Vary both the depth and width of your swales for a more natural and more absorbent outcome. Getting the overall layout correct is critical. If the swales are too steep, the water will run off, possibly picking up enough speed to cause erosion. If the swales are too gradual or don't go downhill at all, water may back up where you don't want it.
Checking these features by eye can be difficult. You need to check the elevations throughout the system by using a sighting level or transit (surveying devices that measure the elevations of the land) to be sure that your swales run downhill. If you don't have a lot of surveying experience, you may want to work with a landscape professional.
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