This Best Product Review of the Rain Harvesting Leaf Eater will first give an overview of the rainwater harvesting system and then dive into the Leaf Eater product review.
Rainwater Harvesting System Overview
The system starts out with a gutter that has a screen called a gutter guard. It is used to prevent the larger items like branches and leaves from entering the system.
Then we go into the downspout where we have a “Y”. This “Y” part of the system is called a downspout diverter by Aquabarrel. I ordered mine from Aquabarrel and it cost about $35.00. There is a lever that allows you to divert the water in the downspout to the left or to the right. I use this because I am in an area that freezes. During the winter I drain my rainwater harvesting system so the water doesn’t freeze in the system and break pipes. In the winter I also aim the water down the regular downspout. In the summer I aim the water toward the rainwater harvesting system.
When water is diverted into the rainwater harvesting system it then goes to the Leaf Eater. This is a product by a company called Rain Harvesting. I ordered mine from Amazon for around $33.00. The Leaf Eater is simply a break in the pipe with a screen at an angle that prevents leaves or debris from entering your system. It also prevents mosquitoes from making a home in your system.
The next device is a Downspout First Flush Diverter Kit by Rain Harvesting. I ordered this device from Amazon as well for around $32.00. This device traps the first flush from your roof of toxins, pollen, pollutants, and other small particles. The thought is that most of these items will be rinsed off with the first few gallons of water. The first flush system traps it so it does not end up in your water harvesting storage system. It has a small pin hole in it to drain the bad water off and reset itself for the next rain.
Once the first flush system fills and traps the toxins, it then diverts the rest of the water to your storage device. I have been using IBC totes that I find in the farm&garden section of Craig’s list. They run anywhere from $50 to $175 for the totes. The totes range in size from 275 gallons up to 330 gallons.
Leaf Eater Review
The Leaf Eater Advanced is made by a company called Rain Harvesting. The leaf eater is a tub that has a PVC fitting on the bottom. This fitting can be 3 or 4 inch. You need to purchase the size Leaf Eater that matches your system PVC size.
The Leaf Eater is designed with a quick disconnect PVC. This allows you to glue your PVC to the bottom side and the quick disconnect is between the glued connection and the Leaf Eater tub. This is handy if you have a first flush system below the leaf eater. From time to time the first flush systems need to be cleaned and the quick disconnect makes this simple.
The tub has a screen on top. This screen is what keeps the crap out of your system. It will prevent a number of things from getting into your system. This includes sand from your roof shingles, pine needles, and some pollen. It will also prevent mosquitos from entering your system and breeding there.
One of the nice things about the screen is that it is self-cleaning. It is angled at a 45-degree angle so any excess of debris just falls off. I have found that some pollen will stick to the screen. If you get enough of that pollen, it could clog the screen and cause the water to run off the screen instead of through it.
The screen does lift off of the top very easily allowing you to clean it. Once it is clean, it simply snaps back into place.
I have had my system up and running for a season now and I would highly recommend the Leaf Eater as part of any larger system. You could probably install a smaller system using 55 gallon drums without this. There are other ways to install your own screen system that would be cheaper. But for the larger systems, the leaf eater just makes the overall system so much more automatic and trouble free.
Here is a link to the product I bought. Note that there are 3″ and 4″ options.
Please see the YouTube video below titled Leaf Eater Product Review for an overview of the water harvesting system as well as a video version of this product review.
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