Posts tagged "water butt"

How can I reuse or recycle rainwater?

rain-puddleContinuing our week of water themed posts, we’ve had an email from Chris:

Being a good green hippy, I’ve got two waterbutts in my garden, which I use to collect water for my garden. But now it’s winter my garden doesn’t need watering and the butts are nearly full even though it’s only November. I imagine I could use all the water now and they’d fill up again within a couple of weeks. Can you or your readers make any suggestions?

One answer might be to plumb in the water butts to feed your households non-drinking water needs such as toilet flushing and perhaps even laundry – not just for this time of year, but for use all year around when you’ve got the water to supply it. I really want to set up a greywater system, including rainwater, to feed the toilet cistern if nothing else but I suspect it would too problematic in this awkwardly tall house as the water would have to be stored two storeys below the bathroom – but if we have another toilet put in lower down in the house, I’ll definitely look into it.

I remember someone telling me at some point that rainwater is also good for cleaning windows as it typically has less mineral deposits in it than tap water (so will leave less residue) – but Googling doesn’t seem to confirm or deny that — anyone know?

Staying outside, you could use the water if you need to clean paths of stuck-on leaf mulch or cleaning out the greenhouse ready to shut it down for winter.

Any other suggestions?

How can I make a water butt/rain barrel using recycled stuff?

water-buttLast week’s Reverse This question – about how to make a rain chain using recycled materials – has kicked up another question: how to make a water butt/rain barrel using recycled, reclaimed and repurposed stuff.

If you’ve got a rainwater barrel, it means the rain chain doesn’t need to end up in an ugly drain and, of course, it also saves the precious rainwater for use around the garden or in grey water systems.

The specific requirements for the butt depend on what the water is being used for but most I’ve seen tend to be reasonably opaque (to reduce algae growth) and many, particularly commercially produced ones, include a tap or a hinged lid to make it easy to access the water.

Any suggestions? What have you seen being used by creative allotmenteers? Has anyone got any experience of making an old-fashioned barrel like the one in the picture?