This time of year, when its hot, rainwater is scarce, and the A/C runs almost constantly, there’s a water source I focus on and wonder how to capture. The condensation from our A/C unit drips at a rate that certainly meets or exceeds 1 gallon/hour. There’s easily enough to continuously (while the A/C’s running) water a small raised garden bed.
The water is cool, and the quality should (in theory) be similar to distilled water.
The problems with capturing it are mostly related to where it emerges from the house… near the bottom of the foundation. Also, there’s zero water pressure. It is gravity fed in a steady drip.
Right now I have a galvanized oil-changing pan beneath the drip (about all that will fit) as a means of figuring out the rough rate of flow.
Ideas for making this useful include:
– A small system to pump any catchment to a larger holding tank (rain barrel, perhaps). Issues might include preventing backflow, avoiding loss of overflow, powering it (solar would be nice), and preventing evaporation.
– Extending the gravity-fed method using PVC or copper pipe to the lower elevation in the back yard and letting the drip passively water some small area. Issues with this include preventing clogs or backflow, preventing ants or algae from invading, and maintaining flow.
– Build a small concrete basin that runs into a concrete channel that heads toward the back yard. It would be, in effect, like a small spring. No idea if the flow rate would overcome evaporation.