Thursday, June 23, 2016

Keep debris out of rain barrels -- Take #2

I've had problems with keeping debris and pollen out of my rain barrels.  The regular window screen is sufficient for keeping out leaves and larger debris, but the grit from the roof and seeds and whatever else comes off of the trees is small and gets through.  To mitigate this I tried to use mosquito netting.  That made things better, but it was not 100% successful.
Over time the netting has faded, gotten kind of brittle, and torn.
This particular barrel gets a lot of debris.  It accumulates over the drain holes and dries there.  That makes it harder for the water to get in during the next rain.
So what is my new solution?  I found pond filter material on Amazon.  I don't know anything about ponds, but I guess this stuff is some kind of filter for them.  I ordered some in with the hope that it might work for rain barrels.
The role is 6 feet long and 16 inches wide.
 I started by tracing the lid of the barrel onto the filter material.
The lids are 16" around which makes this material the perfect size.
I used scissors to cut out the material and then I placed on the top of the barrel.
I screwed on the retaining ring which held the pond filter material in place perfectly.
I pressure washed these barrels in the spring after I thought the pollen was done, but there's still pollen in several of them.  I'm going to have to pressure wash them again the next time they are empty.  Anyway, I'm really hoping that this pond filter material will keep more of the pollen out.

I took the picture below after it rained.  This barrel has both the pond filter and the mosquito netting.  It appears to have worked well.  The debris isn't clogging the drain holes.
I didn't use mosquito netting on this barrel.  A lot of the debris worked its way down into the filter.  I don't know how easy that's going to be to clean.  I'm hoping that I can just hose it out from the other side.  That's a project for another day.

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