The Rainwater Catchment kicks into Life

It was a disruptive night. Each of our boys took turns to wake us for one thing or another. I found it hard to get back to sleep and then the heavy rain continued and I was lying in bed thinking ‘This is the kind of rain we need to make sure the rainwater tank pump is working’. I couldn’t settle listening to all that rain falling.

And so it was that at 2am in the morning I found myself dressed and driving to the renovation with Classic FM on the car radio providing a beautiful violin based soundtrack to the gushing of water along suburban streets as I drove to the house to see what was happening with the water system. There was only a solitary taxi heading back towards the town centre as the token vehicle. The streets were otherwise quiet, black and glistening with rain and puddles.

What was happening when I got there? Not a lot actually, until I plugged the pump in. The tanks had filled completely so the pump kicked in straight away and just as it lowered the water another heavy shower fell which allowed me by torchlight to tap the  tanks and get a feel for what was happening. It was a happy moment watching four pipes of gushing water rushing into the four white tanks and hearing the pump gently conveying it to the header tanks at the top of the block.

I stayed about an hour until I was satisfied that the pump was doing its job. The tanks were not equalising quickly enough and there was a small pin-hole leak in one of the down pipes which was sending out a steady, thin stream of water. I’m glad I made the effort as it was the perfect conditions to see how the system stood up to actual operation. There are a few things to refine.

For a moment I stood outside the door to the bottom of the house and looked up at the night sky with its bright stars. It was relatively clear for a rainy night. The pump was rather quiet thankfully. When the plumber had tested it last the weatherboards still hadn’t been put up so now that the bottom half of the house is sealed it keeps the pump noise to a dull drone when it is running. This is pleasing.

We returned later that morning as a family to check on things. To my surprise the top inlets of the four tanks had appeared to foam up. “How unusual.” On closer inspection it was actually hail that had slipped down the pipes and accumulated and then frozen together quite solidly.

25th of Sept. 2017 – I had the system switched off yesterday but turned it back on today after more showers. The first tank is nearly full and the plumber is due on site tomorrow to set things straight so we can get the second tank underway.

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