Superhead First Flush and Rainwater Filter

The Superhead combines 4 important filtration functions into one simple device to automatically filter the rainwater entering your water tank. The 4 functions are:

  • Rain Head to channel water from downpipes into the rainwater tank.
  • First- Flush Diverter to automatically flush the first rain from washing pollution off your roof and into the tank
  • Leaf screen to prevent leaves blocking pipes and entering the tank
  • Insect Guard to prevent insects entering the tank

What is a First- Flush Filter?

When collecting rainwater it is very important to keep the water clean and safe. Over time leaves, dirt, animal droppings, salt and other pollution builds up on your roof and gutters. Without a first- flush system this will be washed off the roof and directly into your rainwater tanks causing the water to become dirty and possibly dangerous. Sediment and pollution in the rainwater tank can also lead to:

  • Damage to pumps, washing machines and other appliances.
  • Blocked sprinklers and showers
  • Excessive wear and shortened life on tap washers and filter cartridges
  • Bacteria and algae growth in your rainwater tank

The Superhead First- Flush Diverter is installed anywhere before the inlet of the water tank and will automatically
divert the first polluted water from the roof when it rains. After the first flush is performed it automatically diverts the clean water into your rainwater tank.

It is best to have one Superhead first flush diverter on each downpipe however a single unit can be placed close to the tank and perform a first flush for several downpipes. This will really depend on how big your roof catchment is and how clean you need the water to be. The amount of water you need to first flush will depend on a few things like:

  • The size of your roof- The recommended MINIMUM first flush is 20L per 100m of roof catchment area
  • The amount of leaves and pollution on the roof (polluted areas need to be flushed more- approx 80- 100L per 100m of roof)
  • The intended use of the water (drinking water will need a bigger first flush)
2 stage filter

You should always check the quality of the water in your tanks before drinking it.

The amount of water flushed is determined by the length of the PVC pipe attached to the Superhead. 90mm PVC stores 6.5 litres/ metre. If you need to flush more water you can install additional Superheads to your downpipes. You can also increase the volume of the first flush pipe by increasing the length and/ or diameter of the first flush pipe you use.

The Superhead First- Flush has a rotating outlet so it can be mounted to a wall, or directly the side of some tanks.

The Superhead also has an adjustable drain on the flush pipe so you can maximise the amount of water you collect. During periods of frequent rain it isn’t necessary to flush the full amount every time. The drain of the Superhead can be tightened to reduce the rate it drains and increase the amount of water diverted to the tank.

The Superhead combines 4 products into 1 device to provide maximum effectiveness and value for money. Here are the 4 parts

1. Rain Head

A rain- head is an important part of rainwater collection. It provides a break in the dowpipes so that any leaves that enter the downpipes can be cleared quickly. If blockages occur then your downpipes and gutters will overflow which can often cause major damage to your property.

2. Leaf Screen

The first stage filter is the large leaf screen. Leaves and other debris are prevented from entering the tank by a 8mm screen. The specially designed mesh allows the leaves to fall off while minimising splashing.

3. Adjustable First- Flush Diverter System

The first rain is diverted to a standard 90mm downpipe (not included) so that dirt and other pollutants from the roof don’t enter the water tank. Once the First Flush System has filled the internal flap will close and divert clean water through the side outlet and into the tank.

A drain on the bottom of the First Flush System can be adjusted to alter the flush volume. In dry periods the drain can be loosened to INCREASE the flush volume. During periods of frequent rain it is not necessary to completely flush the whole system each time so the drain can be tightened to DECREASE the fist flush volume and maximise the amount of water collected.

The Drainage Plug is also compatible with standard poly retic fittings so the flush water can be directed to the garden or other location. The drainage plug is simply replaced with a screw fitting and a standard valve, or drip fitting

4. Insect Guard

The final filtration is a brush filter installed into the outlet pipe to the tank. Any floating debris is captured by this filter. This will also prevent insects and vermin from entering the system during dry periods

superhead assembly diagram

The Superhead comes pre assembled with the outlet configured to the side. If another location is required simply unsrew the stainless steel screws and rotate to the required position.

All connections are to 90mm Pipe or 3″ Pipe.

If connecting the flush pipe to reticulation there are several ways to do so:

Method 1: Standard Poly Pipe

The drain fitting is a standard 15mm fitting commonly used in reticulation fittings. Simply connect a 15mm threaded fitting with a 13mm/ 19mm barbed fitting on the other end. This can then be connected to 13/ 19mm poly pipe and directed to wherever is required. Flow id regulated by the foam filter inside the Superhead Base Cap. A valve or dripper can also be added to the reticulation pipe if required

Method 2: Micro fittings

Use a drill to make a 4mm hole anywhere in the base cap. Use a micro threaded joiner to screw into the hole. Connect micro piping to the joiner and direct to wherever is required. A dripper can also be added to the pipe if requried

 

Installation Instructions

Click here for detailed installation instructions

The Superhead may be installed in a variety of situations. Please click here to view some different options for various rainwater harvesting systems

  1. Select a location to install the Superhead somewhere between the downpipe(s) and water tank inlet. It can be mounted to the wall or directly to the side of some tanks. The rear outlet of the Superhead should be above the maximum water level of the water tank and there needs to be clear room under the Superhead for the first- flush pipe. The unit will also drip for several days after rain so it should be positioned over a drain/ garden or pot plant, or connected to reticulation fittings
  2. If required, rotate the side outlet so that the side outlet face the rainwater tank and secure using the small screws provided.
  3. Cut a length of 90mm pipe (larger pipe and adapater can be used if preferred) so that it is around 100mm shorter than the distance between the bottom outlet and the ground. Use pipe cement or silicone to glue the pipe in to the bottom of the Superhead and secure with the small screws provided
  4. Insert the ball into the pipe so it can roll freely
  5. Use pipe cement or silicone to glue the base cap on and secure with the small screws provided
  6. If you intend to paint the unit, now is a good time so you can reach all the hard places
  7. Position the unit in the correct location. Mark and drill the 2 holes at the top of the Superhead to secure the unit to the wall or tank. Insert the wall plugs (if required) and fasten the Superhead to the wall with the large screws provided
  8. Measure, cut and connect the pipe from the Superhead outlet to the tank inlet. Use the adapter if required
  9. Secure all pipes using pipe brackets
  10. Adjust the drainage plug on the first flush pipe so that it drips at around 1- 2 drips per second, or if connecting to reticulation fittings, attach the pipe and valve now

Maintenance

The Superhead requires very little maintenance as the leaf and insect screens are self- cleaning, however it is important to check it occasionally to ensure it is operating properly. Over time the flush pipe can become filled with dirt and obstruct the drain. If it does become blocked, simply unsrew the drainage plug and allow any dirt to be flushed out before replacing the plug.

If you have a lot of fine, floating debris then it may reduce the flow or even block water passing through the insect screen. If you have a secondary filter such as a basket on top of the rainwater tanks then the insect screen can be safely removed.

If you need to clean the insect guard/ filter brush, simply remove the leaf screen by unscrewing the small screw holding it down. Remove the insect guard and clean any debris in the brush.

 

Specifications

Superhead is designed and owned by Superwall Systems Australia. Product is made in China.

Made from uPVC and stainless steel.

Superhead dimensions Superhead dimensions

SUPERHEAD TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

Size (mm) 280 x 210 x 160
Weight 1.3 kg
Material uPVC, stainless steel
Function First Flush Diverter, Rain Head, Leaf Screen, Mosquito Screen
Compatible Systems Wet and dry systems
Parts included Superhead, flush pipe cap, adjustable drain, mosquito screen, 90mm adapter, wall anchors, screws
Inlet Fitting n/a (downpipe does not connect)
Outlet fitting 90mm/ 3″
Flush Pipe fitting 90mm/ 3″
Flow rate Up to 120L per minute
Flush Volume Subject to length of pipe used
Filter Size 8mm leaf screen / 0.8mm mosquito
Flush diversion method ‘fish trap’ funnel
Flush drain method adjustable plug or connect to irrigation fittings
Australian Made? No (China)
Australian Owned Yes
Guarantee 1 year/ 10 years upon registration

 

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Steve March 11, 2012 at 8:30 pm

How do you service the brush filter once the unit is installed?

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admin April 4, 2012 at 5:27 am

Hi Steve- The brush filter can easily be removed if required by taking off the leaf screen and simply pulling out the brush. It is reusable so you can wash it or just give ‘dust- off’ to remove anything the filter has picked up

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David Jacobson February 27, 2012 at 1:05 pm

Does the Superhead come without the first flush device, ie just a simple rainhead device as I will be installing one first flush to service all downpipes before the pipe enters the tank

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admin March 5, 2012 at 8:31 pm

Hi David- The Superhead has 2 outlets- A bottom and a side outlet. The first flush is created by adding a length of pipe with slow drain to the bottom outlet. If there is no cap on the flush pipe then water will continue to be diverted into the bottom pipe and could function as just a rain head.

Alternatively if the bottom outlet was capped on the Superhead then water would be instantly directed to the side outlet

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rod keena June 25, 2011 at 11:15 pm

I was very interested in your figure of 20 litres for each 100 sq m of roof area as an absolute minimum requirement. As we are planning a new house with 250 m roof this would equate to 50 l diverted. I had previously calculated a desirable amount of 100 l would be necessary.
I have been very distressed to see the local plumbers installing single first flush divers ( FFD ) after the water has passed through a charge system from a number of down pipes. To my way of thinking each down pipe connected to the charge line should have its own individual diverter other wise there is a mixing of contaminated water with what will eventually go into the tank. Apparently no one has informed them of the correct layout when a charge system is used but they think it is correct. What a load of bullshit they are trying to give us
I first used diverters 11 tears ago on our present house which depends totally on tank water and early realised the requirements of such a system.
I managed to increase the capacity of the holding pipe for the diverted water by using an elbow about 0.5 from the ground and adding extra horizontal pipe which held debris and silt which could later be cleaned out into a bucket
I am very impressed with your system but feel you should include instructions for setting up a charge system.
For those who don’t know, a charge system is used when the down pipes are connected to an underground pipe which then comes up to to deliver water to the top of an above ground tank. Water is maintained in the charge line at all times but must be flushed out occasionally to remove rubbish in the pipe.

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admin March 15, 2011 at 7:51 pm

Hi Adrian- The Overall height of Superhead is 280mm. The bottom of the outlet to the tank is 250mm from the top. So the maximum height tank you could have with 2350 clear is 2100 to the tank inlet. the inlet can be a top or side inlet.

Many people use the overflow at the side of (most) tanks as the inlet where height is an issue.

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Adrian Norman February 26, 2011 at 5:05 pm

Hello, could you tell me the dimensions of the Superhead first flush diverterr?

We have 2350mm between the slab and the bottom of the gutter. What is the maximum height rainwater tank we could get if we wanted to use the Superhead first flush diverter?

Thanks!
Adrian

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Johns Water Solution January 29, 2011 at 3:58 pm

I have been installing water tanks Toilet & or Laundry & garden systems for seven years, & I recommend this product to my cliients
john 0432653709
Melbourne West

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grinder December 8, 2010 at 12:37 pm

I have drank rainwater straight from the tank my whole life without any first flush filters and I’m fine. You don’t need any filter to keep the water safe.

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Dave December 8, 2010 at 12:51 pm

Hi Grinder- One of the reasons we invented the device is from personal experience. My girlfriend (now wife) got very sick a few years ago. After several weeks she continued to get sicker and sicker. Her parents eventually found 3 dead frogs in the tank that were rotting away and poisoning the rainwater tank. They were fine because they always boiled the water for tea and coffee but she was drinking it straight from the tap. A first flush filter would have prevented the frogs being able to enter the tank.

The odds are that your rainwater tank is safe but there are many reasons for installing a rainwater filter. It saves on maintenance, helps to keep the water clean and stops animals and bacteria entering the tank. I’m sure your tank is fine but a first flush filter would certainly help to reduce any sediment build up that will eventually need to be cleaned out.

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TT November 30, 2010 at 9:28 am

What’s the deal with the pipe and leaking green dye all over the place? Not the greatest vid I have seen

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Dave November 30, 2010 at 9:36 am

Hi TT- The tube at the bottom is to show the connection to standard reticulation fittings. It’s an optional modification if you want to divert the flush drip to a different spot. The green ‘leak’ is the flush pipe draining. This is normally positioned over a drain or garden but we did it this way to show the pipe draining.

I know it’s not the most professional video but I hope it shows how the Superhead works. Check back soon for the updated video and thanks for the feedback.

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jezzb September 14, 2010 at 9:22 pm

I still dont get how the flush volume changes. Am I missing something here?

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Dave September 15, 2010 at 8:13 am

Depending on your situation and the time of year you may want to adjust the amount of water you divert for the first- flush. For example, If it has not rained for a few months over summer then a lot of dust will build up on your roof and gutters. You will need a good rainfall to wash all the dirt off. To stop this polluted water going into the tank you can loosen or even remove the adjustable drain at the base of the flush pipe. The flush pipe is draining at a different rate to the amount of rain collected so the flush volume is effectively increased (or decreased if the drain is tightened)

Likewise if it is raining frequently then the drain can ve tightened so that it drains more slowly. A 2m long flush pipe holds around 13 litres. If it drips at around 1 drip per second then it will take around 1 day to empty completely. So if it rains within this time then the roof will be clean and the rain will just top up the flush pipe instead of doing a full flush

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redman September 10, 2010 at 9:25 am

I bought one of these and was concerned that the flush pipe would be too small for our large roof. After talking to the company and making some adjustment to the drain I was able to get the flush right and reduce the amount of crap in our tank. Thanks for your help! and great work on the design. Would be great if you had a larger size for my big shed!

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Dave September 10, 2010 at 10:36 am

Thanks for the feedback redman. I’m glad we could help!

This size will handle up to 120 L/ minute which is a significant amount of water. It should be able to cope with your shed provided you use one on each downpipe. You could use our rainwater calculator to determine how much water your roof will capture and decide if it is suitable for you

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Bruce Robinson September 9, 2010 at 8:19 am

Great idea. I would like to know the price please

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Dave September 10, 2010 at 10:31 am

Hi Bruce- The RRP of the Superhead is around $70. You also need to buy 90mm PVC and pipe brackets to create the flush pipe and connect to the tank. It is quite a bit cheaper than buying the various components separately. To buy a rain head and first flush from a a competitor will cost $100+

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Ken Burton July 21, 2010 at 1:07 am

Very impressed with the system. Great work!

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