I’ve finally got around to sorting out my rainwater collection system. It’s a job I had a basic idea of how to do in theory (take everything apart, move the attachment which diverts the water from the drainpipe up about a hand-span and mend the resulting hole where it used to be, and put a tap in on the pipe which takes the water to the water butts). But I was scared to do it in case I did something wrong and had to call out a plumber to fix the resulting mess.

The problems were that the water wasn’t moving from the drainpipe to the water-butts (hence wanting to move the attachment up so there was a downhill gradient) and also that when it does work and the butts get full, there is no way to stop them overflowing. If there was space to put the water butts (I have 2 lovely huge recycled plastic ones) next to the drainpipe which receives the water off the roof there wouldn’t be either of these problems, but I don’t have that option as it’s on the side of the house and there isn’t space to put the butts there and still get bikes to the shed.

Strangely it turned out to be much simpler than I’d thought because once I took everything apart and cleaned it out I realised the flow was being stopped by a build up of gunk rather than the height of the attachment. So cleaning it was sufficient. The tap was a case of moving one from a previous version of this rainwater collection system, cutting a small section out of the pipe (my neighbour helpfully lent me his hacksaw for this) and fitting it in.

And now it works! Months of dithering and putting it off solved in about an hour. And I’ll know how to clean it out if it gets blocked up again. I think two things finally helped me do it – deciding that I’d rather get a plumber than live any longer failing to benefit from all this rain we’ve been having, and knowing that I had said I’d do this 7x7 make and mend jubilee and hadn’t got on with it. And today’s rain has given me 1 ½ butts full of wonderful water for my greenhouse! 1