Bioswales are stormwater runoff conveyance systems that can absorb low flows or heavy rains to improve water quality by filtering storm water. 

Benefits & Problems Addressed

Bioswales manage stormwater runoff by capturing, filtering and/or re-using rainfall otherwise directed untreated to  gutters, pipes and waterways. Bioswales can be incorporated into exiisting building sites, infrastructure,  landscaped areas and parks.

Tips & Techniques

Plant Selection: The thicker and heavier the grasses, the better the swale can filter out contaminants.

Hot Buttons: Beds require maintenance (trash, weeds) as well as periodic tilling to maintain performance. Some designs can pose real and perceived trip hazards


Urban Green-blue Grids, atelier GROENBLAUW
Sustainable Cities Institute 
Oregon Dept. Environmental Quality Stormwater Program

Link to Method Experts