I constructed the filter out of two 5 gallon plastic container pails, one on top of the other.
The top pail has a very course plastic mesh to filter out leaves and other very large debris. Immediately below that I used a screen mesh (window screen material). I put holes in the bottom of the center of the first pail to allow the water to pass into the second pail. The second pail is constructed with a toilet flange on the bottom to allow drain pipe to be attached to bring the water to the IBC tote, above the flange in the pail I have a stainless steel waste can that has a landscape fabric sock that is fitted inside the stainless steel waste can. The most frequent maintenance is the cleaning out of the first strainer. That strainer got real clogged during the first rain of the season when all the debris on the roof was washed off. After that initial cleaning it has not required much maintenance.
Finally, I have purchased a commercial 100 micron 32" x 7" nylon filter sock to insert into the opening of the IBC tote to catch any impurities that the other two filters did not get. I got this filter from filtersfast.com. It is Pentek NMO100P2S Bag Filter.
As an added protection to the system I have added a small amount of chlorine to the tanks to kill off any nasty organisms that may have been present. I do not have a schedule for doing this on a regular basis. I know that plants do not like the chlorine, so I will keep a close eye on what is going on in the tanks.
March 31, 2014. It is raining again today. I noticed that the filter was clogged. I have discovered that the grit (sand) from the roof that is coming into the system is forming a layer of sediment on top of the screen on the bottom of the upper pail. There were practically no leaves in the upper basket/strainer in this pail. I am now installing a second screen into the upper basket/strainer such that the screen goes up the walls of the basket/strainer. This way, if the sediment covers the bottom of the basket the water can still get out the sides and still be filtered. Hopefully this modification will solve the problem. See improved schematic for the upper pail (below):
|Improved Upper Pail Schematic|
|Photo of two pails before being camouflaged.|
last modified 4/14/2014