I know you all have been waiting anxiously for an update on how well my rain barrel functions, all three of you, so here's an update....
My rain barrel functions too well! On Friday, after 5 days of barrel completed-no rain, we had rain! My plan was to read the rain gauge, and then measure the depth of the water in the barrel and correlate the two amounts to determine a baseline for rainfall/water collection. Well...we had 2.5 inches of rain which translated into an overflowing 44 gallon barrel and a back porch that flooded anyway! Whoops! We also had enough rain and high wind that my new gutter on the new porch filled with pine needles and overflowed! Obviously this was an extreme case of the downpours, so I'm hoping that the barrel system works better under normal situations. We had 1.5 inches of rain on Saturday and the barrel, which was already topped of by the overflowing event from the day before, did manage to contain a good amount of rain and disperse it out through the overflow valve in smaller increments than the downspout would have, so flooding was more controlled. Sunday we had another .75 inches of rain and the porch did not flood.
I am thinking that the 2.5 inches in one day fell hard and fast enough that the flooding would have occurred with or without the barrel, and that the normal level of summer rainfall, coupled with my using water from the barrel for daily purposes, would have kept the overflow to a minimum. There is an overflow valve on the barrel about 6 inches from the top, so approximately 8-10 gallons of water will catch in the barrel, yet trickle past the overflow valve over time. This way, at any given time the barrel should be able to at least accommodate almost 10 gallons of water.
Anyway, I'll have to use the barrel contents down to a measurable level and then do the comparison of rainfall to barrel depth to try to establish the correlation. I'll keep you posted! (I'm sure you can't wait!)
Worked on the bikes this weekend. Cleaned the Rush, replaced the brake levers on the Beast with some period correct Cannondale 'Coda' levers (DiaCompe SS-5s, with CODA labeling), swapped the stem on the white EWR for a NOS Control Tech model from the 'bay, cleaned the blue EWR, Even took care of Big Momma's bikes. Tomorrow I will take a mental health day to celebrate my birthday, and go to San Felasco State Park and hit the trails. I'm excited, although driving there will cost me a billion dollars in the Land Rover.