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Old 06-05-2003, 06:20 AM
Phyllis and Jim Hurley
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Default Plastic barrels, vortex and muck

We run three plastic vortex barrels before out veggie ponds. Here are some
thoughts from our experience:
1. The barrels are UP from the pond. We push the water up and let it run
back. Safer. We allow plenty of flow to return the water.
2. The water enters at 14" above the bottom. This allows quiet settling at
the bottom.
3. We have 2" drains in the side of the barrels (1" above the bottom). They
make cleaning out muck very the valve and let it run.
4. We tried straight on, up and sideways flow for the entering water.
Directly sideways worked best (We have 1 1/2" input lines and 45 degree
elbows.) That created the best mild vortex to allow solids to settle on the
bottom...we measured much for depth and thickness. Add swirl to your
5. Have a baffle, junk collector in the barrell. We have milk crates on
the bottom so the entering water comes in just under the top of the crates
and moves to the left. It moves up through strapping tape in a mesh laundry
bags. Big stuff can't go up. It must finally fall. Others use screening
loose or in bags. Others use filter pads of various sorts. We like the
strapping tape because it does not clog, channel or need flushing often. No
middle media would not trap as much in the barrels. We tried that.
6. The veggie filters get plenty of muck to work on. We also have 2"
drains on the 5' kiddie pools that form our veggie filters. The muck in the
veggie filters is small and has no big leaves. They are in the barrels. We
like that. The plants have great root systems in the veggie filters and no
leaves. Better. Flushing veggie filters with roots works fine when there
are no big leaves inthe roots!
7. Whatever works is cool. Nothing is cast in concrete...except our
concrete pond! We keep tinkering with filter cmbinations.

Good luck. Let us know what you decide.


See our pond at:\p\pwp-jameshurley
Check out Jog-A-Thon fundraiser (clears $140+ per child) at:
"Michael Shaffer" wrote in message
Hey, will this work? I plan on using a plastic drum (like they sell
chemicals in) for the chamber.


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