Downpipe Socks

Discussion in 'Designing, building, making and powering your life' started by Jez, Dec 20, 2006.

  1. Jez

    Jez Junior Member

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    Nah, I'm not making a late run for the 'Most Bizarre Thread Title Of The Year'... :lol:

    I was walking into the town centre the other day and noticed a 'downpipe sock' (for lack of a better word) on a house I went past.

    There are a lot of older style houses up here (mine is one) which don't divert stormwater collected in the downpipes to a drain system...the water just flows out onto the ground via an extended piece of pipe directing it away from the house.

    I was going to put in an ag drain (pipe with holes in the top so it can collect water from above and divert it), but I do like the idea of being able to change where it is diverted to - something not fixed.

    Obviously ideally I'd buy three more watertanks for the downpipes not hooked to one already, but we're moving soon (when the darn house sells!) and it's not a good outlay of cash at this point from that point of view...and with all the rain we get it would just need to overflow somewhere anyway.

    So...has anyone ever made or seen a downpipe sock? Any ideas on making a good one?

    I'd bash on the door of the place which I saw had one, but it's not occupied and jumping the fence for a better look wouldn't tell me whether that particular design actually worked well or not.

    Thanks in advance for any input.
     
  2. han_ysic

    han_ysic Junior Member

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    Re: Downpipe Socks

    I was part of a group Permaculture Sydney North that recently did a street renovation for Michael Mobbs in Chippendale, who wrote the book a sustainable house etc.

    The setting is a street of terraces, but I am sure it would work in a suburban/rural area too.
    The first step was ripping all the existing shrubs and groundcover out, then we located the drainpipes on the front of the house and dug around them so there was no soil around them. Hacksaw for the plastic ones and angle grinder dealt with the metal ones (some looked like the 19oo's originals).

    We were working in a setting of terraces so drain runs to the ground, under footpath then under soil to kerb, into the street and down the street to the drain. We cut next to the ker and next to the footpath, about 1.5 metres and replaced this section with agpipes, sealing it onto the end. We then filled in the soil and planted a foodforest which all the neighbours paid their part for.

    Next we went to the end of the street where the nature strip juts out and made a sink well (not sure of exact name) This involved blocking off the regular drains so the water is not lost before it got to the well. Next knocking out about 50cm of kerb for the sinkwell for the water to get into it with a sledgehammer. We then dug a 1m cubed hole, lined with geofabric, filled with rocks and broken bricks and pavers. The fabric was foled over and sewn up with fencing wire and covered with mulch.

    The system should work that rain off rooves will now be diverted into the naturestrip through the agpipes, any overflow will floww down the kerb to the sinkwell where the water will fill the spaces between the rocks and site, gradually dispersing through the garder there. Any further overflow will enter the sewer. Am not sure how it is working, as we have not had much rain in Sydney since the job was finished, however none of the plants have died yet so that's a positive. It was also a great community experience with neighbours joining in to help and all involved sharing a BBQ on the street afterward.

    Hannah

    If there are more questions you have I could try and answer, or pass them onto someone from the team who might know more.

     
  3. Jez

    Jez Junior Member

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    Thanks for your response Hannah, you put a lot of time into it and I appreciate your effort.

    The system you've put in sounds good, but what I'm looking to do is something different...I need to be able to move an above ground 'sock' to different locations...bend it around corners etc.

    I have a fair idea of what I'll use and how I'll do it...just wondering if anyone had done similar.
     

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