What is a Swale and How Does it Work?

What is a Swale and Why You May Need One

February 22, 2023

When you hear the word “Swale,” you probably think it’s another one of those TikTok trends or a new line of German organic shampoos. In reality, a swale could be what your home’s drainage system needs to prevent damage to your property.

What is a Swale?

A swale is a wide and shallow ditch designed to carry water and runoff away from your home through gravity. You can dig the area and call it a day or even make it look great by placing down stones and rocks. So why should you incorporate a swale onto your property? Here are just a few reasons why.

Prevents Flooding

Flooding can cause a lot of damage not just to your landscaping but also to your home itself, as water could seep into areas like your basement. Swales direct the water from rainstorms away from your home and put the right amount of water into the soil that can give your plants the hydration they need to grow.

Cost-Effective to Build

The cost of materials needed to build a swale can be very inexpensive. As we previously mentioned, you could dig the ditch and call it a day or lay down some rocks and stones in the shallow trench you built (as long as you do it right). Either way, you can expect not to break the bank on building one and save your property from any future costs to fix any water damage.

Little Maintainance is Required

It’s a ditch made up of rocks and dirt, so the swale should need very little maintenance. All you need to do is check after rainfalls for any issues and trash and semi-annually for any erosion or bald spots in the swale. 

Good For The Environment

Water pooling in a specific area is prone to collecting sediments and other chemicals in the ground (fertilizer comes to mind here). But you don’t get many sediments and pollutants in the water when it is freely moving. So you can sleep easily at night knowing that the water from your swale in your community’s drainage system is clean and good for the environment.

Can Make Your Home Look Good

Because you can build swales with various materials, you can design them in a way that performs well and looks good! You can add to your home’s curb appeal and equity with suitable materials and location!

A swale could be a vital part of your home’s drainage system. If you do choose to build one yourself, please make sure that you take the proper steps before putting shovels into the dirt. However, if you don’t want to deal with the burden of building one, consider putting that job into the hands of professionals, and there are none better than us! We are a specialty service contractor that provides custom irrigation and landscape drainage solutions to our local Southeastern PA community. Whether you have new shrubs that need to stay hydrated or a swale built in your yard, our team can design, install and maintain a solution for your unique needs! So give us a call today!

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