10th November 2014
It started out bright and sunny this morning. Perfect weather for building, in fact. Then, in the middle of the day, it absolutely bucketed down. Usually this is no fun at all on a building site. I was doing some exterior tiling at the time - that tricky detail around the windows that has been keeping me busy - but nonetheless I was pleased, for once, to see the rain.
For yesterday Ford and I installed the hopper and down pipe that take the rainwater from our roof to the gulley drain at the base of the building. Not very exciting you may think, but as well as preventing rainwater pouring out over the brickwork, this simple addition to the building completes a chain of inter-linked technologies that we began work on over a year ago and only now function as intended. If you ever played Mousetrap as a child, it's like putting the final piece in place so that the ball can be set rolling, triggering each bit of the crazy contraption in turn.
Last summer (post 9) we dug a deep channel across our neighbours' garden and connected a drain to the manhole in their garden which in turn connects to the sewer in the road. Our end of the pipe terminated in another manhole at the edge of our site. In June of this year (post 24), our groundworkers connected a series of pipes to this manhole before pouring the slab on top of them all. One of these pipes was connected to a gulley drain at the back of the house, in the corner of what will be our back garden. Then in August Steve and Ashton put our roof on (post 40). As we have a parapet roof, we have no need for gutters: all the rain is collected within the parapets and directed to a single outlet at the back of the house. This outlet now empties into our new hopper which sends the water down seven metres of galvanised steel pipe, terminating directly over the gulley drain.
OK so it's a bit strange standing in the rain watching water pour down the drain with a big smile on your face. But such are the pleasures of building. And the gods were clearly pleased too, judging by the spanking double rainbow they threw over the house.
In time, the mousetrap will be partially dismantled and made a good deal more sustainable. The water rushing down the rainwater pipe will be diverted into our raised pond which will in turn overflow into the 1500 litre rainwater tank that Tom and I lugged into place in May (post 23). This will hopefully keep our fruitful back garden well watered throughout the year without the need to use mains water. But that's all some way off. Right now I'm just happy that I can pour it all away.