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Celebrate the culture of agriculture & share skills (Growing! Cooking! Eating!)

We love our garden, but one of the major challenges of off-grid living is water. Even though we have multiple springs, creeks and wells; how do we get that water to where we need it? Although 2 wells have been dug on our property, we don't have a manual pump, nor do we have a power source to power a pump to get the water out of the well. This means we needed some ingenuity to keep our garden healthy and well watered. Luckily, I'm married to an amazing engineer, who came up with an ingenious solution utilizing what we have.

Using our creek, a watering bucket, 5/8 poly irrigation tubing, a 2 60 gallon buckets, a 50 gallon drum, a washing machine Y mixer hose and a battery powered garden timer we have an automated  watering system.

The system starts with a watering can buried to the water level at the lip of a small waterfall. We have a screen over the opening to prevent large debris from getting in the water.
From there the water goes to a 50 gallon drum that we use as an air separator and to let the sediment settle out before the water enters the irrigation hose.

The irrigation hose then travels slightly downhill about 200 yards to our two 60 gallon buckets. The hose enters the far bucket at the top, but the two buckets are connected at the base with a washing machine Y mixer hose. This allows both buckets to fill evenly. The female ends of the hose are threaded into the buckets and the male end goes into the automatic garden timer. Meanwhile, any overflow is redirected back into the stream.

The hose travels an additional hundred yards after the buckets to our drip system. And there you go, an automated off grid watering system.

More about our adventure

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Comment by Jennifer on June 17, 2013 at 9:13am

Hi, GR: This is awesome. What great ingenuity to put the waterfall to work! It's a little hard to tell in the photo: Is the 50-gallon drum downhill from the intake at the waterfall? Thanks for sharing your system!

Comment by going-rogue on June 17, 2013 at 3:01pm

Thanks, Jennifer! You're right it is a little hard to tell in the picture. It is about 4-5 feet below the intake.

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