If you're looking for a low-maintenance way to improve the drainage on your property, then adding a swale is a good option. A swale is a gentle valley that you dig around the edges of your property. Rainwater naturally flows downhill towards the swale. The rainwater will collect in the swale and slowly be absorbed into the soil below. Unlike other forms of improving drainage like installing a French drain, adding a swale to your property doesn't require burying any pipes underground — this makes digging a swale a quick and convenient way to improve drainage. To learn more about the pros and cons of using a swale to improve drainage on your property, read on.
Pros of Using a Swale to Improve Water Drainage on Your Property
The main benefit of using a swale to manage rainwater on your property is that it's very low maintenance. French drains and trench drains can move rainwater away from your property quickly, but both of these types of drainage systems can become clogged by debris or soil. Swales are simple, and there's nothing that can get clogged — you don't have to pay any attention to them once they're dug.
The other advantage of using a swale to improve drainage is that swales are great for gardening. Other drainage systems work by quickly diverting water away from your property. In a city, this normally means diverting water to the street and into the city's stormwater drainage system. In rural areas, drainage systems commonly divert water into an underground dry well, where it will be absorbed deep into the soil. Swales keep all of the water on your property and keep it at ground level, which means that your yard will be well hydrated — swales provide plentiful water for bushes, trees and flowers nearby, making them easier to grow.
Cons of Using a Swale to Improve Water Drainage on Your Property
The primary downside of using a swale for drainage is that they can't handle long periods of extremely high rainfall. If the soil becomes fully saturated with water, rainwater will collect in the swale instead of soaking into the soil, and your swale will become a creek. This can drown any vegetation in the swale, and it can also result in the swale becoming a breeding ground for mosquitoes and other insects. If you live in an area that frequently experiences periods of very high rainfall, then you may need a drainage system that can move water more quickly such as a French drain or trench drain.
For other areas, however, swales are an effective low-maintenance option for improving your property's drainage. They prevent water from collecting near your home and causing damage to its foundation, and they also prevent water from pooling in low spots in your yard. If you think that a swale would be a good fit for your property, call an excavation contractor in your area and have them dig a swale around the edges of your property — you'll be adding a great way to manage rainwater naturally. Look into excavation contractors near you for more information.