Water butts are basically large containers that are used to capture and collect rainwater. This is usually done by connecting the water butt to your downpipe, which will lead off your guttering.
Many water butts come complete with diverters, designed to fit on to the end of your downpipe and direct the water into the butt. Some also come fitted with hose fit taps. These not only act as taps from which to dispense your collected water, but can also be fixed to your hose.
A lid, to prevent leaves and debris falling into your water and also to act as a safety measure for those concerned about children, pets or wildlife falling into the water, is also handy.
(MORE: What is an Eco Home?)
Why Should I Get a Water Butt?
There are lots of great reasons why you should get yourself a water butt, including:
- If you are on a water metre and find yourself regularly using your mains supply to water the garden you will see your water bill drop — particularly during the summer months
- Waterwise states that, if every household in the UK got a standard water butt around 30,000 million litres of water could be saved each summer
- Plants and wildlife respond better to rainwater than tap water
- Hosepipe bans will no longer be an issue for you in the summer months as you will have stored plenty of rainwater.
Water Butts You Can Buy Right Now
1. BeGreen 100L Capacity Mini Rainsaver Water Butt Kit
Compact no-nonsense design
Stand included: Yes | Capacity: 100 litres | Diverter included: Yes | Dimensions: 38 x 38 x 124 cm
A great simple, fuss-free water butt, suitable for even small gardens. The BeGreen Mini Rainsaver Water Butt Kit comes complete with everything you need to get started, including a lid, rain diverter, stand and hose fit tap.
The entire thing is made from recycled plastic and the hose fit tap is compatible with lots of systems including Hozelock.
2. Rainsaver Mini 100 Litre Grey Water Butt
Good value, neat basic water butt
Stand included: Yes | Capacity: 100 litres | Diverter included: Yes | Dimensions: 38 x 94cm
Perfect for those with limited space looking to reduce their mains water consumption.
This simple water butt holds up to 100 litres of water and comes with a stand, hose fit tap and diverter. The grey colour is a good option for owner of contemporary homes as it fits in well with crisp white render and aluminium windows, although its discreet design and smaller proportions mean it could blend in pretty much anywhere.
3. Graf Antique Amphora Terracotta Water Butt
A beautiful-looking water butt with a large capacity
Stand included: No | Capacity: 360 litres | Diverter included: No | Dimensions: 77.98 x 119.89 x 88.14 cm
As much a decorative plant pot as an eco-friendly garden feature, this water butt is one for the proud garden owners out there.
Whilst it is the most expensive water butt we looked at, it is a really good replica of a genuine terracotta vase and features a planter cup in the top. It also comes with a geotextile plant fleece, allowing the planted area to catch rainwater to be collected in the butt below. It is also simple to connect the butt to your downpipe via a diverter — which will need to be purchased separately.
A smaller size is also available.
4. Strata Products 100L Slimline Water Butt
Slimline water butt at a great price
Stand included: No | Capacity: 100 litre | Diverter included: No | Dimensions: 35 x 35 x 94cm
Cheap and cheerful — this neat plastic water butt is ideal for those just getting started in the world of rainwater harvesting.
Whilst a diverter and stand will need to be purchased separately, this water butt does come complete with a lockable lid and a tap. If you don't want to buy a stand, a couple of bricks placed around the base will do a similar job in helping you raise it up in order to get your watering can underneath the tap.
5. Graf 300L Rainwater Amphora Terracotta Water Butt
Large capacity focal point water butt
Stand included: No | Dimensions: 68.07 x 68.07 x 129.03 cm | Diverter included: No | Capacity: 300 litres
Perfect for those looking to add a little Mediterranean style to their garden, this terracotta-coloured amphora-style water butt is certain to add wow to your landscaping scheme — and is actually made from UV-stable PP plastic.
Despite its large capacity, the rainwater tank actually has a relatively small footprint thanks to its 68cm diameter.
Which is the Best Water Butt for Me?
Those just getting started in the world of rainwater harvesting or who feel they might not actually use a great deal of rainwater for garden irrigation should look at the compact, lower cost options — the BeGreen 100L Capacity Mini Rainsaver Water Butt Kit is a good option as it includes everything you need to get set up at a reasonable price.
However, if your garden is your pride and joy and you are happy to invest in a large capacity water butt, the Graf Antique Amphora Terracotta Decorative Water Butt makes a real style statement.
How to Choose the Best Water Butt
When choosing a water butt you should take into account the space you have available for it. It will need to be located so that the downpipe that runs off the guttering of the house or building can easily reach it. Most water butts come with a diverter that fits onto the downpipe and directs water into the butt.
Water butts usually sit close to a wall, so do choose one that won't take up too much space or be in the way of any doors or windows.
You should consider safety and practicality too. Choose a butt with a lid to prevent children or pets from falling in.
Investing in a stand to raise the water butt off the ground will make connecting a hosepipe or filling a watering can from the tap simple.
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