A bioswale is a vegetated open trench designed specifically to temporarily store and infiltrate stormwater. Bioswales are planted with deep-rooted native grasses and forbs that enhance infiltration, cooling, and cleansing of water in order to improve water quality. Bioswales can reduce runoff volumes and rates by slowing water down through the vegetation allowing groundwater to recharge and sustaining stream baseflows. This may reduce detention needs for the area.
Bioswales are often used as an alternative to standard below ground stormwater sewers. They can be found on the edges of parking lots or around developments
and vary widely in size.
“Definitions of BMP Categories and Types,” Chesapeake Bay Program: A Watershed Partnership, www.chesapeakebay.net/
&#“Stormwater Management and Post-Construction Best Management Practices,” Iowa Association of Municipal Utilities, www.iamu.org
Top: Iowa Association of Municipal Utilities, www.iamu.org.
Bottom: Municipal Research and Services Center or Washington