Flash storms with large quantities of rain falling in short, sharp bursts often expose the shortcomings of gutters on farm buildings. The result is wet flooring and stock bedding, water-damaged machinery and stored feed, and a generally unpleasant working environment.
That was the experience of Tom Farmer, who runs a Hereford cross Friesian suckler herd and purebred polled Hereford bull on 20ha (50 acres) at Pickstock near Newport, Shropshire.
“The cement-fibre water system on our cattle shed was no longer performing; the water just doesn’t flow fast enough,” says Mr Farmer. “The material itself is OK, despite being up there since we built the shed 20 years ago, but the capacity is no longer adequate.”
While tolerable on the exterior wall, the lack of capacity down the opposing length of the shed is more of a problem since it also has to manage run-off from a 20ft canopy that provides covered storage for hay bales between a dutch barn and the cattle shed.
See also: Harvesting rainwater to save costs
With almost twice the volume of rainwater to contain, this length of guttering has been failing dramatically, with the area beneath becoming sodden, Mr Farmer says. It has caused unpleasant surface run-off, spoiled the feed and damaged machinery and equipment.
Researching modern rainwater systems led to the old cement-fibre hardware being replaced with a higher-capacity plastic alternative.
As its name suggests, SuperDeep 170 is an extra-large profile gutter. At 170mm it is a lot wider than the typical 114mm width of standard half-round and deep-flow products, and almost 60% deeper.
“It’s not just the depth, it’s the shape of the gutter, which is more oval than round,” says Tom Farmer. “It’s not all high sides; it’s wide and deep, which means it is still a manageable system; but you don’t get a drop spilling over in a heavy storm.”
The product’s UK-based manufacturer, Epwin Group company Kayflow, claims the SuperDeep 170 can cope with a torrent-like flow rate of around 10 litres/sec, compared with just 1.8 litres/sec for its deep-flow product.
Thick wall construction is designed to handle the high volume of water, ice and snow the gutter can hold and the fascia brackets are capable of supporting more than 125kg each.