Getting a water butt could help to reduce bills and prevent flooding

19th March 2024

It’s been a really wet start to the year, with two named storms in January alone and the Met Office confirming that some parts of the Severn Trent region saw double the average rainfall for February*.

With spring upon us, many people are thinking about getting their gardens ready for the warmer weather and a simple step that anyone can take to both save money and cut down on the risk of flooding from sudden downpours it to get a water butt.

Customers who are on a water meter only pay for what they use, so reducing the amount of treated water that goes towards caring for their garden – through a hosepipe or sprinkler for instance, which can use up to 1,000 litres of water an hour – can create a significant saving on their bills. 

Available in a range of different sizes and capacities, there’s a water butt to suit every type of garden – with capacities from 100 to a massive 500 litres!  By collecting and storing rainfall, they provide a source of water that’s perfect to help keep the garden green and plants healthy during the warmer summer months.

Importantly, water butts also help to slow drainage into the sewer network, giving it somewhere to go rather than pooling on peoples’ drives or gardens, which can lead to flooding.

Sophie Evans-Young, customer demand lead at Severn Trent, said: “While it’s been a really wet start to the year, people are starting to think about getting the garden ready for summer. One of the best tips for any gardener is to get a water butt set up.

“Not only does a water butt store water ready to be used to water the plants when the weather warms up, but as we’re continuing to see the impacts of climate change, they can also help to prevent flooding by slowing the volume of water that enters the sewer network during a downpour.”

With many more homes now having tarmac or brick driveways and patios, there is less opportunity for rainwater to seep away into the ground, making it more likely to pool and contribute to surface water flooding.

Sophie continued: “One result of climate change across our region, we’re experiencing more periods of heavy rain and we’re also seeing more hard surfaces – such as paved over gardens to create car parking spaces - which means that the rainfall can’t soak away into the ground which can lead to what’s called ‘hydraulic overload’. This is when the volume of water trying to get into the sewer is greater than its capacity and can lead to it backing up and finding its way into peoples’ gardens, or at worst into their homes.

“Any form of flooding can be really distressing, but installing a water butt is a great and really simple way for people to offset that risk, give them a great source of water for the plants, and help make sure there’s enough treated water available if we see another exceptionally hot and dry summer.”

Water butts are available at most garden centres from the internet, and are available at a discount via Get Water Fit.

For water saving tips and advice, click here or visit and search for Saving Water Made Simple.


* Warmest February on record for England and Wales - Met Office