Wednesday, August 19, 2015

The Big Siphon

When our city had to create tighter watering restrictions on outdoor water use a couple of years ago, I started capturing my shower water in the bathtub to use in the garden.  Even though the drought has subsided and we have returned to our normal conservation limits on outdoor watering, I've kept the habit of saving my shower water for the garden.  I was bailing the water out of the tub with a small plastic bucket into a larger plastic bucket to then carry out it of the house.  I didn't mind the little workout it gave me each day or the time it took to do, but I feared dropping the bucket or something and having a big wet mess.  Recently, I managed to bump the bucket while going down the stairs and had a large splash of water luckily land only on the linoleum at the bottom of the stairs instead of on the carpet.  My wonderful husband has often said we just need a way to hook a hose up to the tub and run it outside.  Well, on Sunday, we made it happen.  We bought half inch vinyl tubing to be the hose.  It is light weight and flexible.
Here's one end of the tubing being held down next to the tub drain with a laundry detergent bottle rescued from the recycling bin and we filled with water.

The tubing runs down the stairs...

...and outside to my "bucket filling station."  While the tubing will reach several of my containers, I still have to carry it in a bucket to the vegetable garden and other plants.

To start the siphoning process, I simply put the outside end of the tubing into my mouth and draw on it like a straw.  It doesn't take much to get the water started.  

When all of the water is out of the tub, I dry off the end of tube that was in the tub, coil up the tubing and store it for the next run.


  1. Way to go! Necessity is the mother of invention, so the saying goes. I love it when we figure out ways to do things. It makes us feel good when they work.

    Happy Gardening ~ FlowerLady

  2. Ha--how very clever and resourceful! I wish everyone was as concerned about water usage as you guys are.
    For years, I've been wanting to figure out a way to capture the washer rinse water. I wouldn't use it on vegetables, but for flowers--it just might be the ticket!

  3. I've thought of doing something similar and running a hose out the bathroom window. It's an excellent use of water that would otherwise go to waste. I'm sure your plants love your resourcefulness.

  4. Great idea! Bravo for your conservation ethic.


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