A water butt,
also known as a rain barrel, is a large cask that is used
to collect and store rain water that runs off a roof or other
flat surfaces. Typically they are situated below or near a
downpipe that carries rain water from a roof directly into
a drain in the ground.
With the certain
introduction of water charges into Ireland the sale of water
butts and other water saving devices has soared. Most householders
begin with the installation of a single butt. However as water
rates increase, and the effectiveness of a properly installed
water butt becomes clear, people purchase others to collect
rain water from all available sources.
place to site your first water butt is off the the downpipe
that carries rainwater from the house roof into the drain
on the ground. Following on from this you should seek to site
other butts to capture rain from the garage roof, porch, conservatory
and the garden shed.
The size of
the water butt chosen should be as large as can be comfortably
be accommodated in the space available. If you already have
a water butt it is possible increase your water storage capacity
by linking a second or third butt to the original set up.
has been collected is generally not suitable for drinking
by humans however it can be used for pets, topping up ponds
(fish do better in rain water), water pot plants, gardens,
washing cars, power washers, and more.
It is usually
a complete waste to water lawns or long-established plants,
such as trees, shrubs, and bushes as these will quickly recover
after any prolonged dry periods. However newly planted flowers
and vegetables, hanging baskets, and other container plants
need very regular watering. With the advent of water charges
a large water butt will quickly recover any initial outlay.