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Water butts: an easy way to save water and enjoy your garden

Lifestyle   |   June 14, 2022   |   Joe Rocks

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Summer is the ideal season for appreciating the great outdoors.

And if you are lucky enough to have a garden, you can spend many a happy hour relaxing in it especially when the sun is out.

While you may well take the chance to simply read a book or chill out, you might also enjoy getting stuck into those gardening tasks that bring the space to life.

Hanging baskets, window boxes, potted plants on your patio and blooming flowers in the soil of your beds and borders – they all combine to create a riot of colour that, with proper care, can extend from now right through until the first days of autumn.

However, with growth and dry weather, comes the need to water.

An eco-friendly move

One of the most eco-friendly ways to provide a continual water source for your garden, while saving on cost, is to install a water butt or two.

At this time of critical cost-of-living pressures, coupled with acute concern over the climate emergency, making better use of water is a no-brainer.

And what’s more, if you are looking to improve your property ahead of a sale, a water butt is a relatively cheap addition that clearly demonstrates sustainability to a prospective buyer who in turn can expect to save on their water bills when they move in.

Water butts are containers that help you collect, store and reuse rainwater. They come in different sizes, colours and materials, some with overflow taps.

Installation can sometimes require a new or repositioned down pipe so that rainwater flows easily from your guttering for collection – but generally they are easy to locate and operate.

Natural harvest

There are so many advantages to having a water butt.

The website Original Organics cites the prospect of saving money on your water bills if your home is run by a water meter, and adds: “Filling your buckets and watering cans with naturally-collected rainwater also means that you will avoid the use of chlorinated tap water, which can be toxic to plants. The water collected will also come in handy in the event of a drought or UK hosepipe ban.”

The UK’s water companies also highlight the benefits of water butts when it comes to avoiding the use of drinking water for gardening.

Severn Trent Water, on its Wonderful on Tap pages, makes the rather obvious point that while we often complain about the great British weather equalling endless amounts of rain, very few of us actually take advantage of that by harvesting rainwater.

Severn Trent says: “In fact, when the summer comes along, most of us use hoses to water our gardens and clean our cars, washing away thousands of litres of clean drinking water.”

Better for plants

There is an argument that harvested rainwater is better for plants, lawns, flowers and fruit and vegetables.

That’s for two reasons.

First, it has a similar ambient temperature to the surrounding environment.

And second, it is packed with the same plant-friendly nutrients that are specifically taken out in the treatment process to create drinking water that is safe for humans.

On a national scale, there are estimates showing that if everyone in Britain collected a water butt full of rainwater, it would save about four billion litres of fresh water each year.

That is the equivalent of 660 million toilet flushes or 42 million ten-minute showers or 15.6 million baths.

And from the property management and investment point of view, if you have a big water butt to collect rainwater it can reduce the risk of flooding and subsidence on your property.

Now that’s a reason to celebrate your garden all year round.

For more information on property management and how best to prepare your home for sale or rent, contact us here at Chinneck Shaw.

You can also stay up to date on latest developments in the property market by receiving our quarterly newsletter.

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