Monday, November 02, 2015

You Could Take a Bath in That

Having been promised a wet winter -- which California desperately needs -- Bernie and I embarked on some home improvements to prepare for rain. This morning we got to see our plans in action.

We love having a sliding glass door that leads from our bedroom to our brick patio, largely because we can leave it open and feel like we're camping out. However, when we left it open, the rain from the roof above splashed right down on the bricks outside the door and ... into the room. So we put up a gutter to re-direct the water -- right into a rain-barrel. Water conservation and home improvement in one!

At six-thirty this morning, the barrel was overflowing. Last night it was empty. An inch of rain can do that, I guess. Using the chain as a "downspout" was a total failure, though. We may need to re-think  that one.

We also put up a gutter over the garage door on the side of the house, which re-directs water from the roof that used to make a lake of the north side to a little waterfall out onto the driveway, where the slope sends the rain into the gutter. The Stanislaus River down at the end of the street can use the extra water.

Outside our kitchen, water used to collect on the patio there, too. In 1997 I dug a trench on the south side of the house to draw off that El Nino rainfall, but over the past 18 years much of it filled in, so it couldn't handle all the runoff.

This past summer Bernie dug a retention pond off the patio, which was darn hard work, but it worked. The geranium in the pot sunk in the pond won't mind the extra water too much, but we might have to relocate it before the next wave of rains roll through.

All in all, we're feeling quite festive about our first heavy rain of the winter, and hopeful that the winter will help with the drought.

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