This Woodway residential neighborhood was previously flanked by flat roadside parking strips. The lack of curb and gutters, plus the limited number of storm drains along the street, resulted in large amounts of road surface water runoff when it rained. The City of Woodway hired us to come up with an alternative to expanding the storm drain infrastructure (which would have been both expensive and time consuming).
Solution: To improve overall drainage along the street, we removed the parking strips and put swales in their place. Swales, or flat-bottomed roadside depressions, are designed to slow and filter water runoff from an adjacent road, reduce erosion and recharge the groundwater table.
In each of the 7 new swales we created, bioretention soil was used to collect and filtrate stormwater runoff before it reaches the water table. Both native and non-native plantings were added for erosion control, totaling over 1,500 plants, grasses sedges, bushes, and trees planted in all.
Swales are both an ecologically and economically beneficial way to address a lack of adequate storm drainage and prevent pollution from entering the stormwater system. Not only did our installation add to the aesthetics of the neighborhood, but drainage was significantly improved and we saved the City of Woodway both time and money by coming up with a better solution.
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