What is a swale on contour?

What is a swale on contour?

Contour swales are leaky linier dams that follow a contour. They’re probably more easily visualised as a ditch with the spoil from the ditch forming a mound or berm downhill of the ditch. The idea is that the ditch intercepts the water flowing down the slope in a rain event and temporarily holds some of it.

How do you contour a swale?

Using the marked contour line, dig vertically into the hill, piling the dirt on the downhill side of the swale. The depth of the swale should remain the same and can be measured from the established contour line then leveled with a water level or the A-frame later.

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.

What do you fill swale with?

Line the swale with landscape fabric, fill it with inexpensive gravel or crushed concrete and top it off with a few inches of attractive stone. Place larger stones along the sides to hold soil in place. Plant ground cover or grass inside a swale that’s subject to occasional rushing water.

What is the difference between a berm and a swale?

A vegetated swale is a grass-lined depression that slows down runoff water velocity and infiltrates the water into the soil. Berms are low earthen walls adjacent to ditches that can be used to help retain runoff in a designated area along the downhill side of the locaon.

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 the purpose of a swale?

For many years they have been used along rural highways and residential streets to convey runoff. Today, swales not only convey stormwater but also help to treat runoff to reduce pollutants. Like ditches, swales collect stormwater from roads, driveways, parking lots and other hard surfaces.

How does a swale 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 point of a swale?

The primary purpose of most swales in dry climates is to protect structures and to slow down or divert water. While it might seem like our drought-prone state would not need much in the way of excess water management, drainage swales are a critical part of flood prevention and help keep our ground water cleaner.

Can you fill in a swale with rocks?

As long as you do not impede the flow of water, you can line your swale with gravel and place stepping stones along the base to create a walkway.

What is purpose of berm?

A berm is a ridge or barrier constructed of compacted soil, gravel, rocks, and stones to prevent, divert, or direct water away from a particular area.

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).