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Article: Rain barrel accessories make water saving safe and convenient: algae & scum

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Forum: Article: Rain barrel accessories make water saving safe and convenientReplies: 1, Views: 17
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dun1kirk
Berkeley, CA
(Zone 9a)

August 6, 2012
8:54 AM

Post #9231553

How do you prevent the standing water in the barrel from becoming all "scum"?

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

August 6, 2012
4:44 PM

Post #9232171

Dirt collects on the roof and washes into the barrel when it starts to rain. I magine you already have a screen to keep moquitoes from getting to the rain barrel. I do too, and am surprised to see how much fine junk gets through and clouds the water. Algae can grow in the nutrients washed in with insect parts, bird droppings, etc. Algae may not hurt the garden but could clog the barrel outlets.

Dealing with algae and gunk: Empty the barrel within a week to prevent algae growth. Add a bit of bleach to the rain barrel to disinfect ( this may run counter to some of the perceived benefits of rain water.) Paint or cover the barrel to block sunlight which in turns reduces or stops algae growth.

Preventing algae and gunk: Filter the water as it goes in. See the section in the article, "Roof washer or first flush device keeps stored water cleaner "


Here's another link to "first flush " filters that will reduce the dirt in your barrel
http://www.rainharvest.com/filtration/first-flush-filters.asp

if that's not clean enough, add a bettter filter
http://www.shared-source-initiative.com/biosand_filter/diverter.html

Better description of how a sand filter works
http://www.roofwaterharvesting.org/

This message was edited Aug 6, 2012 6:59 PM

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