LandSoil ConservationSoil RehabilitationSwalesWater Harvesting

Swales Filled by Melting Ice and Snow (Texas, USA)

We just harvested over 20,000 gallons of ice and snow melt into our swales.

Last week we had about 4 inches of snow and ice — mostly ice. It totally coated the roads and shut down the city for about four days.

Yesterday (7 days into it) we finally got a really warm day and major melt. This is the result — 20,000 plus gallons of water gently soaked into our land vs. running down a bar ditch.

The picture at top is of the swales two days ago, and below is the day before the video was shot during the height of the melt off:

And here is a 5 minute video the day after the last photo was taken:

Jack Spirko

Spirko founded The Survival Podcast aka TSP in June of 2008 while still working with his partner Neil Franklin. During the first 18 months of the show (June of 2008 - Dec. of 2009) Spirko did the show during his 55 mile commute from his personal mobile studio a 2006.5 Jetta Diesel TDI. The show quickly grew in popularity attracting about 2,000 daily listeners by the end of 2008, by the end of 2009 the show was being listened to by close to 15,000 people daily. At that time Spirko made the decision to take the show to a full time endeavor. Today the show attracts over 100,000 daily listeners and is referred to by Spirko as his "life's work" and his "true calling".


  1. WOW Didnt know it ever snowed there! in Australia we were of the opinion that it was always hot n dusty! praise the swale! huh?

  2. I never gave much thought to the importance of a swale until Geoff’s last video explaining the hydration effects at significant depths. WOW! Now I get it.

    Our urban 2 acre yard is overgrown and hardly gets any sun. Although we get some lettuce, for three dismal years the garden has not yielded a single tomato. Rapid run-off from the neighbor’s nearly treeless yard had caused the beds to become a mud-soaked bog, so I dug a deeper ditch to divert the water and raised the beds by a foot. This has also resulted in swales surrounding the patch. A newer greenhouse design prevented this same ice storm from collapsing the 3/4″ PVC for a change, and I’ve got almost 100, 1″ starter plants underway. All this in 40+ year old organic composted soil.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Articles

Back to top button