News / water butts
WOW! A hosepipe ban has just been announced for Kent and Sussex. I can never recall a hosepipe ban so early in the summer, but then we have just had net migration of 1 million people in just the last 2 years. I worked it out that based on 150 litres average daily use per person (OFWAT) that is a yearly increase in demand equivalent to the UK's 9th largest reservoir. Do you think the water companies have built such a reservoir in the last 24 months? Of course not, so it just means the reservoirs we do have will be emptying faster. Strangely, no-one even considers this huge impact, people might mention traffic, GP waiting times, school class sizes etc, but not water.
So, if you want to water your garden order a water butt here!
As well as green, the 168 litres and 227 litres water butts can now be ordered in grey plastic. The 100 litres barrels can now be ordered in green or black.
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.
Unfortunately all the retail prices of the water butts and composters have gone up quite a bit last week. This is because the UK manufacturer has had a massive increase in energy costs over the last year, as making them is energy intensive. Melting all the recycled plastic, and then the moulding machines. On top of that delivery costs, which make up a chunk of the total prices on the site has increased.
The timber products, such as the sheds, are all a lot more expensive than they used to be. This is mostly due to the large rise in price of timber. Russia is the world's largest producer of timber, and with sanctions, it means, the global supply is limited, so what is available from everywhere else, such as Sweden, is more expensive. This comes on top of past increases due to demand, and supply issues during the pandemic.(I have not heard a single media publication or news report eve mention the increase in timber, and that affects housebuilding etc. They just talk about the price of gas, and sunflower oil
Everything seems expensive now. The once humble Heinz soup that was always about 90p for a can, was £1.70 the last time I looked in two supermarkets. Even the own brands that were 60p in November, are now 90p. That's a 33% increase in just 2 months. At this rate people might need wheelbarrows to carry money to the shops, as inflation increases, so perhaps I should start selling those?!
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;
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!