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Understanding Swales: What They Are and Why They Matter


At LCG Construction Group, we believe in the importance of creating sustainable landscapes that are not only visually appealing but also help manage stormwater runoff. One of the ways we accomplish this is by incorporating swales into our designs. In this article, we’ll explain what swales are, their benefits, and how they can be implemented in your landscape.

What are swales?

Swales are long, shallow channels that are designed to capture and manage stormwater runoff. They can be incorporated into landscapes of all sizes, from small residential yards to large commercial developments. Swales are typically constructed with gently sloping sides and a flat bottom, allowing water to slowly infiltrate into the soil.

Benefits of swales

Swales offer several benefits for both the environment and your landscape. Here are just a few:

Stormwater Management

Swales are an effective way to manage stormwater runoff, which is essential for reducing the risk of flooding and erosion. By capturing and slowly infiltrating stormwater, swales help reduce the volume and velocity of water that enters nearby streams and rivers.

Improved Soil Health

Swales also help improve soil health by promoting infiltration and reducing erosion. As stormwater infiltrates into the soil, it helps replenish groundwater supplies and provides nutrients for plant growth.

Enhanced Landscapes

Swales can be incorporated into your landscape design to enhance the overall aesthetic of your property. By adding native plants, trees, and shrubs to the swale, you can create a natural-looking feature that blends seamlessly with the surrounding landscape.

How to implement swales

Implementing swales in your landscape is a straightforward process that requires careful planning and design. Here are the key steps:

Site Assessment

The first step in implementing swales is to conduct a site assessment to determine the topography and soil characteristics of your property. This information will help you determine the best location and design for your swales.


Once you have a good understanding of your property’s topography and soil, you can begin designing your swales. This involves determining the size, shape, and location of the swale, as well as selecting appropriate plants and materials.


Once your swale design is complete, it’s time to begin construction. This typically involves excavating the swale and shaping it to the desired size and shape. A layer of gravel is often added to the bottom of the swale to help with infiltration.


After the swale is constructed, it’s time to add plants. Native plants are often the best choice for swales because they are adapted to the local climate and soil conditions. These plants help improve soil health, provide habitat for wildlife, and enhance the aesthetic of the swale.


Swales are an excellent way to manage stormwater runoff, improve soil health, and enhance the overall aesthetic of your landscape. By incorporating swales into your landscape design, you can create a sustainable and beautiful outdoor space that benefits both you and the environment. If you’re interested in incorporating swales into your landscape, contact us to learn more about our design and installation services.

We Look Forward To Accomplishing Your Landscape Or Hardscape Needs And Helping You Fully Enjoy Your Home


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