Swale Program

Working to reduce the amount of pollutants entering the Indian River Lagoon.
Blue "my swale at work." sign for Town of Melbourne Beach

Swale Program
Swales are shallow ditches built to direct and slow the flow of stormwater so that it can filter into the soil. The Town of Melbourne Beach Swale Program is a cost-effective way to reduce the amount of pollutants (nitrogen and phosphorus) entering the Indian River Lagoon, reduce the volume of water flowing through our stormwater system, and reduce flooding in our streets and intersections.

How the Swale Program Works:

  • At no cost to Melbourne Beach residents, the Town will dig a 4' wide x 8-12" deep swale at the edge of the street in front of your home.
  • The Town will replace the existing sod, but encourages native, adaptive, or non-invasive plantings (requiring no fertilizers or pesticides) in place of sod.
  • Each resident will receive a free weather-resistant yard sign to display swale pride and help educate and encourage neighbors to also join the program.
  • Email Public Works at pwsupervisor@melbournebeachfl.org to request your swale!

Tips for Maintaining Your Swale:

  • Let water pond. Runoff should temporarily pond in your swale for 24 to 26 hours.
  • If sodded, mow the swale, but keep it at a good grass growth.
  • Remove leaves and grass clippings from swales.
  • Minimize use of fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides.
  • Do not pile garbage, trash, leaves, limbs, or garden debris in your swale – this adds pollutants which can wash into the Indian River Lagoon.
  • Do not pave the swale – this reduces the filtration and infiltration of runoff.
  • Do not park vehicles in the swale – this compacts the soil so less runoff soaks in.

For questions or to request your swale, email Public Works at pwsupervisor@melbournebeachfl.org.

Rectangular Swale in ditch   Corner swale next to driveway