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    Grassed Swales Maintenance

    Swales are one of the oldest and most common methods of urban drainage and stormwater control along property lines and adjacent to roadways. Grass swales are shallow, open channels with dense vegetation that collect stormwater from linear impervious surfaces. Stormwater management swales function similarly to ditches; however, they are typically wider, and the flow rate is more controlled and slower. Since swales slow stormwater runoff, the dense grass and vegetation acts as an irrigation system by absorbing the water. Much of the initial stormwater runoff is evaporated by the time it reaches an endpoint, thus reducing the quantity of runoff water. This helps manage and prevent flooding and minimizes downstream erosion.

    Grassed Swales


    Grass swale stormwater systems are also used to reduce pollutants and contaminants in stormwater runoff. They differ from other swales, because they do not have an engineered filter to mediate pollutant removal. Instead, grass and vegetation act as a biofilter by trapping and removing harmful pollutants and contaminants before they enter natural water bodies.

    Grass swale stormwater systems are versatile applications that effectively control light to moderate runoff. They are most beneficial as linear stormwater management systems near highways, roads, low-gradient lawns, median strips, and anywhere stormwater flow control is necessary. Grassed swales can even replace traditional curbs and gutters.

    Some other advantages of a grass swale stormwater system include:

    • Pretreats downstream stormwater by filtering and trapping pollutants and particulates
    • Reduces peak runoff volume and velocity while promoting infiltration
    • Helps minimize downstream erosion
    • Requires less frequent maintenance than other pipe systems
    • Creates visually appealing and beneficial habitats


    AQUALIS specializes in maintaining effective stormwater management swales that balance stormwater management and biological functions to help maintain the ecological integrity of our water resources. They ensure full regulatory compliance and reduce environmental impact while achieving optimal functionality, performance, and maintainability.

    We can assist with the management and rehabilitation of your stormwater swale systems for residential, commercial, and industrial sites. We implement low-impact stormwater management swales systems as close to the source as possible to minimize the transfer of pollutants, chemicals, and debris into natural water bodies. Grassed swales are designed to be visually appealing and beneficial habitat between uplands and surface waters to reduce peak stormwater runoff velocity and volume, minimize erosion, promote water infiltration, and improve the water quality of surrounding water bodies. Finally, we carefully select and plant flood-tolerant vegetation that can sufficiently withstand both the extreme conditions of that particular region and forces created by flowing stormwater.

    We can also implement grass swales stormwater systems as a pre-treatment measure for other stormwater management practices, such as bioretention areas. For larger storm events, the swale can also be used as an alternate to traditional storm sewer system.  Also, grass swales are considered green infrastructure and typically do not require a lot of materials and are more cost-efficient than most pipe systems or grey infrastructure when it comes to property value and good topsoil.


    At AQUALIS, we understand that ongoing maintenance is critical to the performance of grass swale stormwater system. Without regular maintenance, the system will eventually fail due to buildup and structural issues, and routine upkeep can prevent costly rehabilitative and restorative repairs. We offer comprehensive maintenance and regular servicing solutions to ensure your stormwater grass swale operates correctly.

    We offer a best-practices management and service plans for stormwater grass swale systems that include maintaining the upkeep of the vegetation, replanting plants, inspecting for erosion, and removing trash, debris, and sediment buildup. Using our certified stormwater best management practices inspection, our specialized maintenance professional will manage and submit all the necessary inspections and required annual reports for you, to ensure the highest level of stormwater compliance is met.

    AQUALIS is a nationwide leading provider of water resource management services to residential, commercial, industrial, municipal and governmental industries through stormwater and lift station consulting, inspection, maintenance, industrial vacuum, jetting, and repair services. Contact us to help you properly plan, develop, install, and maintain your stormwater grass swale system.

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