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Drain Not To Waste:


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Iv been running adjustable dripper stakes, in a drain to waste system. Until recently  My trays would drain into a central reservoir, that housed a pump and float valve that pumped runoff threw 1/2in pvc down into the basement drain. One day I was in the basement and I could here my nutrients going down the drain. I thought to myself, it would be nice if I could use the wasted nutrients to water my flower garden. So I devised a plan..

I knew that most of the time the runoff would be to hot for the flowers, so I got two 55 gal trash cans and connected them to each other with pvc (one would have did it but I wanted room to dilute) I then ran an overflow pipe back to the drain and directed the run off into the trashcans, this way I can adjust the run off nutrients  to whatever strength I wanted. 

 Then I went and bought some ½ pvc and fittings (the flowers run along two sides of the house and meet at the corner) so I got a 90 degree fitting with a top intake. I connected 20ft of pvc both ways then i drilled small holes every 3in on the underside of the pvc and capped the ends off. then buried it on the backside of the flowers. Then I hooked a pump up in the runoff res in the basement and connected a hose to the outtake that I connect to the 90 degree fitting amd ran to the inside of the basement… then I ran a test to see how things went , it worked like a charm.

Then I got to thinking that the constant watering of the flowers might be too much, and thought about the veggie garden that I didn't initially think of it because its a lot farther away from the house then the flowers.  (I put the veggies far out to try and keep pest away from the grow). 

I thought it would be nice to be able to alternate from watering the flowers, to watering the veggie garden with the runoff. So I put a “T” fitting right before the 90 degree fittings intake and a shut off valve on each side of the “T”  this way I can direct the water  from the flowers, to the veggies and vice versa. Then I ran and buried about 90ft. of pvc out to the veggie garden and ran it up and out of the ground, I then painted the visible pvc green and fitted it with a barbed fitting so that I could run traditional tubes and drip lines to wherever they may be needed in my veggie garden.

I was proud.. :thumbsu:  :thumbsu:  :thumbsu:  :thumbsu:  :thumbsu:   Spring is here and  I thought this may help others get the most out of their nutrients, so I thought I would share. 
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Great plan!  Too many people drain to the sump.  This pH-perfect, nutrient rich solution just about drags tree roots into your foundation drainage system and can cause serious issues...so it is imperative to discharge the stuff waaaay away from the house.  Kudos to you for having the ambition to reuse this "waste."

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re use it on your plants! every one I know has two or more drums they run it thru and back into their waiste barrel, they ph it and put it back thru the system! ya just get your self a lil pump to pump it back to the first barrel, before you pump it in, you test your ph you test your ppms and you can add more water or what ever nute you feel it needs before pumping it back to the feeding barrel, ive never heard of any one waisting their water/nutes, put a nylon on the end so it catches the roots and clean oftten! or just keep pouring $ down the drain!

 

Peace

Jim

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The problem with constantly reusing the same nutrient solution on your plants, is that your plants use up some micro and macro nutrients faster then others. Then when you replace the nutrients that are deficient you can inadvertently push others to toxic levels. It can be done a few times without too much visible damage, but eventually you will end up with deficiency/toxicity problems. This is why most growers who  flood and drain or use other similar systems, completely drain and refill their reservoirs on a regular basis. It can be done; but in my situation its not ideal. 

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