swales

by Lynn

I have a homework assignment and I could use some help. Here it goes:

A tennis court and walkway going to it is sited on a hill. Existing contours go from 86 at bottom of page to 94 at top of page and cross tennis court diagonally. Tennis court has a 1% grade. I was able to find the elevations of the court Where the walk meets the court is at 91.4. Teacher said to arbitrarily locate a H.P. on the walk and locate it. He also said to try a 2% slope on walk. So we located 91.2 on the walk at 10' away from the tennis court. The he said to locate the whole # contours on the walk. So between 91.4 and 91.2 there aren't any whole contours and yet he has begun his swales at 91. I also don't understand how he pulled the contours.
Can you help?

ANSWER
It's a little difficult to give you an exact answer without seeing the diagram. However, if the contours are running diagonally, you have to continue/extend them along the land so that they cross the walkway, Just because there is no whole contour between 91.2 and 91.4, does not mean that whole contours do not pass the walkway further away.

I would assume that 91 crosses over the walk at some point (further away from the tennis court). In addition, if you extended the walkway and made it long, 92 would cross it over.

You did not mention how the slope is running (right to left or left to right) or which side the walkway is on, so things may be a little different with a different configuration. The point is, is that whole contours will pass through the walk at some points.

Your swale could be running along the edge of the tennis court, but 91.4 is just the number between 91 and 92 which might make up the contours of the swale. Your swale might also be further away on the walk with the tennis court water and adjacent walkway water draining towards it.

I think.

Susan

Question From Another Visitor Regarding Swales

I have a new home which is 5 years old. The Builder's grading report indicated that drainage is blocked in the rear of the house by landscaping. I am to remove the obstruction and re-establish the side and rear swales.
Fences have been erected and I have planted on all three sides of the back yard. I am not sure what I need to do to rectify the problem. I would appreciate a reply soon as I have 2 weeks to correct this issue. Thank you kindly.

Helen

ANSWER

Hi Helen,
For me to advise you, I would need to see some pictures. Please get in touch with me via my Contact Form I will then tell you where to send the photos.

I am assuming that you have land sloping from the back of your house towards the rear of your property. In addition, there is landscaping that is possibly raised and therefore blocking the water. This is only a guess without looking at some pictures.

They are most likely requiring you to divert the water along swales. If you have plantings along your property lines, it might be possible to place the swales in front of the side plantings. The swales would capture the water and allow it to travel along the swales, exiting towards the rear of your property, woods, etc.

There are many ways to direct water and every situation is different. Please send the pictures so that I can help!

In the meantime, here is an excellent page explaining about swales with images to help you visualize how they work. Lawn Drainage

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"Susan,  what a pleasure it was to work with you.  You made me feel like I was your only client - responding late at night and always so quickly!  Your design is amazing and we only hope we can do justice to it when we plant.  You have such fantastic ideas and you are so open to suggestions and changes.  Loved working with you - now if you could only come to Canada and plant it!!!"
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