Fig 1: Full view of system
FA info icon.svg Angle down icon.svg Project data
Type Drip irrigation
Authors Matt
Location Arcata, California
OKH Manifest Download

Welcome to the quick and dirty gravity fed drip irrigation system tutorial. This particular model (version 1.0) was built for CCAT to supply their seasoned vegetable beds with an appropriate, efficient water supply and a little love.

A gravity fed drip irrigation system is a way to redirect water to plants in a much more efficient manner than just spraying them with a hose. Due to it using much less water because of how small the tubing is, it allows the water to be able to reach the root system much more effectively. That being said, you are also saving more water.

  1. First things first, get out your trusty measuring tool and find out how long the beds you want watered are. This will allow you to know how much tubing you will need. We used 1/2" tubing for redirecting the water.
  2. The water source. We took our five gallon bucket and drilled a 1/2" hole into it to allow the water to get out. Afterwards, we took the two male threaded hose pieces and put them through the hole, filling any gaps in with sealant. We used a tee joint on the end of hose piece because we had multiple beds to get to, your case may differ. One of our team members had access to welding materials, so he created a shelf from scrap metal for the bucket to sit on for the necessary amount of head for the water to travel.
  3. Lay down all your tubing and mark along it where your holes would be to let the water flow. It is possible to bury the tubing if you want, we chose not to for ease of access and repair reasons.
  4. Start punching! At this point, we put either drippers or the 1/4" microtubing depending on the plant's size and water needs.
  5. Make sure all hoses are hooked up and staked down, then fill bucket to test.
  6. Make appropriate adjustments.

Tips[edit | edit source]

Our group had a bit of a problem getting the water pressure right, but we found a solution. When filling the bucket up, plug up the hole till it reaches the top (in our case, however much water you would like to use may differ), then allow it to drain. We have not installed a shut off valve yet, which would be allowed in future builds. Another idea for future alterations would be several shut off valves to redirect the water more effectively.

Things You will Need[edit | edit source]

All parts are for this project in particular. Your needs may differ.

IMG 3574.JPG

  • 1/4" Barb connectors
  • 1/4" Vinyl microtubing
  • 1/2" Vinyl tubing
  • 2 1/2" Tee joint
  • 1 1/2" Elbow joint
  • Drippers
  • Professional hole puncher
  • Figure 8 hose end
  • 5 Gallon bucket
  • Hand made hook for cement wall
  • 2 Male threaded hose ends
  • Stakes
  • Scissors or knife
  • Drill
  • Measuring tool

Related How-Tos[edit | edit source]

Sources and Citations[edit | edit source]

FA info icon.svg Angle down icon.svg Page data
Part of Engr114 Whole Earth Engineering
Keywords agricultre, irrigation, ccat
Authors Matt
License CC-BY-SA-3.0
Organizations Campus Center for Appropriate Technology (CCAT), Cal Poly Humboldt
Language English (en)
Translations Korean
Related 1 subpages, 18 pages link here
Impact 434 page views
Created December 8, 2008 by Matt
Modified June 18, 2024 by Felipe Schenone
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