Glossary -> Key Term: Swale

Key Term: Swale

a long, narrow and shallow trough in the ground that is moist; a trough running parallel to the coastline that fills with storm water or high tidal water.

A bioswale (also known as a bioretention area) is like a rain garden in the shape of a ditch. While a swale may function as a grassy open stormwater sewer with quickly running water, a bioswale is planted with native vegetation that slows the water flow. The water has time to be filtered by plants, and the pollutants removed.

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