How do you dig a swale with a shovel?

How do you dig a swale with a shovel?

Use a shovel and cut a trench along where the center of the swale will be. Dig the trench, sloping the bottom down at least 1 inch for every 10 feet of length. If sod will be placed in the swale, lower the entire trench 2 to 3 inches. Next, mark the edges of the swale.

How do you dig swales to contour?

The general idea behind digging the swale is that it should be about three-times as wide as it is deep, and the berm—the pile of excavated dirt—should be mounded to create the upper part of the bottom side of the swale. Make sure that the base of the swale is level so that the water disperses evenly.

How much water will a swale hold?

With these dimensions, the swale has the capability to hold 15gals. of water for every foot of length. For a 100 ft frontage lot with one driveway would result in 1275 gals of water storage. A typical city block of 400 ft should be able to store about 10,000 gals.

How much slope should a swale?

2% and 4%
The overall slope of the swale (the longitudinal channel or from water-entry point to water exit point) should slope consistently between a 2% and 4% grade. Slopes less than 2% can lead to pooling; slopes greater than 4% can lead to excessive water velocity and contribute to soil erosion (West Virginia 2012).

Can you fill a swale with gravel?

Gravel. This is one of the most common choices for swale landscaping, and it is a great way to manage runoff, limit erosion, slow water flow and allow rainwater to more efficiently infiltrate into the soil.

Do swales really work?

Using swales can vastly improve the water availability of dams, as well as the usefulness of overabundant water harvesting in them. But, water isn’t the only function of swales, and it is, in fact, imperative that they be regarded as a tree growing system.

When should you not use a swale?

Swales are not appropriate on steep landscapes. Any area with more than a fifteen-degree slope (about 1:3.75) isn’t appropriate for installing swales, as the water saturation may cause slides, which could be dangerous.

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