Did you ever notice that your central air conditioner has a hose that connects to the drain? I never really thought about it until one night I almost tripped because ours went across the basement floor. I cut the hose and placed a trash can there to collect the water... I figured that I would just dump it each day.
I was surprised the next day to find that it had filled the trash can and made a fair sized puddle on the floor, and quite a mess with a stack of papers that was sitting there. After some rough calculations I discovered that about 350 gallons (1300 liters) was being wasted annually. (And that was a conservative estimate!)
I decided to install a pump and use this water for my small garden which was right outside the basement door. All I needed was to figure out how to spread the water evenly for the plants.
We have used this system for several years now... as soon as we move into our new home we will install the updated version described here.
Step 1: The Original Design
I actually built this unit in April of 2000, so I have been enjoying fresh vegetables every year for quite awhile now. As well as the original design worked there were a couple of drawbacks to presenting it here as an instructable.
The cross pieces on the original unit were made from a 4-way Tee section that I had modified on my lathe. Since not everyone has access to a lathe to machine the parts, and because I am getting a new house and will rebuild the system anyway, a new way of doing this was devised.
Another change that was made was the area where the water left the house and went to the A-Frame... I had used flexible tubing but after a few years it became brittle in the sunlight. I switched to ridged PVC, but this made the unit difficult to move around. Both of those problems were solved with the new design.