The Leaf Catcher - What does it do?
A Leaf Catcher, also known as a Leaf Eater, is a pre-filter that prevents leaves and other large debris from entering your rainwater tank. The water from your gutters is directed into the Leaf Catcher and flows freely into your tank with no loss, even during heavy rainfall. If you are surrounded by trees, nesting birds, a dusty or sandy region, then all the leaves and debris (pieces of nests, deceased lizards and geckos, etc), that could get stuck onto the grid are pushed aside by the flow of the water.
How does a Leaf Catcher work?
A Leaf Catcher triggers the gutter to release rainwater onto a plastic or metal grid that is placed at a 45° angle. The water from the gutters goes through the grid to the bottom of the Leaf Catcher and is directed through a fitting into the pipe that goes into your rainwater tank. Leaves and other large debris get washed out on the side of the grid, keeping your water cleaner and clearer.
What are the benefits of a Leaf Catcher?
The Leaf Catcher presents many benefits when harvesting rainwater:
- It is a low cost and efficient way of preventing large debris from entering your tank
- It lasts for many years and requires low maintenance as it mostly self-cleans (well-designed Leaf Catchers also allow you to unclip and wash the grid)
- By limiting the amount of organic matter getting into your rainwater tank, it reduces sludge buildup and bacteria contamination
What are the disadvantages of a Leaf Catcher?
The Leaf Catcher does not purify the water, it only decreases the amount of large debris that would enter your tank. Any sediments that are smaller than the grid are likely to go through it, for example, dust, dirt, small seeds and twigs.
Where do you install a Leaf Catcher?
A Leaf Catcher should be installed directly below each gutter that is connected to your rainwater tank, just above your First Flush Diverter and tank.
Is a Leaf Catcher recommended when harvesting rainwater?
At EcoDepot we always recommend using a Leaf Catcher. It prevents leaves and large debris from entering your rainwater tank, improves the quality of your water and reduces tank maintenance. It also limits the growth of unhealthy bacteria in your rainwater tank, such as E. coli and Giardia.