Rainwater pipe?

Spring 2007 - We had some unseasonably hot and sunny weather early in the year, which was lovely for us, but a problem for the pond. The algae had a field-day growing on the nutrients in the pond water made worse as I'd recently cleaned the filtration system and topped it up with tap water and worse still because the plants that normally take-up the nutrients were still emerging from winter hibernation. The result? Pea soup anyone?

The hot, breezy weather then caused the water level to drop significantly. I needed lots of 'natural' water. With rain forecast, it made sense to collect the water off the new pergola roof. A few gutter off-cuts, pipe, string and sticky tape soon became an aerial pipeway and the next downpour resolved the water problem.

Temporary diversion Invisible pipework?

This arrangement solved the problem, but when the pipework was set up for another top-up (we couldn't leave that lot up all of the time!) a neater solution was created. It is also easier to route the water back into the garage gutter for the rainwater butt.

Trimmed down version Much neater

One downside was the noise of water dropping around 6 foot. Furthermore, the lily below does not like moving water. A quick fix was to shove a length of gardem string down the pipe, which catches the water and directs it silently into the pond. The water literally sticks to the string and just gets thicker as the flow increases. The string was soon replaced by a length of brass chain, on aesthetic grounds alone. The effect is very pleasing.

Sticky water! Arty shot for Nina!

The next step is to replace the black plastic with something more appropriate. A handmade copper collector with copper pipework neatly following the beams projecting elegantly off the rafters.......

He's off again, I hear you say!

Well, it took a while, but a copper version is now in place. However, between the original black plastic and the copper, a white plastic 'temporary' version was installed, which allowed some experimentation. But this long completed, in June 2009, the copper arrived.

The 32mm white waste pipe was a nice size, but 28mm copper was chosen. Instead of a copper hopper, the oroginal plastic gutter had a second stop-end added to make a hopper. Two flanged copper outlets were formed - one for the pond pipe and a second to run into the garage gutter. This had a raising piece so that it only came into play during heavy rain, or when the pond is full and a plug is dropped into the pond pipe.

The copper pipework is supported on brass hangers. The pipe is almost flat, in order to keep the speed of the out-flow slow enough to grip the chain as much as possible. The copper is mottled by the rain and blends in with the stained timber and brown gutters rather well. And it was finished just in time to test it.