The floods of 2008 continue to be one of the worst natural disasters in the past 30 years of American history. Floodwaters covered 14% of the city and displaced 10,000 residents. Although the city has made significant progress in rebuilding, a complete recovery is not expected for another decade. Cedar Rapids is the second largest city in Iowa and one of few cities in the world with governmental offices on a municipal island.
Oakland's watershed is comprised of 15 main creeks, 30 tributaries, Lake Merritt and the Bay estuary. In 2009 Lake Merritt was listed as an impaired water body due to organic enrichment/low dissolved oxygen and high levels of trash. The trash primarily enters the lake through urban runoff and storm sewers. Once the water body or segment is listed as impaired, the state is required by the Clean Water Act to establish Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for the pollutant causing the conditions of impairment.
Don’t be fooled. All rain barrels will require maintenance from time to time. This is due to the fact that for the most part they have very simple inlet filtration. Most rain barrels only have mosquito screening as their filtration. Anything that will fit through those little holes, such as small roof grit, pollen, small organics like leaf debris will wind up in the barrel. Here in NC, pollen is our main issue in regards to maintenance and poor water quality. When the ‘yellow haze’ settles on the land the fun begins. The last two years have been the heaviest pollen seasons I can ever remember having. At times you could actually see it blowing out of the tall pines like a snow blowing during a blizzard. My wife’s black car turned a gross yellow-green color. See the pictures below of a fore bay in a rain garden we constructed. It shows pollen coated so thick you cannot see the color of the rocks they are coating.
The weather has finally broken and NC is finally back to seasonal temperatures. We survived roughly 20 straight days with high temperatures in the Triangle area below the seasonal norm (55 on Dec. 27 was the last time we pushed above normal). The lows were in the teens for many of those long cold nights. Our official recommendation is to winterize your rain barrels just to be on the safe side. See the FAQ page at RainWaterSolutions for specifics. We do not warrant against freezing since it was not one of our design criteria when Moby came into being. It was designed as a cone shape so it would stack inside one another for ease of storage and shipping. We have learned though that a conical shape (cone like) will survive freeze/thaw cycles better than a traditional barrel shape that is fatter in the middle than on each end. When water freezes it expands – in a traditional barrel shape the pressure from the expanding ice pushes out horizontally – a stress the barrel is not designed to endure. The ending result is typically a split barrel. Being cone shaped allows the expanding ice to push upward, vertically, not pushing against the side-walls of the barrel.
We have several units in different climate zones that we torture test to ensure Moby will last for many, many years. We never winterize these test barrels to push them to the limit. I am happy to report we have never had a split barrel as a result of freezing damage. We strive to provide the best barrel on the market. Period.