The heat of summer has arrived here in Raleigh with triple digits expected for the next few days. Thankfully we have had regular rains this spring so the municipal reservoirs are full. In past years we’ve had drought conditions coupled with restricted water usage. One summer everyone was excited about buying and installing water barrels to catch any water that came from the sky and dripped out of the gutters. It was against the law that year to wash your car at home or to add water to a decorative water feature such as a fountain or a garden pond. Our pond has fish so there was a provision in the city ordinances that allowed adding enough water to sustain life.
Our estate is ¼ acre in size, if I measure to the center of the street out front and we are landlocked with no creek or river close by. I stood in the back yard and pondered solutions to getting a fresh water supply for my pond during those hot, dry summers. Then I noticed the heat pump’s drip tube. The hotter and more humid the day, the more the unit worked and the more condensation dripped from that tube. This water was free for the taking and it was making a nice wet spot in the yard. Check out the figure to see the nearly steady stream.
All I needed was an easy way to collect the water and get it across the yard about 30 feet to the pond. With 15 to 20 gallons of fresh pure water being created every day there should be more than enough to keep the pond full and even allow us to draw water from the pond for some of the potted plants.
I browsed the plumbing aisles at Lowes and Home Depot and never found a solution but at Ace Hardware, I hit pay dirt. This simple coupler can slip over the drip tube and allow a garden hose to be connected. The hose can be routed across the yard to the pond or to any other place I may want water.
The garden hose is nearly invisible at the back of the pond and I can stop worrying about keeping the pond topped off during the heat. It was worth the effort and as we watch the birds stop by for baths, splashing, and cooling themselves, we are delighted to have a cheap and workable solution.
One tip to remember if you try this is to drill a drain hole in the drip tube just in case the garden hose gets plugged or kinked. Our cooling system has a float switch and if the drain tube stops draining, the unit shuts down. And always be careful around the electrical connections for your heat pump or AC. Water and electricity do not make a safe combination.