Water butts are essentially big storage units that catch and store rainwater as it falls. They are normally located near a drainpipe leading off the roof of your home, so you can take advantage of a much bigger rainwater catchment area. The stored water can then be used in your garden to water your plants.
If you pay to get water – getting a water butt is a no-brainer
If you are on a water meter, then getting a water butt is a no brainer, since you are charged for every litre of water you use from the mains. By installing a water butt in your home, you can catch and store rainwater as it falls and then use this to water the garden instead of relying on the mains supply that you would otherwise need to pay for.
Water butts are great in times of drought!
If you are not on a water meter, the reason for installing a water butt is less compelling since there is no real financial incentive for doing so. Having said that, water butts are fantastic in times of drought and especially useful when hit with a dreaded hosepipe ban that seem synonymous with living here in the UK!
The ability to store plenty of rainwater means you will be the envy of your neighbours, since you will be able to keep watering your garden well after their plants have all died!
Why else might you want to buy a water butt?
Rainwater is becoming a scarce commodity in the UK.
Since 1950, daily water usage has nearly tripled to 150 litres of water per person. This number takes into account washing, cleaning, cooking and drinking, but still this sort of increase is not sustainable.
The issue is especially bad in densely populated places like London – where high demand is almost outstripping supply. In fact, in 2010 a desalination facility was built to help try and help produce fresh water.
Now, obviously as an individual it is very easy to turn a blind eye to the ‘bigger picture’, and much more should be done by the water suppliers to stop the massive leakage in the water infrastructure, however solutions like water butts, water saving shower heads and tap aerators are all things that we can all do to help!
Other reasons for getting a water butt
- A water butt gives some control over the water level around the foundations of the home.
- A water butt stores rainwater, which is un-chlorinated, unlike tap water, so is actually better for plants
- Water butts help protect rivers, lakes and streams from run off pollution!
The features of water butts vary hugely!
Obviously most people are going to get the cheapest unit that does the job, but you can buy water butts that will create a design statement in the garden! Whether you want to grow flowers out of the top of the water butt or get an orange water butt to match the colour of your car, there will be one to suit your needs.
A final tip when you get a water butt!
A lot of people forget this, but try and put the water butt on a stand. Most water butts tend to have a tap at the bottom of them, to be able to tap off all the water contained within them. If you can’t put the water butt on a stand, then chances are you will struggle to get the watering can under the tap!
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