The Rains Are Coming—Are Your Street-side Basin Inlets & Roof Gutters Ready or Clogged?
By Brad Lancaster
Like much of the country, we are in a record drought with high temperatures drying us out even more; stressing many shade plants, and threatening our cooling soil-carbon sponges—so we should be doing all we can to capture and hold on to cooling, life-enhancing moisture.
But even as the summer rains have begun in my home of Tucson, Arizona; many people who have installed passive street-runoff harvesting earthworks and/or roof-runoff-harvesting gutters and tanks are NOT ready to receive that free water because their basin inlets and roof gutters are clogged!
Are YOU ready or clogged?
Street-side tree basin inlets
More important points:
- Water flows downhill, so make sure the elevation of the entire bottom of your street-side basin (and the surface of any mulch within it) is well-below the street gutter and inlet elevation. The deeper the basin the more water you can collect.
- See here for important elevation and slope relationships within street-side basins, and tips on how you can expand their capacity.
- Observe your street-side basin inlets during and after rains, and throughout the rainy season. Clean as necessary.
Roofs & their gutters
Around the world among rainwater-harvesting cultures, people clean their water catchments before the rain. Children often have this responsibility, sweeping a flat roof- or patio-catchment. At my home, the responsibility is mine.
I have to do this at the beginning of every rainy season because my roof and street gutters fill up with abundant pollen, pods, and leaves from overhanging trees (all of which makes for great soil-building and water-conserving mulch when relocated to the soil’s surface).
If you don’t clean your gutters, you’ll likely lose a lot of water you could’ve otherwise captured.
To help keep the debris collecting in your roof gutters from getting into your rainwater tank install a rainhead downspout inlet screen (and clean your gutters at the beginning of the rainy seasons).
See the new, full-color, revised editions of Brad’s award-winning books
– available a deep discount, direct from Brad:
See its eight guiding principles for the harvest of all waters, and an additional ten guiding principles specific to active systems harvesting rainwater in tanks.
Includes simple calculations enabling you to effectively size your systems for maximum performance.
Lots of info on how to create street stormwater-harvesting basins/rain gardens, curb cuts, curb cores and a whole lot more!
Includes simple calculations for ideal sizing of your water-harvesting earthworks, and to estimate their cost of implementation.