Bushfire Wildlife Water Station

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Introduction: Bushfire Wildlife Water Station

About: Wombat and wildlife fan

The 2019/20 bushfires have devastated large parts of Eastern Australia with millions of native animals killed. Animals that survive the fire desperately need water to recover. This cheap and easy to make water stations can provide a water source for animals such as Koalas, Wombats, Kangaroos, Possums and birds.

All parts should be available from your local hardware store. The water stations can be secured and placed in areas that have been affected by the fires. Be sure to remove the water station after the area has recovered, we don’t want to be littering.

Supplies:

1.5m length of 90mm PVC stormwater pipe
1 x 90 degree 90mm PVC pipe bend (male - female ends)
1 x 90 degree 90mm PVC pip bend (female - female ends)
1 x 90mm end cap
1 x PVC cement (make sure it is drinking water safe)

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Step 1: Join Parts Together

Assemble all of the parts before you glue it together so you know how it will look.

Step 2: Glue Parts Together

Clean all of the surfaces to be joined. You can use methylated sprits or acetone.
It is critical that all joins are watertight so follow the instructions on the PVC glue bottle. Most PVC glue comes with a brush inside the lid. Make sure both surfaces are evenly coated in the PVC glue before you join. The glue goes off fast so be sure to push parts together firmly and hold as instructed on glue bottle. Use gloves, the glue can be messy if you get in on your hands.

Step 3: Allow Glue to Dry and Test

To fill with water you will need to lay it flat on the ground and fill until water comes out of the bend. Lift the station upright and water should be just below the open section of pipe. If the water spills out you may have a leak at the top where the end cap is joined. The water should replenish as animals drink.

Step 4: Install the Station

You can tie the station to a vertical tree or post with rope or cable ties. To refill you will need to remove and lay it flat on the ground.

Great job helping the animals affected by the terrible bushfires!

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    33 Discussions

    18
    AndyA2877
    AndyA2877

    6 weeks ago on Step 3

    A cheap addition is to cut the top off a 1.5L plastic water bottle. Make some tiny holes in the bottle cap. Place it cap down into the opening, a stone helps it stay in place. This stops small creatures and Mosquitoes from entering the main reservoir

    341A74EE-E854-4C0E-9BEF-4EE316D6A2DF.jpegD383D293-2B87-40A3-91C5-0500C6D5631A.jpeg9858EB7B-75A5-411A-A6A3-A0E42FFAAA86.jpeg
    0
    mamuir1959
    mamuir1959

    3 days ago on Introduction

    Water Level. We found the water level was far too low for most animals to drink out of .... so here is the solution! Modify the water station’s opening by cutting the outlet down to just above the u bend (we used a recip saw) .... the water level will now be just below the lip (rather than 3 or 4 cms below). Please do this so the water stations can be used by animals such as koalas, wombats & wallabies.

    Add rocks Instruction should also say to add some rocks so small animals like lizards that may fall in can climb back out.

    535B6D7F-5082-4F1E-A665-CDEB3BA81425.jpeg
    4
    ZexetorM
    ZexetorM

    5 weeks ago

    First, our hearts here in America go out to our cousins "down under".
    Second, Good on you for thinking of the poor animals suffering through the fires.
    Lastly, just a plumber's trick - when you glue pvc together, always give the pieces a quarter twist as you're gluing them together, and hold tightly for about ten or fifteen seconds. Giving that twist will get out any air bubbles that might cause a leak, and holding them tightly together will keep the pieces from pushing out of each other (a natural result of the chemical action of the solvent and glue). Kudos!

    0
    RobertoC71
    RobertoC71

    5 weeks ago

    Very simple very smart all the best for marsupials

    0
    perec3
    perec3

    6 weeks ago

    I'm curious as to how you stop all the water in the pipe from flowing out?

    1
    PastorMikelong
    PastorMikelong

    Reply 6 weeks ago

    It may have escaped your notice that the end cap is glued to the long end of the pipe. When it is filled with water and stood up, air pressure keeps the water from flowing out.

    0
    perec3
    perec3

    Reply 5 weeks ago

    Thanks ;)

    1
    Gamer4Fire
    Gamer4Fire

    Reply 6 weeks ago

    The top of the J is sealed, creating a vacuum holding the water in. When the water level in the lower curve of the J gets low enough to let air in, more water comes out until it seals the curve again.

    0
    perec3
    perec3

    Reply 6 weeks ago

    Great!! Thanks for answering! Your idea is great to help animals in need. Regards. P.

    1
    exstatosoma
    exstatosoma

    5 weeks ago on Step 1

    Thanks Andy. This is so simple and well thought out, and conserves water, which is critically low even where there aren't fires. We have wallabies coming out of the bush looking for the least bit of green pick near our water tank. They are normally shy but are desperate at the moment.

    1
    67spyder
    67spyder

    6 weeks ago

    Kudos to you! Simple, elegant solution that will help many!

    0
    PossumT
    PossumT

    6 weeks ago

    Small creatures are often unable to climb smooth plastic and can get trapped in something like this, so I would recommend putting a stick or rock or something in the water that they can use to climb out. I have a somewhat less sophisticated water station and I've looped an offcut of stainless gutter mesh over the drinking bowl.

    Also, I'd recommend keeping an eye on both mosquito wrigglers and algae growth and drain and clean as needed.

    1
    MichaelG644
    MichaelG644

    6 weeks ago

    Sorry mate, ya need to keep the buggers out and keep the small critters from falling in.

    0
    Cobber137
    Cobber137

    Reply 6 weeks ago

    Good thinking, Michael. A small stick put in the water like a drinking straw would act as a landing platform/ladder for insects, lizards and small animals.

    4
    Cobber137
    Cobber137

    6 weeks ago

    Great idea, Andy. Good on you for sharing.
    Points to consider:
    - Definitely use primer before glue on PVC pipe to ensure a decent bond. The primer cleans and softens the surface to allow the chemical reaction caused by the glue to take place. No need to wait for the primer to dry (it is a solvent so it dries very fast anyway).
    - Push the glued fitting on the glued pipe promptly. Hold for about 30 seconds, longer at lower temperatures. Good handling strength is achieved in 15 minutes.
    - If making multiple units, keeping it simple (and as light and cheap as possible) is a good principle. Glued end caps, if done well, are the best option. Easily removable ties such as old bits of rope, string, twine, bungee cord (Ocky strap) can be used. Learn to tie an easy to undo knot if you don't know already. Blue plastic packaging strap and those white plastic buckles are another option. These are available at Bunnings (big chain of hardware stores in Australia) along with the PVC pipe, fittings solvent and glue. Most hardware stores carry these items.
    - Each unit will hold just under 10 litres of water. If you are carrying water into a series of units, consider how much you can carry at one time and determine the number of units on each run accordingly.
    - If there are unburnt pockets of bush, locate your units in the vicinity. Surviving animals will congregate in these areas.
    - When establishing a run of stations, try to keep them on roughly the same level (as in height above sea level) so you are not walking up and down the slope too much.
    - You could tie something with high visibility at eye level at each station to help you find each one until you get familiar with the terrain.
    - If the water is not being consumed, try another spot. You will need to monitor the stations fairly regularly at first to get an idea of how often you need to refill each unit.
    - Be prepared to keep at it for a while. Drought breaking rain is not expected for most of Australia this year.
    I know a lot of this might be obvious to many of you but judging by the questions I see in the comments on a lot of Instructables, people generally appreciate an easy to understand explanation of something that might be totally new to them.

    2
    jefflahay
    jefflahay

    6 weeks ago

    Great idea and simple to implement. Nice job!

    0
    itsallwhite1
    itsallwhite1

    6 weeks ago

    Great idea, why do you glue the end cap on to the top? If you had it push fit (or a latch) then it could be refiled without removing it or am I missing something?

    1
    carl5blum
    carl5blum

    Reply 6 weeks ago

    Hello: Or you could think of it this way: The pipe is empty and needs to be refilled. You take the top cap off and start to pour water in. Nothing keeps the water from flowing out the bottom. Now if you could make the top cap air tight and had a bottom cap too, you could cap the bottom while you fill and when filled you could cap the top and uncap the bottom. That would work, but the top cap has to be air tight, or the water will seep out. Good luck.
    Carl.

    0
    ChrisWx
    ChrisWx

    Reply 6 weeks ago

    Screw-type fittings are more expensive, but a screw-on cap with a gasket would definitly be air tight.