Bioswales are landscape/hardscape elements designed to remove pollution and silt from surface runoff water. They consist of a shallow drainage course with gently sloped sides and filled with appropriate vegetation, compost and/or riprap.
The water's flow path, along with the wide and shallow ditch, is designed to maximize the time water spends in the swale, which aids the trapping of pollutants and silt. Depending upon the topography of land available, a bioswale may have a meandering or almost straight channel alignment. Biological factors also contribute to the breakdown of certain pollutants.
The use of bioswales, because they capture and treat stormwater, can help to earn points for a LEED project. According to the LEED for New Construction rating system, they may qualify for Sustainable Sites (SS) Credit 6.2: Stormwater Design – Quality Control.
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