Forum home Tools and techniques

State of Water in Water Butts

I have a very large water tank which is, despite the drought, completely full and, now there is to be a hosepipe ban, I will need to use this water.  The water has been collecting since before Christmas.  Can anybody tell me if this water is likely to be okay as it is for use on vegetables and fruit trees?  Is it absolutely necessary that I apply treatments such as Biotal, which I would rather not do?  Or is there a free to prepare and natural solution?



  • meiowmeiow Posts: 51

    I would use it, but I don't grow Veg or Fruit. Can't see that it would cause any problems

  • PlashingPlashing Posts: 322

    Yes it will be alright to use on vegetables and fruit trees as long the water isnt slimy or green , I am using  water out of my water butt, I am also using wate from the washing up and from the bathroom for bushes and flowers. 

  • Chas MChas M Posts: 2

    Thanks for the responses, v. useful.  I have got a little green growth/slime on the surface of the water.  Is the use of Biotal or similar the only way to get rid of it?

  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 21,095

    When we had the drought in the '70's, we channeled the water from out washing machine and bath into a but and used it for watering the lawn, I suppose it was the soda in the washing powder, the lawn turned a beautiful rich, very deep green and the flowers were fantastic that year.

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • bigraybigray Posts: 5

    I have used water from butts for years although I do tend to empty the butts each winter and get the leaves etc out of the bottom but i've never had a problem when I haven't done it either.

  • cressercresser Posts: 26

    Hi, I have two waterbutts they are not connected to each other, and both are never in direct sunlight, however, the water in the smaller one of the two, stinks to high heaven after a couple of days, and it has to used quickly. I do clean them out every year and both have light proof lids on. I put charcoal pellets in both, and have used the Hozelock product, which does seem to help a bit, but I don`t really want to put chemicals in the water. Any other advice very welcome, cheers. cresser.

  • waterbuttswaterbutts Posts: 1,214

    Firstly, I Waterbutts strongly deny any suggestions that there is anything wrong with MY water.image

    Secondly, cresser, where does the stinky water come from? Does it drain off a felt roof? I discovered this particularly vile problem when we put a waterbutt under our garage roof (felted) and the pong was something I can remember even now. Weapons of mass destruction? Nothing compared to that.

    I tried everything to sort it but in the end had to abandon the idea as nothing worked.

  • cressercresser Posts: 26

    Hi Waterbutts, I`m sure your water is as pure as the ........... anyway!image

    The `unsmelly ` water does come off a flat felt garage roof and this is OK, the `smelly` stuff, comes of the house roof tiles, as does the next door neighbours, and they say their water is OK. I actually thought that - perhaps - it might just be the plastic butt itself? as I say, I do clean them both out, and more than once a year if they run out. If I had hair I`d pull it out - ouch. cresser.

  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,780

    I'd use it but onto the ground rather than directly onto the veg, otherwise I'd have to wash it off.

    What I did draw a line at and tipped it out was when a pigeon fell in and drowned. The smell was really bad and I tipped out to start again.

    I have told the pigeons it's not safe to sit on the edge and lean down to the water but they don't listen

  • WelshonionWelshonion Posts: 3,114

    Returning to the original post.  We have used water that is two year's old this summer to water the veg.  It has been in the water butts that long as we hardly used any of it last year.  

    It is well covered at all times and is perfectly clear and un-smelly.  It comes off a slate roof.

    I don't think thirsty plants 'care' where their water comes from. Pond, water butt or tap.

Sign In or Register to comment.