Building a swale

May 14, 2012 – Instructor Graham Calder had the PDC class build a swale to collect and use water runoff from the solar shower.

After moving the existing pile of dirt further away from the shower, sod and soil were removed to make a drainage area sloping down away from the shower. The soil was used to build a crescent-shaped berm. The berm was given a regular, gentle slope on both sides to prevent erosion.

Graham noted that such a berm should never be stepped on, as the resulting imprint and consequent erosion could result in the breaching of the berm.

The berm was seeded thickly (4 times the rate for growing a crop) with a groundcover mixture of buckwheat, alfalfa, lupine, rhubarb and a number of other seeds. A light mulch of straw was added to shade the soil and the seeds without inhibiting their emergence.