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From: Keith ( -
Subject: Re: What about winter.....
Date: May 25, 2009 at 8:14 am PST

In Reply to: Re: What about winter..... posted by LisaB on May 25, 2009 at 5:47 am:

Yes, that is a concern. Though the temperature here does go below freezing from time to time, it seldom goes below -10°C. Even when we get frosty nights, it usually thaws in the daytime.

We did get one two-week stretch this winter when the daytime temperatures never got above freezing. I was a little concerned about freezing damage. However, by the time I thought to drain a bit of water out of the system, the valve was frozen solid, and there was nothing I could do about it. Fortunately, there was no damage.

In a climate like ours, large-scale water collection storage is practical. In a colder climate, it might not be. You might have to hold off on collecting water until the spring thaw. You should have no trouble filling a barrel or two in one heavy shower, so collecting all winter would be unnecessary anyway. I would recommend draining the barrels before the first hard freeze of the fall.

Be sure to plan your downspout connection so that you can divert water when you don't want to collect it. I replaced my downspouts with plastic pipe into which I inserted a valve, so I can either collect water or let it drain away. You could do something similar or else just have a movable section of downspout.


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