APL Garden Designer Member;
Garden and Landscape Designer Kent

Telephone: 01892 263863
Email: info@karenmcclure.co.uk

Let’s do our bit – I mean butt!

24,000 litres of rain water can be saved from the average house roof every year!

That is a lot of water and I think most of that fell last night! So yes we are all getting a bit bored of this rain and would love a bit of sun to shine down on our gardens, however we can all do our bit to harvest the rain, helping the environment and making watering a little more accessible whether it’s used for plants or washing the car (and of course conforming to hosepipe bans in the process)!

Stylish butts (and I do mean of the ‘water’ variety of course)!

There are lots of shapes and sizes, from the slim streamlined products for tight spaces holding from 100 litres up to ‘rain guzzling’ 1300 litre tanks.  Barrel style is the most common, however there are some stylish butts on the market (yes a waterbutt can be stylish)!


Always think about how you are going to extract the water, a tap for filling watering cans easily and a stand that the waterbutt can sit on so the tap is at the right height to fit a watering can underneath is important.

Where to put it

  • Choose a location near an easily accessible down pipe e.g. on your property, shed, garage or greenhouse
  • A position that is near the main places of use is essential, for example near the vegetable patch or main flower bed
  • Ensure a firm, flat surface
  • Make sure the area is strong enough to carry the weight of the filled water butt

How to fit a water butt

Once a suitable position has been found put the water butt and stand (if applicable) in its new location then check out the instructions for specifications of fitting your water butt you may have to drill holes for the tap and any diverters you want to use. This will be specified in the instruction manual, which should be closely followed.

For a very useful video on how to fit a water butt and rain trap have a look at this http://www.crocus.co.uk/waterbutts/

Points to remember after installation:

1. If any drips or leaks occur after installing your water butt, empty the butt and tighten any fittings. Always be careful when tightening the tap, if it is made of plastic too much pressure may cause it to break. If needed apply silicone around any leaking fixtures or fittings.

2. Remember to leave room in the water butt if there is a risk of freezing. Water expands when frozen and may cause your water butt to crack.

3. If the water butt is accessible to children, remember to secure the lid after use.  The water inside may not be safe to drink and a secure lid will avoid the risk of drowning (and to animals).


Keep the water clean by using a lid or cover to avoid leaves and debris falling in or algae, slime or scum forming.  A few drops of a biological rainwater treatment can be added and should keep it clean for up to five months.

Now here’s some useful stuff…..

If you need connectors/kits then this is a useful website http://www.waterbuttsdirect.co.uk/connectors.htm

Tesco are doing £10.00 off – see their website: http://www.tesco.com/direct/garden/water-butts-accessories/cat3374466.cat?catId=4294962068&sortBy=1

There are even rattan wicker style butts however these are a few of my favourite picks from wood pecker joinery, simply water butts and the wonderful crocus website.

Happy gardening!