Vegetated Filter Strip

Vegetated Filter Strips are permanent, maintained strips of vegetation that are meant to slow and infiltrate runoff and filter pollution.  These systems require sheet flow and are commonly used with level spreaders. Filter strips are often designed where runoff is directed from parking lots or roadways. Frequently, filter strips are designed where runoff is directed from a parking lot into a stone trench, a grass strip, and a longer naturally vegetative strip.

Vegetated Filter Strips Factsheet - SEMCOG

Level Spreader Factsheet - SEMCOG


Maintenance is critical for vegetated filter strips to function through the years. In particular, it is important that sheet flow conditions remain active. Routine tasks include:

  • Remove sediment, repair erosion, replant or reseed bare areas
  • Inspect and clean or repair any check dams, inlets, or sumps 
  • Appropriate mowing of grass cover or removal of weeds