What is swale and where is it used?

Swales are shallow, broad and vegetated channels designed to store and/or convey runoff and remove pollutants. They may be used as conveyance structures to pass the runoff to the next stage of the treatment train and can be designed to promote infiltration where soil and groundwater conditions allow.

What is swale topography?

Swales are the intervening low flow channels. These arcuate forms have differing radii of curvature, reflecting the pathway of lateral accretion. Ridge and swale topography may indicate phases of palaeo-migration paths, palaeo-curvature, and palaeo-widths of channel bends.

Why are swales used?

Swales, like any catchment, are a means of stopping water runoff, especially from roads and hard surfaces, and putting it to use rather than having it drain away. Using swales for these reasons can prevent both floods and droughts, which make them a pretty powerful tool.

How is a swale formed?

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.

Why is it called a swale?

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

What is a permaculture swale?

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.

Are swales lined?

Swales are shallow grass-lined channels designed to collect water and move it gradually away downslope. Infiltration can take place along their route and the grass helps to filter out suspended sediments as well as taking up nutrients.

What are swales and basins?

A swale is a shallow drainage channel with gentle side slopes in the ground where water running off a site can collect and soak away. Swales can be used to channel run-off from roads, yards and car parks where it collects into pools before soaking away. You can also use swales to carry water through a site.

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.

How deep and wide should a swale be?

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.

How do you make permaculture swales?

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.

Is a swale a Sud?

You can also use swales to carry water between sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) features instead of using pipes. This can reduce the cost of construction and maintenance. Swales can be used for linking SuDS dealing with run-off from individual sites and SuDS that manage the run-off from large areas.

What is the meaning of Swale?

Definition of swale. : a low-lying or depressed and often wet stretch of land also : a shallow depression on a golf course.

What is a ridge and swale landscape?

Ridge and swale, or in dunal areas dune and swale, is a landform consisting of regular, parallel ridges alternating with marshy depressions. Ridge-and-swale landscapes are most commonly formed by the gradual movement of a beach, for example as a result of gradually fluctuating water levels, or the shifting meanders of a river.

What is the hydrological unit of a swale?

The swales and the adjoining lake or river commonly form a single hydrological unit, so that rising or falling lake levels will cause water levels in the swales to rise or fall as well.

What is an artificial swale?

Artificial swales are often infiltration basins, designed to manage water runoff, filter pollutants, and increase rainwater infiltration – green instances are the subterm bioswales.