Swales and Berms


Many downspouts and drains aim the stormwater directly at the stormdrains, sending whatever pollutants it carries into our waterways. By redirecting the water to a vegetated area, the water is slowed down to reduce erosion and infiltrated into the ground to be cleaned. 

Instead of letting water from your rooftop or driveway go straight into the storm drain, you can intercept your water and direct it into gardens or woodlands using swales and berms.  Swales are depressions that accept and infiltrate stormwater runoff, or direct it to a vegetated area such as a rain garden, where it can be absorbed.  Berms are small mounds of earth or rock which keep water from flowing in a certain direction.

WSA tools and resources ...

WSA Rainscaping Manual - Infiltration Practices

WSA Rainscaping Manual - Site Assessment

WSA Rainscaping Manual - Soils

WSA Stormwater Runoff Calculator

Coming Soon WSA Conservation Landscape Design Tool 

Learn More ...

Swales and Berms Defined

For information on funding your project, please visit our Resources Page to view our Grant Assistance Cheat Sheet