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Garden design project needing some help!

Hi, I am currently studying Product Design and Technology at Loughborough University. I have just started my final year project and am looking at the 'value of water', with particular interest into how we reuse water within the garden. I am looking to gain insights into any problems that are experienced when using current water saving methods, for example water butts and rainwater harvesting devices. I would be interested to hear about any problems you may have in this ares and any improvements that could be made to current methods.

I have created an online survey and posted the link below. I would really appreciate it if you could take a few minutes and have a look through the survey and give your feedback. I would be really grateful for your time and any response you can give.

Thanks very much!



  • one problem I had this year was mosquitoes and their larvae .I drained it twice but they came back.I cover the hole the water comes in as bumble bees were drowning in the butt.image

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 81,441

    We save grey water from our shower to water the garden - I plan to attach a seep hose to the butt next summer for the runner beans.    Also, it would be good to know other people's experiences of using a water conditioner to prevent smelly sludge etc in a grey water butt.

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • artjakartjak Posts: 4,167

    Harriet, what a brilliant project, this subject could well be the most important in future gardening. My only cavil about water butts (I have 4) is that the valve thingy on the down pipe from the gutter tends to just leak all over the ground when the butt is full; in other words the excess water is not going further down the pipe to the soak away. Some people say there are health and safety issues about using water butt water on veg. I am pretty ancient and from the age of 4 or 5 have eaten veg grown with this water source, with no probs.

  • PalaisglidePalaisglide Posts: 3,414

    Harriet, it is not just about water conservation it is also about your own particular garden. The garden I grew up with was very productive although under it was pure sand, the top with a couple of hundred years of cultivation being manured yearly had around three four feet of good topsoil although water went through and it became quite dry in hot summers. We had very large water butts at all down comers from the house stables even the pig pens, it was needed as we only had one water tap in the house. My Father taught me to water only the plants and not the whole garden in general as people do with hoses now. A drop of ammonia in the butts for watering plants kept them clean but animal drinking water was kept tightly lidded and sealed, it did go a bit green although any one having drunk water from a ships fresh tanks will know it is drinkable.

    Where I live now it is an under strata of brick clay and was dug out for years for brick making. This means the water strata is quite high and water will lay there the local gardens tend to flood. I am on the top of a hill so it is all downhill plus on moving in I dug some deep sink holes with runaways so although with very high rain fall I get the odd pond it is not as bad as some.
    Plants do not need water as often as the old house and living in the North East with plenty of water plus the unused facility at Kielder we do not appear to be able to give the stuff away. A year or so back a couple of miles from me they were filling water tankers 24 hours a day and running it into Yorkshire, their reservoir's were dry.
    What we are saying is water depends on where you live, as an engineer I can see no reason for not running water pipes down country, filling rivers that could be pumped on South to where it is needed. We once sent coal from this area to London so why not water tankers or is that too simple.


  • Ph BBPh BB Posts: 5

    This web site may be of interest to

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