How much is too much ??

I have read or been told that by placing charcoal in your waterbutt STOPS the water from going off/smelling ??? In previous years I have owned & used a plastic butt without problems but this year I invested in an old wooded barrel to turn it into more of a garden feature.

But the smell even with several lumps of charcoal in the barrel is very egg like/soar. Do I just keep adding charcoal until I have rectified the odour ????


  • hollie hockhollie hock Posts: 3,344

    Not ever heard of this before, stagnant water can become smelly but I don't think it would do any harm to plants. I only have one water butt which is plastic, I use all the water this time of year  before it starts to smell

  • WelshonionWelshonion Posts: 3,115

    Because it was so wet last year the water in my butts is over a year old.  It is totally clear and not in the slightest bit smelly.

    You are doing something wrong if you have to add charcoal at all.  Is the butt closed with a well-fitting lid at all times?  Did the barrel smell before you put the water in?  What was it used for before?

  • DogbowlDogbowl Posts: 66

    The previous life/usage of the large oak barrel was in the LIQUOR industry which would have been wine or spirits & I believe they are used for several years before being recycled & released to the vast public for various usages. So there was an underlined smell from the inners of the barrel.

    The top / lid was removes & it just rests on top of the barrel to stop objects falling in but it is Not an air tight seal in any means.

    I have seen loads knocking about & being used in the exact same way as we use ours blending in to the environment rather better than the usual Blue / Green Plastic type. But I had Not expected the Sour water smell.

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