A Guide To Water Butts

12 Mar 2020


Collecting and recycling rainwater is environmentally friendly and cost effective. Water butts are an efficient tool for collecting rainwater in your garden. Installing a water butt at home is simple to do and means you have rainwater all year round for watering your garden, cleaning cars and topping up your pond.

What is a water butt?

Water butts are containers which can be made of plastic, terracotta, stone or wood effect and are available in different shapes and sizes.  They need to be connected to your home’s downpipe via a rainwater diverter. When it rains the rain collects in the guttering and flows down the downpipe into the water butt.

Benefits of having a water butt

Rainwater is a valuable resource and collecting it is very beneficial. There are many advantages to having a water butt in your garden. Water butts are a cost-effective way of saving money on your water bills and provide an environmentally friendly way to water your garden and undertake other outdoor jobs.  Rainwater is organic and its pH value is better suited for watering most plants than tap water as it has not been refined for human consumption. By having a water butt, you can maximise the collection of rainwater during the rainier winter months. Providing you with a natural water resource during the summer months, when it is likely to be drier and there could be hosepipe bans.

How to fit your water butt

  1. Find an accessible downpipe and place your water butt on a solid base close to it. Ensure that your water butt is raised enough to allow you to put a watering can under the tap.
  2. Mark the height of the water butt on the downpipe and cut a 3cm hole in the downpipe below the height mark.
  3. Attach the rainwater filter diverter fitting to the downpipe. The cut section of downpipe fits onto the bottom of the filter diverter.
  4. Measure and mark 8 cm down from the top of the water butt and drill a hole for the water butt connector. Install the connector to the water butt by pushing it through the drilled hole and secure back nut (and rubber washer) to the hose tail.
  5. Finally attach the water butt connector to the rainwater filter diverter with the fittings that came with your water butt. Close the lid securely.
  6. Now you are ready to collect rainwater.

How to keep your water butt clean

Once your water butt is fitted you need to maintain it. There are a few easy steps which will help to keep your water butt clean.

  1. Keep the lid on the water butt to stop debris and animals getting into the water.
  2. To keep the outside clean by hosing it down regularly.
  3. Your water butt should be emptied and the inside cleaned once a year. It is recommended to do this in the autumn before the months with the most rainfall.
  4. Ensure the inside is scrubbed and remove any algae or sediment.
  5. We recommend using warm water and washing up liquid and avoiding antibacterial cleaners, as these they could seep into the collected water and contaminate your garden.

How Owls Hall can help

Owls Hall Environmental are one of the UK’s leading rainwater harvesting specialists. Suppling hundreds of  homeowners and builders with a wide range of high quality rainwater harvesting systems including our selection of designer water butts. Our experienced team are happy to provide technical support and installation advice to all our customers, to ensure that their installation is easy and provides them with a cost saving rainwater harvesting solution. Water butts and accessories are available from our online shop. Alternatively, for information and advice email our team, call 01844 877 030 or complete our online form.

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