By removing curbs and creating swales, water can be controlled and directed to lesson erosion and also encourage infiltration.
A swale is a slight depression that runs along the contour of the land. It can be deep or shallow, or even hidden (a ditch filled with gravel and capped with topsoil), and the dirt from digging the swale is usually used to make a berm on the downhill side. An important distinction is that a swale is not a drain. It is a water collection device. The cheapest way to store water is in the soil. And of course, by stopping the run-off, it prevents erosion as well.
Rain falls on your property, and instead of running straight down the slope, it runs to the swale and gathers, where it soaks in slowly.
Stones in our swales slow down the water to help reduce erosion. Plants such and moss and ferns help to absorb nutrients and water.
Our roads at Arlington Echo were once lined with wooden curbs. Rain water would then run down the hill and go directly into a storm drain that emptied into the Severn River. All the pollutants from the road would also go directly into the Severn River.
By removing curbing from our roads, the water can now sheet directly into the forest. This disperses the water and allows for the water to soak in. The forest floor is a great big sponge that can easily help infiltrate the water.