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Swales near a house

 
pollinator
Posts: 1559
Location: Denver, CO
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How close to a foundation can I build small (one foot deep) swales?

I have no bentonite clay problems. The swales would not, most of the time, make conditions wetter than standard watering would do. They will be slightly off grade for irrigation and fertigation.

I read something which advised against infiltrating any water within twenty feet of a building. In my case, that would be most of the yard.
 
pollinator
Posts: 2409
Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even Soil:SandyLoam pH6 Flat
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forest garden solar
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With a yard that small random depression might be a better fit than swales.
Unless you are on a mayor slope with a fair amount of water entering your land from just one side.
In which case you can and should build the swale as close as possible to the fence line.

Planting alot of daikon radishes with 4ft deep root, will help your water to soak into your soil also without having to build a swale.
Mulching the area will also help converse water allowing what little you get to soak in even more.
 
Gilbert Fritz
pollinator
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Would not small depressions have the same effect on a foundation as swales would?

Perhaps I should not call what I want to build swales at all; basically they would just be sloping furrows moving irrigation and rain water around the yard. That way I could store the intense rainstorms we get here in a small pond, and pump the water out into the head of a furrow. Would this cause a problem?

In my mind, this would be fairly similar in its effect on a foundation as standard irrigation, but correct me if I am wrong.

The house sits on the top of a mound; the yard slopes away in all directions.

I will have a "standard" on contour swale or depression at the bottom of the yard, before runoff would get to the street.

 
S Bengi
pollinator
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Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even Soil:SandyLoam pH6 Flat
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I like the idea of a around the yard ditch that empties in a "pond". I see no problem with it.
 
Posts: 33
Location: Costa Rica
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Sounds like you are thinking of a french drain type system moving water away from the building. This is a good idea and practice.
Perhaps you already have something similar installed? Where do your gutters lead to? How old is the house? Most contractors/builders will have addressed this and you could link up to the existing system?

I like your idea. And with your description of the site this should work great.
 
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