News / save water
Although the main benefit of having a water kit is to save water in summer, to water the lawn, veg patch and flowers. They do have some benefits in the autumn and winter months when there is a lot more rain.
Firstly, if you have a water meter installed, you will want to use the mains taps as infrequently as possible, to save money. So, you can use the water in your water butts to fill buckets to hand-wash the car, or for mopping floors, cleaning greenhouse glass panels, patios etc.
Another more communal benefit, is how it can slow the flow of water going down drains during periods of heavy rain, which can increase flood risk, and also use of sewage outflow pipes into rivers. (During high rainfall periods, these pipes are used to prevent waste water backing up pipes.)
An Olympic swimming pool holds 2.5 million litres of water. If 6,300 homes , of a small town, all installed a 200 litre water butt double kit, (400 litres total), it would save 2.52 million litres from going straight into the drain network, during a heavy downpour. With an Olympic swimming pool worth of water saved in the water butts, this could lower the risk of some local flooding, and reduce the use of a nearby sewage outflow pipe into the river.
200 litre water butt double kit, available to buy here;
Image - Wiki creative commons / Kallerna
I was just thinking earlier that it doesn't seem to have rained that much this winter, and also there seems to be a lot less wind. Where I live in Northumberland, It's always breezy (or gale force!), a still day is a rarity in autumn and winter. However, unless I am just imagining it, there seems to have been a lot of very still days and nights. No windy sounds over the roof at night.
Although, further north than the rest of England, it doesn't rain that much, like Cumbria to the west. The summer drought map showed the eastern half of the country was yellow regardless of whether it was north or south, and the west was greener. However, there is still plenty of wet days in winter, but this year it doesn't seem to have rained much.
I just did a search in the news section, and there is a report from Norfolk, stating that, there might be hosepipe restrictions this summer, if it doesn't rain more soon. North Norfolk News 9th Feb 2023 - 'Data on the water authority's website shows reservoir storage is below target for this time of year, being 80.6pc full, and groundwater sources are said to be ‘below normal’.'
Last summer it went crazy with orders, when the govt announced a drought in parts of the country. After just a few days I had to stop selling for weeks (unfortunately), as the manufacturer was trying to keep up with making new ones, and these are not eggcups, they are big and bulky, and take time to move about warehouses, and the country. So, if you are considering getting water butts this year, my top tip is to order now or early spring, when it is a lot quieter, rather than wait until the grass is brown, the news is talking about hosepipe bans, and there is a big wait for delivery slots.
After a very busy late summer due to the drought conditions, the water butts are available again. The 200 litre double kit (400 litres in total) is the bestseller, and had to be put off sale for a while, to clear a backlog of outstanding orders. Everything is almost back to normal, so it is back on sale now, along with the 227 litre size, which had been out of stock.
If you are thinking of getting a water butt sometime in the coming year, please, if you can afford to, buy it over the autumn and winter. This is a quieter period, so deliveries are generally faster, and you can get it all set up for spring. Every year, everyone waits until it is summer, then orders, and this creates longer delivery times, as too many people order all at once. As you can imagine, a drought being declared in August, with hosepipe bans, made this a much bigger problem than normal.
Water butts can be ordered here;
Good news! After months of being unavailable the 350 litre water butt can now be ordered. This water butt is sold as a 350, a double 700 litres, and treble 1050 litres kit, all great for larger gardens. Also, before it went out of stock in the summer, there was quite a lot of restrictions for the delivery of this size barrel, and it could be delivered to part of England. This is now thankfully over, and they can be delivered all over GB once again.
Raw sewage is pouring into our rivers and coastal waters regularly, all across the country. The government got a lot of backlash this week when it voted down an amendment to the Environment Bill, that would have demanded water companies stop releasing sewage into our waters on a regular basis.
I've learnt quite a bit this week about the issue, and one thing stands out is that a major reason for the sewage releases is that the pipes can't cope after heavy rain, so the sewage is released into rivers, otherwise it would start flooding out onto residential streets from manholes. This is because the rainwater shares the same pipes as the sewage. I have made another post a month or so ago about how water butts can help prevent flash floods, and clearly they are a solution in reducing the chance of sewage spills. This is because, using my original example, of a 10,000 homes, if each are fitted with a 200 litre double water butt kit (the bestseller), then that would hold 2 Olympic swimming pools worth of water, after heavy rain. This means that all that rainwater is not going straight into the sewers, so it reduces the chance they will fill so quick, resulting in a raw sewage release into the rivers and coastal seas.
I have not heard anyone mention this as a quick and easy solution to help the problem. Considering raw sewage is not just poop and wee, but anything that goes down the drains, including bleach, household cleaners, hair dye, medicines etc, it's a massive issue. Only 14% of English rivers are classed as being in a good ecological standard, according to the Ennvironment Agency in 2020. Yet another good reason to buy a water butt!
After last summers heatwave it was predicted that there could be a hosepipe ban in summer of 2019, if it was also dry. Despite the summer of 2018 being a scorcher there was no hosepipe bans as the reservoirs were at good levels due to high rainfall the previous spring and winter. As you can see from below, the current river flows are being described as below normal or lower for this time of year by the Environment Agency.
"Weekly bulletin: Wednesday 22 toTuesday 28 May 2019 Summary: It has been another dry week in southern and central England but a wetter week in northern England.River flows remain below normal or lower for the time of year at the majority of indicator sites."
The Met Office has reported that May's rainfall was only 45% of the average.United Utilitie, that supply water in North West England, has said current reservoir levels are slightly lower than normal.
It will depend on rainfall in the coming weeks and how warm it is, as to whether or not there will be hosepipe bans. A water butt is a great idea to preserve water for your garden and allotment. They can collect rainfall from drainpipes from house roofs, shed roofs and greenhouse roofs. Various size options are available from 100 litres to 1050 litres. All include drainpipe diverter kits plus GB delivery and can be ordered here, in the
Grow Your Own section.