Ditches & Swales

Some Environmental Resource Permits and Management and Storage of Surface Water Permits require that the vegetation in some ditches be protected to offset wetland impacts permitted during construction or for water quality treatment.  The permit or approved construction plans should clearly identify which ditch vegetation must be preserved.  If you’re unsure, contact your local SWFWMD service office.

If vegetation is not required to be protected, ditches and swales should be periodically mowed and cleaned of accumulated refuse.  During the mowing operations, ditches and swales should be inspected for bare spots, damage or erosion.  Bare areas should be sodded or seeded to replace the grass cover.  In the case of erosion, replace the missing soils and bring the area back to grade.

Some ditches are designed to store runoff for short periods of time utilizing ditch blocks or raised inlets.  These ditch blocks or inlets should not be removed or altered.

If you are unable to identify what type of treatment method serves your development, contact your SWFWMD service office.  Contact information is provided on the “Contact SWFWMD” page.

* The information on this page is quoted from SWFWMD's pamphlet, "How to Operate & Maintain Your Stormwater Management System", VISKH0003 (8/03).  Use this link to download a PDF of the complete pamphlet from SWFWMD's website:  https://www.swfwmd.state.fl.us/media/755 .