The AIR-igator draws water from the air for thirsty gardens
June 29, 2009
At a time of severe water shortages and ever-hotter summers, conservation of water for gardens is increasingly important. But you can only collect rainwater when it’s raining. What about the rest of the time? The AIR-igator ingeniously solves this problem by collecting condensate from air conditioners, storing it and then automatically drip-watering. So, the hotter it gets, the more water your garden gets.
Given that a fairly efficient three-ton central air conditioning unit will produce as many as 15 gallons of water a day, the water conserved adds up fast. What’s more, because condensate from air conditioners is absolutely pure – with no chemicals or minerals – it’s ideal for use in micro-irrigation. This makes the AIR-igator perfect for xeriscaping, where a garden can, through a combination of appropriate plants and thoughtful landscaping, become entirely self-sufficient.
The system also has the great plus of being very simple. A 24” diameter, 65 gallon polyethylene tank is buried in the ground and the condensate drain pipe plumbed straight in. Within the sealed, UV inhibited reservoir, there is a submersible 120V, 1200GPH pump and a float control. When the tank fills, the float will start the pump and run until it’s empty. Alternately, the float can be used to signal a timer for specified watering times.
The AIR-igator is designed for low-pressure micro-irrigation, where a drip system uses “emitters” to place water directly at the base of a tree or plant, where it’s needed most. Water loss is kept to a minimum and weed growth is also inhibited.
A complete AIR-igator system costs USD$495 and is, presently, only available through the Florida-based manufacturer.