What are Swales
Swales are the broad, shallow channels along roads, driveways and parking lots and are a key part of the City’s Stormwater drainage system. If properly maintained swales can:
- Direct runoff from residential properties and streets to local water bodies
- Collect and slow the flow of Stormwater runoff
- Increase groundwater recharge
- Maintain a dry roadbed and;
- Trap pollutants
The Palm Coast Stormwater & Engineering performs ongoing maintenance to re-grade swales each year keeping them operating properly. The goal is to preserve the City’s original swale design so that it functions in the way it was designed to perform. Continue reading to learn more about swales and how to properly maintain the swales on your property.
It is the responsibility of the property owner to maintain their swale and driveway culvert under Municipal Code 24-159 It is very important that regular swale maintenance be performed by property owners in order to minimize flooding.
Here are some simple, yet significant, steps the property owner should follow for routine swale maintenance:
- Mow and maintain an acceptable grass height in the swale. Tall grass slows water movement.
- Do not fill in your swale or install a drain pipe from property line to property line.
- Keep driveway culvert ends open by removing debris, grass and dirt. You should blow grass clippings back onto the grass or landscaped areas.
- Repair erosion from along the sides and under your driveway.
- Do not have roof drains running onto the driveway or into the right of way.
- Remove sediment or anything that has built up in the bottom of the swale that could potentially block the flow of water such as trash, leaves, limbs and grass.
- Do not use an edger along the sides of your driveway.
- Do not park on or drive across your swale as cars and the tire tracks they leave behind can block the flow of water.
- Minimize the use of fertilizer, pesticides and herbicides within 50 feet of a swale.
- Install Plants / landscaping 15-20 feet from the road.