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IMG_5325Every week or so we empty our stock troughs, sometimes for cleaning, sometimes to shift it into a new paddock or location to prevent the soil getting bared out. As dry springs like this one remind us, water is precious. The dam fills in winter, we pump up to the tanks, then try to gravity feed the stock troughs from spring until the rains come again. When it came to empty the troughs, we tried some judicious bucketing onto nearby seedlings, but that’s long and arduous when you have 450 litres to decant. 

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Trough outlet, with plug in place.

I accidentally purchased a couple of 80mm PVC pipe for another project sometime ago, and lo, quite by coincidence these 80mm lengths fit snugly in the outlet hole of the stock troughs. I fitted a cap on one end, drilled a hole to attach a hose outlet, and then rigged up 30m of garden hose for our new, and improved trough-drainer and portable tree watering system. We chose standard garden hose to make the whole device light and easy to transport.

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80mm PVC pipe and hose attachment in place.

Does it work? Sort of. Predictably, the flow-rate is only slightly brisker than glacial, but that’s not a problem if you want to give a few plants a good soaking and move the hose periodically. The big issue is really attaching it to the trough outlet. It fits somewhat snugly, but with water pressure behind it it works loose pretty quickly. A more elegant option is to find a spare outlet plug (such as that shown in the middle picture), cut a hole out of the centre and attach a hose outlet to that directly, that way I can screw it on firmly using the existing thread. Anyone know of any other ideas along these lines?

Postscript. With further tweaking, and some ideas from Anthony and Greg below, a couple of months later we constructed Mark 2, a version of the trough hose outlet that actually works!

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