The recent panic about water shortages prompted us to explore options for emergency water storage. While household water butts offer capacities ranging from 100 to 220 litres at a cost of £69 to £80, a more cost-effective and larger alternative is the IBC tank. These 1000-litre containers, originally used for commercial transport of food liquids like cooking oil and sauces, can be acquired second-hand on platforms such as eBay, Gumtree, or local magazines for a reasonable price, typically between £60 and £80 each, inclusive of delivery. Sellers usually ensure they are thoroughly cleaned.

For optimal rainwater collection, position the tank directly beneath the downpipe from the roof gutter. Elevating the tank as high as possible on concrete blocks, at least a meter above the ground, facilitates a good flow. To prevent the formation of green algae, consider wrapping the tank in black plastic or applying a matte black paint. While these tanks may not be aesthetically pleasing, enclosing them with brightly coloured fence panels can address this concern. Installing filters, such as plastic mesh from garlic or vegetable packaging, ensures the collected water remains crystal clear and pure.

Rainwater is ideal for washing windows and cars, leaving no streaks on the glass as it dries. With some basic DIY skills, you can connect the tank to supply water for flushing toilets, enhancing the practicality and efficiency of water storage.

by Mike Bundock (WaterCan)

18:02, 28 Nov 2023 by Helen Capstick