If I use a submersible 1/2 HP pump to empty standing water that is full of leaves, the pump's intake gets clogged so often that the process is considerably slowed down.

Two ideas can solve this problem.

  1. Build—or better yet, buy—some kind of filter cage. I'm thinking of putting a mosquito net around a small plastic crate. Do I really have to DIY this, or is something similar available on the market? If it is, please provide a search keyword.
  2. Built—or better yet, buy—some kind of hose filter. A hose submerged gets clogged in no time from the leaves. I built a small trinket that does this trick, but it's fiddly and needs fixing often. I wrapped mosquito net around the opening of a small plastic box and shoved one end of the hose in the base of the box. Is something of this sort available commercially?
  • How about a masticating sump pump? Its made to handle 'solids' after all...
    – brhans
    Jun 14, 2016 at 16:33
  • 2
    I've use a 5 gallon bucket with holes drilled in it with some success. Jun 14, 2016 at 17:23
  • I like the bucket and have used one it also makes it easy to pull the pump out of the pit. +
    – Ed Beal
    Jun 14, 2016 at 20:25
  • @BrownRedHawk Interesting.. but once you drill you also introduce weak spots in the bucket that can spread a crack line. OK, granted, this is just a one-time solution. Another factor that I'm wondering about is the flow. If the pump is powerful enough, it'll draw a lot of water in, and so there must be a lot of holes, or else a very large opening, perhaps covered with some kind of mesh. With a large opening, the integrity of the bucket is gone. That's why I was suggesting a solution based on a plastic crate. As Ed mentions, the bucket has the huge advantage that it has a handle though!
    – Calaf
    Jun 15, 2016 at 22:08
  • @brhans Thanks for the warning. Now that I now what was being masticated, I'll be sure not to rent one of these and use it in my backyard.
    – Calaf
    Jun 15, 2016 at 22:09

2 Answers 2


Hardware cloth, it's easy to cut in squares or rectangles.

Use small fence staples to tack it to 2x2 sections at the edges to create a screen box to set the pump in.

1/2" or 1/4" mesh.


Solution 1: Buy a "Manual Winter Cover Drain"

As described here, look for a "manual winter cover drain". These look like this:

enter image description here

Solution 2 — DIY: Build your own device

A manufactured device is nicer, but since I didn't have the benefit of finding a manufactured solution, I DIYed it (you are +1-ing this answer; aren't you!?).

DIY winter cover drain

You will need to also attach a rock to stop the hose end from sticking up in the air. I just used boxing tape. It worked fine.

The filter is necessary to stop leaves, algae, etc.. from blocking your hose. The larger the filter surface, the better. This way it will continue to work even if a leaf or two have blocked part of it.

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