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Water Butts: All You Need To Know

May contain: plant, barrel, rain barrel, and potted plant

The water butt is a silly name for a powerful tool. It is a simple yet effective solution for storing rainwater while saving you a ton of money. It can be used to water plants, water gardens, store water for drinking, or even store water for bathing. 


The Nevada Irrigation District encourages wise use of water. Being conscious of the water in your garden is essential to keeping a garden well-maintained and healthy. This handy dandy tool is a fantastic way to take advantage of the weather during the wetter seasons. Usually, when it rains, the rainwater is collected in the gutter, which flows through downpipes into a drain. Water butts are big, outdoor storage units that collect water. 


How They Work


Water butts are available in various materials and sizes. These large vessels have been designed to hold rainwater once captured. The water butt is connected to your downpipe. A water butt is a great water source for your garden. The water butt is also an effective way to save on your water bills; it reduces water waste and carbon footprint. Capacities can go up to 350 liters, allowing you to have water readily available during summer. Refer to the types and suggestions based on your interests and needs to choose the right water butt for you.


Selecting Your Water Butt


When choosing the best water butt for your home, determine the size, material, and budget that benefits your garden. If there is limited space, consider having a water butt that is generally smaller and has a lower capacity. If you do not want to take up much of your backyard space, choosing a smaller water butt will benefit you without the hassle of taking up a lot of space. 


You may consider choosing more extensive water containers for a larger home, such as water butts that hold 200 liters or more made from plastic or steel. These materials are durable and often last a long time.


Different Types of Water Butts


Water butts collect rainwater that runs through the roof (home, shed, etc.) into the gutters. Some have external walls that can be mounted, which may be a good option where space is limited. There are all types of water butts to choose from. Big and small, there is a water butt for all! 


If you want a lightweight and cheaper alternative, then choosing a plastic water butt is your best bet. Several recycled plastic options are out there and are less expensive than their steel counterparts. Plastic water butts come in a variety of interesting designs. 


Steel water butts tend to be more durable and long-lasting. They are typically a bit more expensive due to the material and design. These offer a structure to stand on the ground to hold much more water. Most water butts come with a stand to be placed in the corner of a garden. If you don't know how to install a water butt, you may find this quick guide on water butt installation useful.


Easy Water Butt Installation Instructions


Your water butt should come with instructions on how to install it!
Here is a basic rundown: 


  1. Look for a place next to your downpipe to place your water butt.
  2. Make sure the downpipe aligns to the top of your water butt. You may need to cut through the downpipe a few centimeters.
  3. If your water does not have one already, drill a hole in the water butt for the connector hose.
  4. Attach the hose to the water butt and downpipe.
  5. Watch your storage fill up with rainwater and use it when needed. 


The COVID pandemic created 18.3 million new gardeners. Gardening is a soothing hobby that the whole family can enjoy. With more people gardening, watering responsibly with a water butt can help conservation efforts. Learn how to water your plants successfully.


Join Us As We Plan For Our District’s Future


The public is invited to participate in our Plan For Water workshops, where questions and concerns are addressed. We promise to work together as a community as we assess our water situation together and plan for the next 50 years. If you have any questions or comments, let us know what you think by emailing!



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