Today saw the first snowfall of the year. There wasn’t very much of it, and it was mixed with sleet, but it didn’t immediately vanish either. The hens did not seem too bothered. “Pawk! Can I eat it? No. Oh well, back to scratching then.” Part of their fenced-in area looks like a scene from the battlefield of the First World War. Who needs goats or pigs to clear an area? We don’t.

Unfortunately I also noticed another problem with the greywater reedbed sump. The pump was constantly starting and stopping. I found that the outlet leading from the sump into the reedbed was blocked. I tried flushing it through by sticking a hosepipe down the pipe, but this had limited success. Now if you refer to the design of the reedbed system here: http://www.la-darnoire.com/greywater-reedbed.shtml (look at the second sketch) you’ll see the T-shaped entrance pipes through which the greywater enters the reedbed. Fortunately when designing this entrance pipe, I had the foresight to seal the ends with screw-caps. I unscrewed one of these end caps – and discovered that the roots of the reeds had entered this pipe, blocking it fairly comprehensively. Fortunately access to this pipe is fairly easy, but I think I’ll need to make a small cutter which I can use to clean out the pipe – something similar to the cutting auger they use to clean tree roots from sewers.

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