Thursday, May 30, 2013

Rain Barrel Hiccup

Cue music:  "I just love a rainy, love a rainy night!"

Last night we looked out the window at a downpour so torrential that we could hardly see and listened for tornado sirens, when we noticed that the rain barrels overflow were hardly trickling.

The rain barrels have been full for weeks. (We have two.  We need more.  The next class isn't until August.)  So any water that goes in should promptly go out the overflow.  What gives?

I thought The Magician should go out amid the lightning, since the hail had stopped, and see if the intake valves were clogged.  He demurred.  I told him it was OK--he was insured.  (Hey, it was a joke!)  Eventually, when the storm was headed elsewhere, he did head out there and discovered this:

Pollen scum was caught in the mosquito netting over the overflow.

He took off the mosquito netting and everything began working normally, which was good because prior to that rain was overflowing the top of the barrel and running down the sides entirely too close to the foundation.

What to do?  Right now we are leaving the netting off.  We can clean it and put it back in place later, but we've been getting so much rain lately that the water in the barrel keeps getting churned up and isn't stagnant enough for pests.  I think we're going to have to get in the habit of checking the mosquito netting occasionally (and cleaning the gutters).  I'm hoping that can be done without disrupted the intake set up.

We're not discouraged--we just learned that rain barrels need maintenance.  And now my allergy-prone husband has yet another reason to dislike pollen!

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