Agri Vehicles Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Water butts  (Read 4640 times)


  • Joined May 2012
Water butts
« on: May 25, 2012, 04:01:04 pm »
This may be the wrong place to ask this question but does anyone have any practical advice on water butts as a supply of water for the garden?

Fed up with hosepipe bans in this rainy country and it also seems silly to use metered drinking water on a lawn. So I'd like to explore capturing rainwater running off the roof.

Does anyone have any suggestions or experience?

I guess one can buy water butts but could they be buried out of sight? How much water does watering a lawn require versus the amount of rain we get? I assume there excess rainfall because you're adding what falls on the roof to what falls on the lawn.

Can any domestic grey water be safely used on a lawn? What about on fruit and veg plantings?

Grateful for any pointers.   


  • Joined Mar 2010
  • Herts
    • Brixton's Bounty
Re: Water butts
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2012, 04:15:31 pm »
Can't recommend one enough. We have a DIY one from an old orange pulp barrel from Spain which collects from our roof via an in-line rain diverter valve - these are very easy to buy and fit, then forget.
Things to think about - put a lid on, help prevent midges breeding in there although they will anyway. Needs a tap near the bottom. Positioning of barrel - ours is elevated and stored on a flat roof at a height of about 1.5m (I'm an engineer and made sure the support was adequate). This means I can fit a hose on the tap and use gravity to help me move water about the garden. If you buried it, you'd have to pump the water back out - quite possible with a hand pump but laborious.
We use ours for watering all our seedlings etc.  :thumbsup:
also blogging at...

      Brixton's Bounty


  • Joined May 2012
Re: Water butts
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2012, 04:33:13 pm »
I'm assuming a pump would be needed; it's not so much about saving energy as preserving the new lawn I want to lay, so I'd be OK with burying the butt. I don't have a flat roof and I doubt I'd be allowed a rain butt up there anyway!

Can anyone tell me what volume of water an inch of rainfall represents? I.e if I stored a year's worth of rainfall off the roof, what capacity of water butt would I need?


  • Joined Dec 2011
  • Gascony, France
Re: Water butts
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2012, 06:22:48 pm »
Think we get over a metre of rain per year -40". So that's 1000 Litres per square metre horizontal measured roof area. 5 large water butts. So if you stored it all that's a lot of water.

Small Farmer

  • Joined Jan 2012
  • Bedfordshire
Re: Water butts
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2012, 09:54:48 am »
We have a lot of roof and not a lot of rain so we've buried a 5000litre tank underground and we have 7 black IBCs (1000 litre recycled food containers) covering most of our downspouts. Plus a handful of other tanks.

It's handy to have lots of hosepipe, and we use that special leaky hose in our orchard to minimise work.  Just connect and leave it to to do the watering

You'd be surprised how much water you use in the garden when the rain stops coming for a few months.
Being certain just means you haven't got all the facts


  • Joined Dec 2011
  • Gascony, France
Re: Water butts
« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2012, 08:45:25 pm »
We've put 20,000 Litres on our Orchard over a weekend. This is why I haven't considered water storage and am considering constructing a well. 5000 litres would keep the veggie plot going for a couple of months or so though. Our problem is the ground drains so well (usually and advantage) that a lot of the water runs through.

Small Farmer

  • Joined Jan 2012
  • Bedfordshire
Re: Water butts
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2012, 11:25:12 pm »
We collected nearly 4000 litres from the Jubilee rain.  Pretty much full everywhere now.
Being certain just means you haven't got all the facts

Carl f k

  • Joined Aug 2012
Re: Water butts
« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2012, 12:25:39 pm »
I have those blue barrels all over the place and setting up a water drip system so the British drought doesn't catch me out ha ha... Raining here again


  • Joined May 2011
  • north ayrshire
Re: Water butts
« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2012, 01:34:34 pm »
Just working on a rainwater harvesting excercise from our 5500sq ft of roof, we can get 3390 gallons per inch of rain.
Just priced a 16000ltr tank @ £2000k - ouch?


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