Thursday, August 03, 2006
When It Rains, It Pours...Through A Pipe To The Pond
The summer rains seem to have finally begun. Lately, we've had daily thunderstorms either here at home or in the surrounding area and each and every drop is welcome. There's still a great deficit, but now there's hope.
Years ago, I installed gutters on our house and connected them to a drainpipe that ran all the way down to the pond. Our house is not huge, but it sports alot of steeply pitched roof to collect rain and I figured we could just send that water directly to the pond, instead of waiting for it to seep through the ground.
(Notice the black, mucky band of mud around the water's edge. As the pond has dropped, this organic layer is exposed, dried, and oxidized until the white sand is left. See the white sandy - green band just above it? Later, when tropical rains (optimist) fill the pond, it will be super-rejuvenated and productive due to this drying out. The normal, average level is up where the young cypress trees are, but a single slow Tropical Storm can fill it far above that in a matter of hours. With the bigger fish "Otterized", I am no longer stressing over low water and actually hoping for more drying before the big rains come.)
The drain pipe, of corrugated black plastic, snakes underground for about a hundred feet before it emerges from the west bank of the pond. At this time, with rains just beginning after a long spring drought, the pipe exit point is exposed. Normally it is under water.
When the water is up, it's hard to tell if the drain system is working as it is out of sight. It's been in place for about 15 years and I wonder sometimes if it's filled with oak leaves and roots and therefore ineffective. Happily, I have recent proof that it is still working. I took a walk around the pond after a good rain a few days ago and was relieved to see the evidence of flow shown in the photo above.
So the system still works, but back at the house there's work to do to improve it.
The dogs, in their search for a cool spot, have exposed and broken that portion of the black pipe which should take water from the roof on the backside of the house. I have some ideas to improve it since there's some neat drainage products that were not on the market during the original installation.
It's not a priority however, even with hurricane season preparing to kick in. The torrential rains that fall during those storms overwhelm gutters almost instantly, overflowing and pouring off the roof in sheets. So this is the kind of digging project that can wait until the cooler months.
December sounds good.
Posted by R.Powers at 6:41 AM