Bioswales are linear channels designed to concentrate and convey stormwater runoff while re-moving debris and pollution.

Bioswales improve water quality by infiltrating the first flush of storm water runoff and filtering the large storm flows they convey. The majority of annual precipitation comes from frequent, small rain events: much of the value of bioswales comes from infiltrating and filtering nearly all of this water. They are also beneficial in recharging groundwater.

The National Association of City Transportation Officials notes that “Bioswales are the most effective type of green infrastructure facility in slowing runoff velocity and cleansing water while recharging the underlying groundwater table.” Several Ontario cities are members.

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