Now is a good time though to see how all that water is moving around the property. There's no better place to start than the new swale I was digging recently, near the bush orchard. But first, lets take a trip back to 2013, when I proposed my initial plan for swales in this area...
Back in 2013, I wrote about the progress on the lower of the two swales, just within view of the picture above. It was a nice start, but recently I decided to expand the lower swale and start the upper one. I wasn't going to write about it until I had at lease ONE of the two, finished.
However, the recent rain has shown me how effective, even these half finished swales are. Here is the upper swale...
Newly dug, upper swale
It's completely full now and in stark contrast to the lower swale. Please excuse the grey-water hose below...
Expanded, lower swale
The reason the upper swale is full in comparison, is because the water coming off the concrete slab we initially laid for the driveway, is filling it. The location of the upper swale is positioned such as to catch this trickle of water, high on the slope.
Concrete driveway, right.
Depending how heavy the rain is, the water gradually sheds onto the grass and trickles down into the newly dug swale.
The water is entering just above the swale, where there is no grass. That's where I was digging recently, and actually wanted to know if the water would indeed follow this path. It seems the theory is sound in practice.
Upper and lower swales
The beauty is, these two swales will be joined at some point, so when the upper swale fills to capacity, it will flow into the lower swale. It's amazing to see that small trickle of water from the driveway, can actually be caught and stored in such a way.
The design of the driveway, may have started with a concrete slab, but I'm glad we decided to finish the driveway to the bottom, with concrete grid pavers instead.
Stopping the water down slope
You can see the cells are filling with water, but not making the water run. Some of the cells overflow into the lower ones, but we certainly don't get the kind of water shed we get from the concrete slab above the grids.
It has meant the water which collects at the bottom of the driveway, is lessened to such a degree, we don't have big mud puddles. Those particular delicacies are reserved for other parts of the property now, just not at the bottom of the driveway so much!
It's good to see some of our ideas in water management, actually work in practice.
PS: Do any of the locals know where I can find a Davidson Plum tree, to collect seed from? I would like to replace the ones which died in the Bush Orchard.