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.

Curb inlet - The inlet allows water to flow into the bioswale as it flows down the curb toward the catch basin.

Outlet - Larger bioswales also have an outlet. If the bioswale fills to capacity, water can exit through the outlet and continue into the catch basin on the corner.

Stone Strip - The stone strip allows people to step out of their cars without damaging the plants.

Plants - All bioswales have plants and grasses which have been carefully.

Soil - The soil is graded so that water ponds in the center of the bioswale.

Tree Guard - All bioswales have tree guards around them that protect the plants.

Tree - DEP plants trees in bioswales as often as possible. Trees benefit - lowering temperatures, improving air quality.

  • Check dams and berms also can be installed across the flow path of a swale in order to promote settling and infiltration.
  • Easy to incorporate into landscaping
  • Good removal of urban pollutants
  • Reduces runoff rates and volumes
  • Low capital cost
  • Maintenance can be incorporated into general landscape management
  • Pollution and blockages are visible and easily dealt with.
  • Not suitable for steep areas or areas with roadside parking
  • Limits opportunities to use trees for landscaping
  • Risks of blockages in connecting pipe work 


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