A Swale lot of water goin’ on

Figgate Burn 2

It’s been raining and some parts of the area are really wet. The Brighton Place setts were submerged yesterday. Here in Treverlen a fair quantity of water has been caught in the upper swale (ditch) – the aim being to hold it to soak down rather than flow away. If the water shown here was not held, it would be en route to the gardens of the adjacent houses.


When the upper swale fills, it may be 500mm deep and the excess then runs out through this exotic piece of ceramic, under the footway, to the lower park. That will be the once in 200 year event that this is planned for.

Swale 2

So every 200 years the overflow from the upper swale emerges from the path (the back entrance to the school) into the next swale – looks as though this is yet to be excavated – but there is an underground cable to negotiate. This one looks fairly boggy but the water has probably drifted through the topsoil now spread in this area.

The Pond

The water is eventually caught in this pond – which here may be 500mm deep in places. It will be surrounded by thick hedges and is not intended to be an attractive boating pond. It hasn’t been dry so far this year – and this is the end of the line. This can fill quite deep and if rain this heavy did occur, we can expect Noah fairly soon. But all is not lost – it seems the plan is for this bath also to have an overflow, exactly how high up is not yet known, so in the case of a Grand Inundation the water would make its way into the street drain in Hamilton Drive, via a pipe yet to be dug. We think Scottish Water may not have agreed to this yet.

Is all this worth it? Yes, the houses round about have been troubled with underground water for decades and this is hoped to be the solution. Will it all come out in the wash?