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BIOSWALES (WET / DRY)

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Swales are shallow vegetated open channels designed to convey, reduce and filter runoff. A wet swale includes design features that improve the contaminant removal and runoff reduction functions of a simple roadside ditch. A dry swale, also referred to as a bioswale, is an enhanced wet swale that incorporates an engineered filter media bed and optional perforated pipe underdrain or a bioretention cell.

COMPATIBILITY

  • Suitable in narrow areas alongside trails and roadways
  • Topographic and soil conditions must be taken into account to ensure plant growth
  • Deep rooted plants are most compatible as they withstand the water force and help to slow water flow
  • Ensure that the drainage pattern does not encourage water pooling on sidewalks, which contributes to icy conditions and poses a hazard to pedestrians during the winter months

 

MAINTENANCE

  • Pruning, weeding, and mowing carried out as needed, but primarily in the spring and fall
  • Watering as needed, although new plants may require additional watering while their roots establish
  • Removing built up leaf litter to prevent blockage of water flow
  • Removing sediment built up
  • Checking for signs of erosion after heavy rainfall will ensure continuous water runoff and prevent clogging
  • Channels and rills can be repaired by re-seeding washed out areas

 

COSTS

  • Installation costs are dependent on location and design features, but typically are cheaper than alternative curb and gutter treatments
  • Initial costs involve moving of earth to create a swale
  • Main cost difference between a dry and wet swale is the highly permeable soil and underdrain system required for a dry swale

 

RESOURCES


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