Friday, December 24, 2010

Let it pour, let it pour, let it pour!

Don we now our gay apparel... which in OUR case was RAINGEAR!!

Working on science project was certainly NOT our first-choice activity for Christmas Eve, but southeast Texas has been in La Nina drought, and tonight was our first rainfall in six weeks, and so we had no choice but to get out there and do sampling. 

It was almost SICK how perfectly this whole experimental thing went off.  Knowing for many weeks that we would continue to have no rain, and also because I was working unusually long hours, we never got our experimental set-up completed until yesterday afternoon:
You can see how parched the land is.
From L to R:  Our stabilized control area, which consisted of our lawn segment east of the driveway, followed by the test areas each fronted by a different construction stormwater control: sod, mulch, aggregate (limestone), and fabric filter fence.

This may look pretty simple, but I had to bury those perpendicular fence segments almost a foot deep to ensure that there's be no cross-talk among the test areas.  It was a LOT of work (but of course I do stuff like that to keep fit).
Aaaanndd, here's what the same thing looked like this evening:
Flash reflecting off the many raindrops.
Here's a pic of Cayley collecting run-off from behind the area protected with a sod berm. 
You can see that the run-off in her dustpan is somewhat muddy.
And here's this evening's sample booty.  The line in the back represents what we call "first flush" (as the areas are just starting to drain) in the same left-to-right order as the areas named in the panoramic shot above.  There are two sample jars for each because I hope to convince a lab to waive the cost of formal analyses on the large jars, while we'll use the small jars for bench testing.

The jars out in front are the same areas but about a half hour into the drainage event.  You can see that they're not so muddy.
Anyway, this is a GREAT Christmas present for us: reduced pressure to get these experimental trials done.

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