Did you notice there is a big chance of rain on Thursday?  We are so excited for rainwater tanks all over San Diego to fill, some for the first time.  Even a small rain event can fill a tank depending on the size roof that is being drained.

One of our clients in Talmadge sent us an email this morning including this picture of the Leaf Filter full of debris and were happy to report that the filters were doing the job.  Fortunately she noticed this, and cleaned it so that the rain on Thursday can make it into the tank.

If you haven’t already, now is the time to clean your filters.  This first rain has pushed debris from your roof onto your leaf filters.  And your first flush probably has a good collection of sediment that has been sitting there since our Spring rains.  You want to maintain a clean tank so that the water you use is of the highest quality, so it’s important to check your leaf filter and first flush and clean them out if necessary.

Your first step, is visually inspect your leaf filter.  If there is even a small amount of debris on it, you can easily pop the plastic frame holding the screen off the filter box and wash it out with a hose.

Next you want to make sure your first flush is empty.  If it just has a hose draining it, likely it has self-drained.  If there is a shutoff valve or spigot, open this up by turning it to the parallel orientation with respect to the 1/2″ hose to let the water drain out.

You will need to unscrew the 3″ cap at the bottom of the filter set.  Depending on who installed your system and when it may look different than the ones above.  Essentially the idea is the same.  Once you open up the cap, rinse it out and clear any debris from your first flush.  You may need large channel lock pliers to unscrew the cap, or someone with good grip strength.  Finally, carefully reassemble the filter.  If teflon tape was previously used on the threads, you may need to reapply.

Sediment bag filter easily slides out of tank for cleaning.

In some instances an additional filter was installed, especially if you have a pumped system or no leaf filter.  If a sediment filter (seen on the left here) was installed, it will be located inside the tank at the inlet of the pipes coming from the roof.  This is installed on a slide mount for easy removal.  Remove the bag and clean it out before replacing it.

Screen filter inside tank may need to be cleaned out.

Finally, on Bushman Rainwater Tanks there is an inlet screen inside the tank (seen below).  If you have a leaf filter, this may not need cleaning, but if you have a smaller tank and opted not to put in a leaf filter, you might want to check the screen inside the tank.  Do this by removing the three screws from the top black cover on the tank and pull out the screen to wash it out.

Did anyone notice how quickly their “barrels” filled?  You may already know that a 1000 square foot roof will shed 600 gallons in a single inch of rain!  It may be time to consider getting a tank!  Many CatchingH2O customers have replaced their 55 gallon barrels with 500, 1000, and bigger tanks only to still be impressed at how quickly they fill!  It’s very satisfying to have this much water around when the rains are gone to continue to water your plants!  This is a great example of how a 55 gallon barrel was easily replaced with a 500 gallon tank!

The Importance of Filter Maintenance

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