Descriptive Analysis of the Performance of a Vegetated Swale through Long-Term Hydrological Monitoring: A Case Study from Coventry, UK

Luis A. Sañudo-Fontaneda, Jorge Roces, Steve Coupe, Esther Barrios-Crespo, Carlos Rey-Mahía, Felipe Pedro Alvarez-Rabanal, Craig Lashford

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Abstract

Vegetated swales are a popular sustainable drainage system (SuDS) used in a wide range of environments from urban areas and transport infrastructure, to rural environments, sub-urban and natural catchments. Despite the fact that vegetated swales, also known as grassed swales, have received scientific attention over recent years, especially from a hydrological perspective, there is a need for further research in the field, with long-term monitoring. In addition, vegetated swales introduce further difficulties, such as the biological growth occurring in their surface layer, as well as the biological evolution taking place in them. New developments, such as the implementation of thermal devices within the cross-section of green SuDS for energy saving purposes, require a better understanding of the long-term performance of the surface temperature of swales. This research aims to contribute to a better understanding of these knowledge gaps through a descriptive analysis of a vegetated swale in Ryton, Coventry, UK, under a Cfb Köppen climatic classification and a mixed rural and peri-urban scenario. Precipitation and temperature patterns associated with seasonality effects were identified. Furthermore, a level of biological evolution was described due to the lack of periodical and planned maintenance activities, reporting the presence of both plant species and pollinators. Only one event of flooding was identified during the three hydrological years monitored in this research study, showing a robust performance.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2781
Number of pages16
JournalWater
Volume12
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 6 Oct 2020

Bibliographical note

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Keywords

  • biological evolution
  • ecosystem services
  • low impact development (LID)
  • stormwater best management practices (BMP)
  • stormwater control measures (SCMs)
  • sustainable drainage systems (SuDS)
  • water sensitive urban design (WSUD)

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