My rainwater first flush diverter & disguised rain barrel

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My rainwater first flush diverter & disguised rain barrel

Post by Maast » Fri Jun 24, 2016 2:11 am

Thought I'd post a couple photos of the first flush diverter and the front rain barrel. My wife insisted that the rain barrels in the front of the house had to look nice, so I found this one on Amazon. It's a barrel that looks like a planter, you can't see the diverter from the road/driveway. It's made from 4 inch DWV PVC pipe and fittings.

The theory of operation is that the beginning of the rain fills up the tube with bird poop and road dust contaminated rainwater, once thats full a hard plastic ball floating in it hits a tapered stop and diverts the remaining clean water through the spout into the barrel.

You can't see it but the tapered stop is actually a 3" to 2" reducer glued inside the tube.

There is a small weep hole (1 mm) in the middle of the bottom cap that slowly empties out the tube between rains. To keep the weep hole from clogging I had to cover it with a mini-basket of stainless mesh filled with poly pillow fluff. Dunno how stuff gets into the barrel big enough to clog it, but it does.

I replaced the original crappy plastic mesh on the barrel with a 50 mesh stainless screen basket that goes down into the barrel about 5 inches. Before I installed stainless micromesh gutter guards the basket got full every single rainfall (pine tree flowers and needles). After the gutter guards the basket never gets anything in it.

The tee is actually a full size schedule 40 fitting instead of a DWV sized fitting, it let me insert the square downspout adapter inside it, which shortened it up. Because it was too big for the DWV pipe I had to make an adapter from another fitting to snug it up, you can see the adapter ring in the first photo.

Thought this might help somebody else out who's thinking of doing rain collection.


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Re: My rainwater first flush diverter & disguised rain barre

Post by Aikibiker » Fri Jun 24, 2016 2:32 am

Good idea with the diverter. And good for your wife's greyman instincts. No need for the neighbors to be able to tell yo uare a prepper just by walking out to check their mailbox or take out the trash.


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Re: My rainwater first flush diverter & disguised rain barre

Post by doitnstyle1 » Fri Jun 24, 2016 9:55 am

What an awesome idea! I never thought about the bird poop! :P My concern with looking at your setup is the angle of entry from the down spout. It looks as if you may still get some primary dirty wash into your barrel. Have you been able to notice the water going into the barrel from the get go or does it work just fine and am I overthinking it? Maybe another 45 degree downspout to make the water come straight down instead of the angle it is now.
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Re: My rainwater first flush diverter & disguised rain barre

Post by Anianna » Fri Jun 24, 2016 11:46 am

Fancy! Nice setup.
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Re: My rainwater first flush diverter & disguised rain barre

Post by Yogurt » Fri Jun 24, 2016 12:49 pm

Very Nice, I would say it may be worth looking into finding a gutter offset piece so that you can have the gutter go fully into the adapter vs just aiming at it to minimize the potential for both water lost by missing in heavy rain, and for debris falling directly into the adapter.

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