Pollen Can Foul Stored Water

dandelion-761104_640Spring is in the air. Rain and showers are expected in the Seattle area this week, keeping pollen counts down. However, as spring comes into full bloom, we can anticipate a rise in pollen counts, causing the potential for pollen to foul stored water.

Pollen is a nemesis of rainwater collection and needs to be controlled. Without control, pollen can easily foul our stored water. As pollen accumulates in cisterns in the spring and summer months, it starts to decay and along with that decay – odor is the result. Simple techniques should be applied in order to keep our stored water “sweet”.

Gutter screens should be cleaned often, as pollen accumulates on the screens themselves with the rain washing the pollen into the gutters and into the cisterns.

Vortex filters screen should be periodically inspected and cleaned as needed. If you do not have a vortex filter, I highly recommend having one installed.

If you use screen baskets in a sump box or the cistern itself, a layer of cheesecloth will catch the pollen before it enters the tank. The cheesecloth should be inspected frequently and replaced as needed.

Some extra attention to your system during pollen season will keep your stored water clean and odor free.

This article was originally published under the title An Early and Long Pollen Season at RainBank.info

Ken Blair
A rainwater collection systems designer and consultant, Ken has designed and installed residential and commercial systems, primarily in the northwest United States for more than 10 years and, in 2014, began consulting and managing builds in other states. Ken is an accredited ARCSA Professional Designer / Installer and Life Member, the Northwest Regional ARCSA representative and advisor to its education committee and is available to speak about Rainwater Collection Systems design and builds.

Ken is a United States Navy veteran, having served on active duty during the Vietnam War era.

A career entrepreneur, Ken created a new business focus with a commercial dive company in Hawaii in the mid 1980′s to respond to and clean up oil spills, oil spill equipment training, service and maintenance for the oil co-op service industry. Ken is passionate about having a positive impact on the environment and is also a founding director of BANK-ON-RAIN (2011-2014), whose mission is to create grassroots solutions for rainwater collection for consumption and agriculture in developing areas of the planet.

One thought on “Pollen Can Foul Stored Water”

  1. Thanks for the article. We’ll look into your tips for next year, but in 2016 we moved into new house and were unaware of the pollen risk. We live in a forested area of southern OR with heavy pine and fir pollen, and we now have a filled 3000 gallon tank that has enough pollen in the water to do the fouling you mention. We have 5 micron and carbon block with 10 micron filters, plus a 24×7 UV light to kill microorganisms. All 3 are housed in a Pura BB unit. 2 questions – should we be concerned about the safety of the water we consume from this tank? If so, is the only option to drain the tank, or is there anything we can do to precipitate or in other way neutralize the effects of the pollen grains?

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