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How to make a rotating irrigation system using plastic bottles – 10 cents is enough

Creating a rotating irrigation system using plastic bottles is an economical and eco-friendly way to water your garden. Here’s a step-by-step guide to building this simple yet effective system for just 10 cents:

Materials Needed

  • Plastic Bottles: Two large plastic bottles (1.5 to 2 liters each)
  • Bamboo Skewer or Metal Rod: For the rotating axle
  • Thin Tubing or Straws: To create water jets
  • String or Thin Wire: To secure parts
  • Scissors or Craft Knife: For cutting the bottles
  • Awl or Nail: For making holes
  • Hot Glue or Waterproof Adhesive: For sealing connections

Steps to Build the System

  1. Prepare the Bottles
    • Clean the Bottles: Rinse out the bottles to remove any residues.
    • Cut One Bottle: Cut the top off one bottle to create a funnel. This will be your water reservoir.
    • Cut the Second Bottle: Cut the bottom off the second bottle, and then cut it in half lengthwise to create two curved pieces. These will act as your water wheels.
  2. Create the Water Wheels
    • Attach the Straws or Tubing: Using hot glue, attach straws or tubing to the inside of the curved pieces you cut from the second bottle. These should stick out slightly to create water jets when the system rotates.
    • Seal the Connections: Ensure all connections are well-sealed to prevent leaks.
  3. Assemble the Rotating System
    • Insert the Skewer or Rod: Push the skewer or rod through the center of the bottom half of the first bottle (the water reservoir). This will act as the axle.
    • Attach the Water Wheels: Attach the curved pieces with the straws to the skewer or rod, positioning them opposite each other to balance the rotation. Secure them with string or wire.
  4. Make Water Inlet Holes
    • Punch Holes in the Reservoir: Using the awl or nail, make small holes near the bottom of the water reservoir. These holes will allow water to flow out and hit the straws, causing the wheels to rotate.
  5. Set Up the System
    • Position the System: Place the assembled irrigation system in your garden, ensuring it’s positioned to distribute water evenly.
    • Elevate the Reservoir: Elevate the water reservoir slightly above the ground to create a gravity-fed flow. You can place it on a stand or hang it from a low branch.
  6. Add Water
    • Fill the Reservoir: Pour water into the top of the water reservoir. As the water flows through the holes, it will hit the straws on the water wheels, causing them to rotate and spray water around.

Tips for Optimal Performance

  • Check Balance: Ensure the water wheels are balanced on the skewer or rod for smooth rotation.
  • Adjust Flow: Modify the size and number of holes in the reservoir to control the water flow and rotation speed.
  • Maintenance: Regularly check for clogs in the straws or tubing and clear any debris.

By following these steps, you can create a simple and cost-effective rotating irrigation system using plastic bottles. This DIY project not only helps you water your garden efficiently but also recycles materials, making it an environmentally friendly solution.