How to make a rain water butt

Water is a valuable resource. These days it can be in short supply in almost any country around the world. As we all make a conscious effort to protect the environment and such resources harvesting rain water seems a sensible option.

In order to successfully harvest rainwater most people install a water butt or barrel. This can either be a purpose bought water butt or made by yourself. People often utilise old wooden barrels which they then line with polythene. Old plastic bins are also a good option. However, buying a water butt is relatively cheap and such water butts are tough and will last a long time. Of course once you have a rain water butt you need to know what to do next.


Step 1

Choose an area outside of your home that is near to its rainwater system.

Step 2

If your water butt is to be installed on earth dig out an appropriate sized area, around four inches deep, and cover with small sized gravel. You may be able to utilise your existing garden gravel.

Step 3

Lay concrete slabs on top on this to add some height. If you prefer you can build a wooden stand to hold the water butt but remember wood can rot and will not last forever. You can simply utilise any old bricks that you have to use as a stand but ensure that the support is stable and safe.

Step 4

The water butt needs to be sited on a stand in order too increase water pressure. If you are going to pump water from the water butt this is essential. If you think that you will want to simply access the water from the butt at the top, this will not be so important.

Step 5

Position the water butt or butts. If desired connect the butts together with hoses.

Step 6

Make sure that any water butts have an overflow pipe fitted so that any excess water will drain away from your home.

Step 7

Fit a connector to your existing fall pipes so that rainwater is diverted to the water butt

Step 8

The top of your rain water butt will need to be covered, perhaps with mesh, so that leaves and other debris do not fall in.

Step 9

A tap positioned toward the bottom of the water butt will make it easy to distribute and access the water. Place this tap at an appropriate height so that you do not have to bend too far and risk hurting your back.

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Things Needed
• Water butt.
• Alternatively an old bin or barrel which is large enough to use.
• Small amount of gravel.
• Concrete slabs or old bricks.
• Alternatively wood to build a stand for the water butt.
• Tubing.
• Hose for connecting more than one water barrel or butt.
• Tap.
• Mesh guard.
• Overflow pipe.
• Connection to the fall or down pipe.

Tips & Warnings
• Many of the items such as mesh, gravel and piping may be found not in use around your home or in the garage.
• Make sure that the overflow pipe takes any potential threats well away from your home.
• Clear debris from the mesh from time to time.
• Check that the overflow pipe and tubing are free from blockages.


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