We live on the lowest floor in a 7 storey building. The drain water
from all balconies is coming to the drain in our garden. Now when it is humid summer there is water dripping all the time from the pipe. It is condesed water from our neighbours AC units. Why not put the water to some good use?
The idea is very simple. Put a bucket under the dropping water, add a hose to the bucket and water your plants. There is some physics involved but more on that on the next page.
I added a Brita Maxtra filter to filter the water. Please see the last pages for the project update.
I added a Shishi-Odoshi fountain to the system. Please see the Thingiverse site and build your own!
Step 1: Limitations and Physics
In these MS Paint maisterpieces are illustrated the principle of gravitational water flow. Without understanding this the system does not work. A workaround is to install a pump.
1. If the starting point of the water (bucket under the dripping pipe) is higher up in the air than the other end of the hose, the water will flow to the end of the hose.
2. If the starting point is lower than the end point (end of hose), water will fill the hose to the hight where the starting point is. You will never get out water from the end of the hose. You can either install a pump or lift the starting point higher.
Step 2: Materials for the Build
Beneath is what I used. You can use any large enough hose and any bucket you can find.
- 10 mm od clear PVC hose. Found it lying around. I think it is drinking water hose from Biltema
- A bucket. Mine is a freezer bucket for food use
- Super glue
1. Measure on the bucket where you want to make a hole for the hose. Preferably as high as possible to be able to put the other end of the hose more freely
2. I used a 9,5mm drill bit to make the hole
3. Put the hose through the hole
4. Put superglue around the hose. I put it on the inside of the bucket
5. Pull the hose a little bit out of the bucket so that the glue gets pulled between the hole and hose
6. Position the bucket and hose and wait for free water! Remeber to keep the hose lower down than the hole at all times
Step 3: Considerations and Cautions
We have to remeber not to distract the original meaning of the drainage pipe. It is originally meant to be able to remove excess water from balconies.
When disrupting the normal flow we have to remember to leave a "loophole" for the water to go where it is originally supposed.
So when choosing the correct bucket it is very important to choose one that is smaller than the black water collector that takes the water to the sewer! In my setup the bucket overflows in case of big load of water and the excess liquid goes to the sewer.
Step 4: New Design With Water Filtration
During these weeks the watering system has been working perfectly prowiding water to our garden. Only problem is that there has started to grow something in the beginning of the tube. This same growth is visible in the steel pipe coming from the skies.
I use a Brita water purifying can at work and the filter cartridge needs to be changed every two months. So why not save the world again and make some use out of the old filter!
The upgrade started by making modifications to the old bucket. A big hole at the bottom did the trick. Then I pushed the Maxtra filter through the hole and used super glue to to glue it in place. This time I had Clas Ohlson glue instead of Biltema. Biltema glue is much better though.
My initial plan was to use pipes and hoses to get the water from the bottom but it became a too hard task. So back to the drawing board (Fusion360) and draw a water catcher. Then 3D print it and glue it in place.
Please see the result in the pictures. This new version works as good as the old one. Only this time there will maybe be a bit less other stuff than water in the hose.
You can get the .STL files from my Thingiverse page: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3033261