I posted this back in 2013 but somehow it did not make it to theultralighthiker It is a self-cleaning pet water bowl. It is a modification of a small animal watering ‘trough’ which you can buy at many rural supplies stores in Australia. As you can see a timer empties the bowl (as often as desired) and it refills with a float valve (you could add a tap or another timer here to better regulate it).
I have used a ¾” ‘Yorkshire’ copper elbow, some ¾” rubber hose and some ¼” micro irrigation outlets to help ‘flush’ the bowl. You could make the anti-drowning feature out of stainless mesh – standard galvanised 1 cm bird mesh shown. It turned out not to be needed by lorikeets who enjoy a swim without it and have no problem getting in and out when wet.
This has worked well for messy birds (such as Della’s Dusky Lorikeets) and would also be good as a dog waterer on the verandah. We have had it installed in Della’s lorikeet cage for five years now. Obviously the timer is on the outside of the cage so the birds don’t interfere with it, so there is a bit of pipework (both in and out) not shown in the photo.
It has worked flawlessly to keep these exceedingly messy birds’ water pristine. I set it to flush 4-6 times a day for a couple of minutes each time. These ‘cheap’ timers have needed to be replaced a couple of times – mostly because lorikeets keep tossing all sorts of objects into their water bowls!
The microjet outlets (without caps) swirl the rubbish out of the bowl – much like flushing a toilet.
What you see here is a short section of rubber tube to join the Yorkshire elbow to the length of poly pipe, three hose clamps, and six microjets. All this fits neatly under the metal plate which protects the float valve. This drinker comes with a 3/4″ threaded outlet at the bottom.
A$20 (2013) timer
A Pressure Reducer might prevent the hose from ever bursting:
Pope brand Poly Pressure Reducer available Bunnings A$10.24 (April 2018). They come in 100 and 300 kPa