Tap Water to Rain Water
I like big butts and I cannot lie…big waterbutts to harvest all the lovely rain we get in the UK!
Since moving house a little over a year ago we hadn’t done much in way of making our garden and space more eco-friendly. Now we have settled and have specific ideas about what to do with our garden, it’s all systems go. We have created a raised bed which we have planted herbs, potatoes and a blackberry bush into and we are having another large growing area created this month.
We also found a great spot for a waterbutt (Spoiler alert, there are no pretty photos here!). I picked up a 210ltr butt from Aldi for £28.99. The butt is made from recycled materials so that’s an immediate tick and it was fairly simple to set up. Our down pipe coming from the roof gutter is square in shape and the attachment provided was for a round pipe, but I connected it anyway and hoped it would work.
Then it didn’t rain for a week, great for road cycling, not great to test your butt out.
When it did rain it drizzled mostly and that turned into a heavy downpour for about 5 minutes. The following day it rained again. When I checked the butt I was blown away; it was overflowing, I grabbed a 25ltr water canister which was in the garage and filled that directly from the waterbutt tap. Amazing! Almost 250 litres of water harvested over a couple of days of not torrential rain.
All this water will be used to water our indoor plants (ah-ha! they make pretty pictures!) and water our entire garden, wash my road bike, wash the car, fill the birdbath, and use it for drinking water if the zombie apocalypse happens, you could even use it to wash the windows.
FACT NOT FICTION: The average house roof collects enough water every year to fill 450 water-butts. That works out at 94,500 litres of water. For scale an average 4 person household uses approximately 164,000 litres of water per year.
Why save water when there’s plenty coming from the tap I hear you cry… well it’s not quite as simple as that. According to Water Wise only 3% of the world’s water is fresh water and less than 1/3 of 1% of this is available for human use. Or if 100 litres represents the world’s water, about half a tablespoon of it is fresh water available for our use. The UK has less available water than most other European countries, so we need to be careful with it.
So, there you have it! Do all you can to harvest what the UK weather gives us. Doing so might make you throw the rain a tiny bit of appreciation, lower your water bill during the warm summer months, and give you an appreciation for the importance of water and how privileged we are to have clean water in the UK, and it might make you think twice about wasting water.