The integration of swales in residential areas involves significant urban development challenges. The space available for the collection of excess rainwater is often restricted. As a result a swale must be relatively deep, which means that the sides are often steep. This can create a hazardous situation and makes maintenance difficult, leading to regular problems when the swale becomes overgrown with weeds or blocked with litter. Furthermore, the capacity gradually decreases due to a layer of silt accumulating over time, hindering the infiltration of the water into the soil.

Additionally, traditional swales can only be used for the purpose for which they are intended: the collection of rainwater during heavy showers. The surface is then no longer usable for any other purpose.

Heel (Sterplein), Maasgouw

Project Location

water management, sterplein, case, rockflow, heel, swale, lapinus

New usage opportunities

With Rockflow, a swale acquires new usage opportunities. The design is based on an existing swale design, in which only the infiltration medium is replaced by Rockflow. By installing Rockflow underneath a swale the swale itself becomes shallow enough to allow easy maintenance with a regular mower. Because the gradient of the swale with Rockflow is no steeper than 1:3, there is no obstacle to mowing. In addition, a swale with Rockflow has a flat and load-bearing base (VOSB 18 / 30) making it suitable for use as a park or functional green space. Occasional recreational use is also possible.