Swales are broad, shallow channels that run alongside roads, driveways, and parking lots, and they are an important part of the City’s Stormwater drainage system.
Swales, if kept in good condition, can:
- Runoff directly into local water bodies from residential properties and streets.
- Stormwater runoff can be collected and slowed.
- Boost the recharge of groundwater
- Keep the roadbed dry and clean;
- Pollution is captured.
The Palm Coast Stormwater & Engineering Department performs annual re-grading of swales to ensure that they are in good working order.
The goal is to keep the City’s original swale design in place so that it can function as intended.
Continue reading to learn more about swales and how to keep your swales in good working order.
Under Municipal Code 24-159, it is the property owner’s responsibility to maintain their swale and driveway culvert.
It is critical that property owners maintain swales on a
regular basis in order to avoid flooding.
For routine swale maintenance,
the property owner should take the
following simple but important steps:
- In the swale, mow and maintain an acceptable grass height. (The water movement is slowed by tall grass.)
- Filling in your swale or installing a drain pipe from property line to property line is not recommended.
- Remove debris, grass, and dirt from the ends of driveway culverts to keep them open.
- Grass clippings should be blown back onto the grass or landscaped areas.
- Restore the erosion along the sides and beneath your driveway.
- Roof drains should not run onto the driveway or into the right-of-way.
- Remove any debris, leaves, limbs, or grass that has accumulated in the bottom of the swale and could obstruct the flow of water, such as trash, leaves, and grass.
- Do not use an edger along the driveway’s sides.
- Cars, and the tire tracks they leave behind, can obstruct the flow of water, so don’t park on or drive across your swale.
- Use fertilizer, pesticides, and herbicides sparingly within 50 feet of a swale.
- Plants and landscaping should be placed 15-20 feet from the road.