can be installed to improve infiltration and retention of runoff.

How do you drain a swale?

Why is swale called swale?

The name “Swale” is Old English in origin, and is believed to mean “swirling, rushing river”, or “rushing water”.

Where are swales located?

They are typically located next to roads, where they replace conventional gullies and drainage pipe systems, but examples can also be seen of swales being located in landscaped areas, adjacent to car parks, alongside fields, and in other open spaces.

When should you not use swales?

Swales are not appropriate on steep landscapes. Any area with more than a fifteen-degree slope (about 1:3.75) isn’t appropriate for installing swales, as the water saturation may cause slides, which could be dangerous.

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Do bioswales prevent flooding?

Bioswales reduce flooding by their decreased elevation and connected channelization, which guide water towards them. Additionally, their increased surface area and the permeability of their soil and stone components both slow the force and drain the volume produced in a rain event.

Are bioswales expensive?

Bioswales are typically less costly to construct than curb and gutter or underground storm sewer systems for residential and commercial applications.

What does a bioswale look like?

Bioswales are typically vegetated, mulched, or xeriscaped. They consist of a swaled drainage course with gently sloped sides (less than 6%). Bioswale design is intended to safely maximize the time water spends in the swale, which aids the collection and removal of pollutants, silt and debris.

What is the difference between a ditch and a swale?

To put it simply, a ditch is made to carry water away and a swale is made to collect and slowly release water into the landscape.

What is a swale civil engineering?

A swale is a depression created in the ground that carries rainwater by gravity away from your home and property. … A swale is designed to collect rainwater on your property and the only way to do this without a pump is by gravity flow.

what is a stormwater drainage swale
what is a stormwater drainage swale

Can I plant trees in a swale?

It’s important to regard swales not just as a method of slowing and holding water but as a tree growing system. … A mound or berm is used to plant trees downslope from the swale and a level sill spillway allows the water to passively flow to a predetermined area, such as another swale, a pond, much basin, etc.

How deep is a swale?

Six- to 12-inches deep
There are no hard rules about the size of a swale, but the bigger it is the more water it can absorb during a rainstorm. Six- to 12-inches deep and 3- to 4-feet wide are typical dimensions. Smooth out the shape of the berm with a hard metal rake to form a planting bed.Nov 17, 2015

What is a swale permaculture?

A permaculture swale is a shallow trench dug along the land’s contour, with a berm on the downhill side created with soil from the trench. All points along a contour line are exactly the same height above sea level. … Permaculture swales can ease the effort of food production while improving the local ecology.

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How much does a swale cost?

Cost Considerations

Generally speaking, Vegetated Swales cost between $4.50 and $8.50 per linear foot when vegetated from seed, and $15 to $20 per linear foot when vegetated from sod. Annual maintenance costs will be around $1 per linear foot (seed) and $2 per linear foot (sod).

What is a concrete swale?

Concrete swale on a commercial site conveys stormwater to a drain inlet. DESCRIPTION. An A/C swale is a man-made drainage channel designed, shaped, and lined to convey surface runoff in a non-erosive manner downstream to a treatment and/or infiltration system.

Is the swale a river?

The River Swale in Yorkshire, England, is a major tributary of the River Ure, which becomes the River Ouse, that empties into the North Sea via the Humber Estuary. The river gives its name to Swaledale, the valley through which it flows.

What is the swale area?

373.5 km²

How wide is the swale?

4 miles
It is located on the south side of the Thames estuary at its mouth. Swale borough includes the Isle of Sheppey, 9 miles (14 km) long and 4 miles (6 km) wide, to the north.

What is a drainage ditch?

Definitions of drainage ditch. a ditch for carrying off excess water or sewage. type of: ditch. a long narrow excavation in the earth.

How do you make a swale permaculture?

The general idea behind digging the swale is that it should be about three-times as wide as it is deep, and the berm—the pile of excavated dirt—should be mounded to create the upper part of the bottom side of the swale. Make sure that the base of the swale is level so that the water disperses evenly.

How much does it cost to install a Bioswale?

If you plan to build out a rain garden or bioswale, costs will vary. Estimated cost for a rain garden is $3–5 per square foot if labor is donated • Estimate $200–4,000 for a 200m2 bioswale.

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Are Bioswales safe?

Bioswales are not recommended in locations with low infiltration rates because standing water, localized flooding, and other issues can cause problems within the street and sidewalk in an urban environment.

Where do I put Bioswale?

Siting Considerations

For this reason, bioswales work best when installed in parking lots, along roadways and sidewalks or as an Benhancement to natural or existing drainage swales; however they may be constructed in any location provided there is a mild slope (no greater than five percent).

How do you maintain a bioswale?

Bioswales typically are located along a roadway. These stormwater BMPs need regular maintenance, similar to other landscaped areas, including: weeding, removing trash and debris, pruning, and mulching.

What is Bioretention How does it work?

Bioretention is an important technique that uses soil, plants and microbes to treat stormwater before it is infiltrated or discharged. Bioretention “cells” are shallow depressions filled with sandy soil, topped with a thick layer of mulch, and planted with dense vegetation.

What impact does a bioswale have on water quality?

The benefits of a bioswale on water quality include: Protects local waterways from stormwater pollutants. Creates habitat for wildlife, including birds and butterflies, Reduces non-point pollution by filtering stormwater.

How effective are Bioswales?

According to the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), a 4-meter bioswale can reduce about 25% the of total rainfall runoff. The effectiveness of bioswales extends to their ability to filter stormwater naturally.

What is the difference between a rain garden and a bioswale?

Rain Gardens versus Bioswales

The main difference is that the bioswale moves water to somewhere else in the garden, while also allowing some (but not all) of it to infiltrate. A rain garden is specifically meant to increase infiltration. Bioswales are often used to convey water to a rain garden.

Where Does Stormwater Go?


How Swales Work, Permaculture at MADE Farms

Stormwater management with SlopeGrid swale.

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