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Are your culverts and swales ready for winter?

Now is a good time to make sure your driveway culverts and/or swales are ready for winter!

Culvert pipes are the tube-like pipes that allow for water to flow from under your driveway.  (If your culvert pipe is crushed or damaged it should be replaced).

Swales are strips of land usually located in front of your house and/or property between the street. Swales play an important role in the protection of our environment and the beauty of our community.

Swales are an area for natural drainage for storm water that falls on streets and driveway approaches. Swales allow the stormwater to drain and percolate back to the ground for our drinking water. Second, they protect our environment by filtering the storm water from the street, picks up the oils, pesticides and lawn fertilizers that wash away from the property. The swales naturally filter out and reduce these pollutants, decreasing their loading on groundwater resources. If not treated by the swales, these pollutants would eventually end up in our lake and drinking water.

Property owners are required to maintain their swales in good condition, helping us to protect our lake and other waterways. To ensure your swale areas stay in good condition and provide for the proper flow of storm water, simply follow a few basic guidelines:

  • Mow to desired height.
  • Keep driveway culverts (the pipe under your driveway) completely free of debris, rocks, grass, and sediment. If your culvert pipe is crushed or damaged it will need to be replaced.
  • Do not alter the swale system in any way.
  • Keep bottom of swale open to permit flow of water after heavy rains.
  • Keep your swale free of leaves, limbs, and any other debris.
  • Replace any headwall stones that may have slipped and are blocking the flow of water through your culvert pipe.