Illustration of a small house with a water butt, and a person filling a watering can from the water butt tap.

Harnessing the rain with water butts

Households in a trial area of Eastbourne at high risk of surface water flooding are being offered slow-release water butts to help store rainwater. These water butts will help reliece pressure on the drainage network during storms and heavy rainfall. Caroline Ansell MP has negotiated an initial batch of 100 slow-release water butts from Southern Water, which will be supplied and fitted for free to suitable properties within the selected area. This is being managed by Blue Heart in collaboration with Our Rainwater, who specialise in supporting homes and businesses to help manage rainwater.

Residents in the chosen trial area will be receiving a letter from the MP to let them know they’re eligible. If you would like to have a water butt, but are not based in the initial installation area, please register your interest so we can let you know of any future offers and opportunities. Registering will assist Blue Heart and Southern Water in identifying suitable locations for the next phase if this initial trial is successful. 

Why use slow-release water butts?

Urban areas have many paved and tarmacked surfaces where rainwater cannot safely drain away. This in turn leads to water running off to places where we don’t want it to go.

Collecting rainwater from the roof of your property stops it from entering the drains, reducing pressure on them during rainfall. The collected water can then be released slowly into the drainage system once the rain has passed or be used for ‘grey water’ tasks such as watering gardens or washing a car.

As climate change continues to alter our weather patterns, we’re also likely to experience more drought and an increase in hose-pipe bans. Any water we can store and re-use reduces demand, lessens the chances of water restrictions and shortages – and it’s free!

Latest News

Water Butts Roll Out Across Eastbourne – 08/02/24

Dr Sarah Bunney, Co-Founder of Our Rainwater

The Slow the Flow project is well underway in Eastbourne thanks to a partnership between Blue Heart and Our Rainwater.

With increasing weather events and changes to the climate the need to slow the release of rainwater into drainage systems is essential. The voluntary scheme has seen hundreds of interested households signing up for a slow release water butt to ease pressure on these systems across Eastbourne.