Water butt instalation

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Lindi
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Water butt instalation

Postby Lindi » Mon Apr 30, 2007 3:36 pm

Not really a tool but hopefully someone can give me some advice....


I want to install a waterbutt but I don't have a downpipe to attach it to as the guttering on my house runs over the garden fence and on to a downpipe in my neighbours garden.
I'm planning to run a downpipe straight from the gutter into the waterbutt but I have no drain to direct any overflow to.

Will I end up flooding my garden all the time?
Does anyone have a better suggestion on how to set it up?

I've no idea how much water you collect off a roof. I'm thinking that so long as I remember in the winter to keep emptying the butt regularly I should be ok.
I'm looking at about 200l capacity.

Thanks for your advice
Lindi
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Primrose
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Postby Primrose » Mon Apr 30, 2007 8:47 pm

Lindi - I can't advise on your specific problem but can give you one word of warning to bear in mind. Before going ahead, check which way the incline on your guttering runs. My husband installed two linked water butts in our front garden from a downpipe last year and we eagerly awaited the first downpour to see how much water we trapped. Answer after the first heavy rain - virtually nothing! We thought the gutter might be blocked, and then we discovered that when gutterings are installed, there usually have a slight incline from right to left, or left to right, to direct water in the direction of the downpipe. Our guttering was marginally tilted in the wrong direction, away from the side of the house where the water butts were installed.
Consequently we trap very little rain unless it's an extremely heavy downpour and can't face the expense of getting the guttering readjusted, so it was rather an expensive exercise for little return in terms of water collection. In terms of your query about the water butt overflowing, I believe that the mechanism you insert into a cut downpipe has a one-way valve in it which prevents water continuing to flow into the water butt once it is full, but our water then flows into a soakaway in the ground. Perhaps somebody with more technical knowledge than me can help you out on this one. Maybe you would have to build some kind of soakaway filled with rubble to absorb any surplus water which accumulated, unless you have space for two linked waterbutts which would probably solve the problem..
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gandalf
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Postby gandalf » Wed May 02, 2007 10:17 am

The real danger is, unless you do the overflow properly, that it undermines the foundations of your house. Water from gutters ought to be directed to a drain, or soakaway minimum 5m from the house.
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GaGa
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Postby GaGa » Fri May 25, 2007 10:50 am

Hi Lindi,

I've seen a 200l water butt fill up in one afternoon during a very heavy mid-summer afternoon rainstorm. A house roof can collect and disperse a phenomenal amount of rainwater. I very much doubt you will be able to permanently monitor the level and keep it drained on a year-round basis.

As Gandalf says, when it overflows, you run the risk of structural damage as well as garden flooding. Don't simply allow it to overflow.

If you could link 2 or more butts together to collect the overflow, then you may have more safety time to "bale out".

Alternatively, could you divert the existing downpipe onto your side of the fence to fill your water butt before heading back through the fence to the drain? OR if you run a new downpipe from your gutter, could you then insert a bend, and run it through the fence, at a lower height than present, and back into the original downpipe on the other side of the fence? You then cut into your new downpipe, at slightly higher than the very top of the water butt, and insert the diverter, which fills up the water butt. When the butt is full, if it rains again, any excess water then carries on past the diverter, down the downpipe, through the fence, and back into the shared downpipe next door, just as it used to. Full water butt, excess water drained away safely, no flooding risk. Job done, kettle on!
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Vegman
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Postby Vegman » Tue May 29, 2007 3:59 pm

I would try to find some form of end cap to stop off the end of the down pipe when the water but is full. The water would then back up the vertical pipe and away to the neigbours downpipe. Take away the stopper when the butt will require filling.

Maybe easier to catch the water from the shed or greenhouse. Rule of thumb says that if you can catch ALL the water from the greenhouse, it will give you enough to use all season.
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John
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Postby John » Thu May 31, 2007 3:06 pm

Hello Lindi
How about creating a 'rain garden' with the overflow from your water butt? Simply run a drain pipe from your water butt into your rain garden. A US gardening friend friend sent me this link.

http://www.raingardens.org/Index.php

Here's a quote from the site:
A rain garden is an attractive landscaping feature planted with perennial native plants. It is a bowl-shaped or saucer-shaped garden, designed to absorb stormwater run-off from impervious surfaces such as roofs and parking lots.

It can be any size as it simply depends of how much water you have to deal with. I found the whole concept fascinating. So much water from our roofs is lost down the drains when it could be of a lot more use in the garden, apart from being simply stored in butts. In times of heavy rain it simply contributes to localised flooding. 'Bioretention' could soon be the new environmental buzz word.
There's certainly a lot to think about on this site and I haven't had time yet to get round to all of it.

John
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Primrose
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Postby Primrose » Thu May 31, 2007 4:33 pm

Or perhaps have a large plastic square trug which some garden centres are now selling as miniature sand pits, put a little compost in the bottom and use the water overflow to create a small watercress bed?
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