An Explanation of Swales As a Design Element — 5 Comments

  1. great conversation aroung the swale, or should i say a swell conversation about the swale! good to touch upon the benefits of good soil biology and the resultant soil structure, crumb structure that helps drain water, hold moiture andeliminate the need for irrigation. beautiful grounds cover in the marsh mallow, plantain, and vetch. great permaculture practice incorporating the trees outside the edge of the swale to capitalize on the available water. thanks

  2. Sort of getting my head around swales now. How about this for a defination. A swale is a shallow near level ditch designed to drain rain water away from specific areas to prevent them from flooding and saturation due to heavy rainfall while also routing the water along to other chozen areas whereby the water is roued out of the swales across lower plains via lateral sills where it can spread out over and fertilize them with silt and (duck poo) before the finally filtered water can flow out of the lower plain and into a deeper ditch or road drain.

    • No that is a diversion drain.

      A swale is a ditch on contour designed to slow, spread and infiltrate water. I can also be used to fill damns or control where damns over flow.

      Swales don’t move water away from anything they evenly distribute it. I hope that makes sense.

      • Yes, I get the contour bit, I figure that Swales also act as a sort of ‘capacitor’ to store up water and release it at a slower rate which can prevent drains from flooding further down land.