Design of Vegetated Swales for Street Drainage

Client: Port of San Francisco

A swale is a broad, vegetated channel used for the movement and temporary storage of runoff. Swales also can promote infiltration of runoff to the ground and filter runoff pollutants. In contrast to conventional curb-and-gutter/storm sewer systems, swales can reduce both the rate and volume of stormwater runoff at a site.

The Port of San Francisco embraces environmentally sound practices in the development and re-development of lands under its jurisdiction. WRE engineers worked with the Port to provide an aesthetic alternative to curb-and-gutter drainage for a street extension in an industrial area. WRE designed vegetated swales to drain both sides of Amador Street, providing plans, specifications, and estimates of probable construction costs.