There are a lot of advantages to bio-swales. They improve water quality by protecting local waterways from the pollutants in stormwater. The reduction of non-point pollution is accomplished by filtering this stormwater. Bio-swales also benefit the environment by creating a wildlife habitat for creatures such as birds and butterflies. According to the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), a four-meter bio-swale has the ability to reduce twenty-five percent of rainfall runoff, making them effective in naturally filtering this water. This is an introduction to bio-swales and their uses.
What Are They?
Knowing the impact bio-swales have on the environment is huge but knowing exactly what they are is essential. A bio-swale is almost always a vegetated channel that has a parabolic or trapezoidal cross-section. It can be used instead of a ditch for transporting stormwater runoff from different areas such as streets, lots, roofs, and pavement. Depending on the type of vegetation used in bio-swales, they can be categorized as grassed swales (using turfgrass that gets mowed), vegetated bioswales (using ornamental grasses, shrubbery, or perennials), and xeriscape or low water use swales (used in dryer climates and areas).
What Are They Used For?
As touched on previously, bio-swales are a conveyance system for stormwater runoff. They are an alternative to using storm sewers. They have the ability to absorb low flows of stormwater and can carry the runoff that comes from heavier rains to storm sewer inlets or bodies of water while using filtration properties.
How Do They Work?
Basically, a bio-swale is a catchment that stops water runoff that’s coming through, especially from roads and hard surfaces. It is used rather than having to drain away water. They are regarded as a tree growing system and do much more than deal with water. To make things clearer, picture a dedicated patch of grass or greenery that water runs through. The soil and vegetation filter impurities through the water, absorb some of the water to grow, and release the rest to be collected for our habitat and sustain our water and ecosystems.
At ABT, we pride ourselves on offering commercial drainage systems to help maintain and protect our water. We think it’s important that people understand various water drainage channels and what can be done. We should all know how to contribute to healthier water systems, gaining control and maintaining how it is collected and disbursed, and understanding other essential options regarding water and drain implementation options. Our hope is that after going through this introduction to bio-swales and their uses, you have furthered your understanding of this natural way to filter and corral stormwater runoff.