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EWB Tests Low-pressure Irrigation Technology for Growing Gardens Project


PORTLAND, OR - On a sweltering Tuesday evening in September several Engineers Without Borders volunteers met together at the Growing Gardens office in Northeast Portland to test three designs for rain barrel watering systems. The two organizations are partnering to come up with a design and installation of rain barrel collection and watering systems for Growing Gardens sites throughout Portland, Oregon. After a series of summer meetings, the crew decided on three different watering systems that could vary depending on budget and specific needs of different sites. On September 16th the volunteers came out to test the soaker hose, drip line and PVC systems in order to provide information on how each system would perform in conjunction with the barrels provided to Growing Gardens. Additionally, pressure had to be tested in order to make sure the systems would work efficiently without complex elevation of the barrels.

The team worked together quickly to construct the three watering systems as well as a platform to mimic a level soil surface. The systems were then precisely tested at different water heights to examine how they would work with shifting levels.  Water outputs were measured to provide information for gardeners about the effectiveness of each system when used with the barrels. With the information gathered at the meeting EWB and Growing Gardens will soon have an effective design for rain water collection barrels that can be used by local gardeners to conserve water, reduce demand on sewer systems, and keep our streams clean.  For information about this project, including upcoming meeting dates, please see the project webpage.    Contributed by:  Ben Hedstrom

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Rain Barrel and Irrigation Concept Testing