Sunday, May 27, 2012

Ingenious Creek Irrigation

My mom watering the piles.
As I have stated before, my Aunt has a large piece of property that includes a creek pretty much cutting it in half.  Yesterday, we started two compost piles in her pasture area on the other side of the creek.  At the time, I did not have a solid idea on how to add water to the compost piles.  My mom who was helping me was grabbing a few buckets full of water to help throw on the piles.  After we have finished doing that, we were around the creek when she came up with the seed of a brilliant idea.  Before I get to that, I wanted to say that this creek is "running" about ten months out of a year with July and August being the driest. So naturally, if this idea panned out it could help my Aunt out a bit with her water bill. The Utilities bill is a bit different in the county compared to Tacoma.  The water bill is separate from power and gas.

The credit really goes to my mom for the idea since I would never have thought of it if she had not said it. We had just finished mounding up the two compost piles and were standing next to the creek getting ready to cross it when she says, "It would be nice to have a sump pump."  Something clicked in my head and I said that we did have one.  Several years ago, I got a sump pump from a jobsite where I was working at then.  My basement area of my home had flooded thanks to a busted and improperly attached drain pipe from the remodelers that the house was bought from.  (Hence why I am against "flipping houses" with anyone short of a proper contractor, because at least you can sue & file against their business.)  For the last four years, it has been sitting outside disused and somewhat in an overgrown area of the yard.

I returned this evening to give the idea a try armed with the sump pump, a 5-gallon bucket, and an 50-foot 12-gauge extension cord.  I drilled about 40 holes into the side of the bucket for sufficent water seepage so the pump cannot run dry.  A dry sump is a dead pump.  Sure enough, we had enough water pressure to water down the piles and for anything else my Aunt would need water for out there.  We even lowered the creek level by a good four inches.  My next plan will be to see if I can store the water in some rain barrels so she can still use the water in the drier months to make sure her plants and things survive.

Here are some additional photos.

Sump pump in action.

The sump pump.

Sump pump in the bucket.

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