A Guide to Garden Water Storage

Barrel outside full of water

If you’re an established gardener or are looking to start a garden, you’ll understand the importance of water security to your plants’ growth. Yet, this is in direct contrast with the water insecurity we’re facing in light of climate change and water shortages. As this issue grows, so too will the need to store water. Learning to store water for domestic purposes and consumption is critical, however it’s important to consider the needs of our environment as well.

In this article, we tackle water in garden storage, how it can be done for long-term use, and storage containers that yield the best results.

How Can I Store Water in My Garden?

There are several garden water storage ideas and methods worth implementing in your garden.

First, it’s important to consider the type of water you intend to store. While there’s nothing wrong with storing water directly from the tap, there are more cost-effective options to garden water storage, such as rainwater or grey water. Grey water is the water we use in our homes everyday that’s wasted in activities such as dishwashing or using a washing machine. Both rainwater and grey water can be redirected to a container for storage, without costing more money. Since this water won’t be consumed, there are hardly any concerns over maintaining the water’s purity.

The next consideration is the vessel that will store the water. Garden water storage ideas can take many forms, such as tanks, barrels, and even ponds. For a personal garden, you should examine how much water your plants need and how much you need to store to accommodate those needs. Furthermore, you need a container that’s small enough to fit in your garden or another part of your property for storage that can still hold an adequate amount of water.

How Long Will Stored Water Stay Fresh?

It can be difficult to give an exact timeframe as to when water loses its freshness.

Technically, water never spoils. However, it’s at constant risk of contamination, hence it’s advisable to use and replenish stored water every six months. However, it’s unclear whether that rule also applies to garden water storage, as opposed to potable water.

In large part, the conditions water is stored under will determine how long it stays fresh. Taking steps such as cleaning your garden water storage tank regularly, keeping the container out of direct sunlight and filtering leaves, sticks, stones, and other material caught from your gutter will prevent contamination and bacterial growth. If maintaining freshness is a concern, installing a filtration system to your garden water storage tank is a fitting solution.

How Do You Keep Water from Stagnating?

If maintaining your water’s freshness is a concern, so too is water stagnation. When water becomes stagnant, it allows bacteria to grow. At first, this appears to be a non-issue, given that this is garden water storage as opposed to drinking or bathing water. However, plants are also susceptible to disease, which can crush your dreams of a thriving garden. Polluted water may do little to trees and established plants, but it might stop seedlings from growing altogether.

Luckily, the same guidelines for keeping water fresh are applicable to preventing stagnant water. Namely, rotating the garden water storage tank at least every six months, and cleaning it just as regularly.

How to Make a Water Butt

A water butt is a garden water storage idea that can provide immense value. Although purchasing a water butt is possible, you may find it more advantageous to make one.

A water butt is simply a container used to catch and store rainwater. This allows you the flexibility to customise one out of any container, from any material, matching any dimension based on the needs and size of your garden.

With that in mind, you may find that an IBC is an ideal container for creating a water butt. An IBC container is an industrial container used to transport and store large amounts of liquid. In the realm of garden water storage, plastic is superior, and IBCs are made from HDPE (high-density polyethylene). The surrounding metal cage will ensure that it maintains its shape and won’t collapse under the pressure of the water it’s storing.

IBCs come with two openings: one at the top to let the liquid in and a spout at the bottom to release it. As a garden water storage tank these openings are perfect to install a rain diverter or similar system of pipes from the gutters into the container, and a tap to release the water into a smaller container for regular use. Additionally, IBCs are durable and reusable, so you’ll be able to see the long-term benefits of using them as water butts.

How Do You Store Water Long-Term Outside?

Once you’ve found the best way to store water in your garden, you want to reap some long-term benefits. Although methods such as cleaning the container and rotating it regularly are still applicable, stricter measures such as a filtration system to remove debris will prove more helpful.

Furthermore, it must be emphasised that the water container should be kept out of direct sunlight. Though your immediate thought may jump to evaporation, there is a greater concern. Sunlight will help to promote algae growth in the water. Avoid this by storing your garden water storage tanks in the shade or in a shed, and keeping them covered. If you’re using an IBC, there are IBC covers available that can also protect them from sunlight. If these measures aren’t suitable, consider storing your garden water storage tanks underground.

Contact ITP Packaging

For more information on how our containers can serve your water garden storage needs, contact our team of experts today. ITP Packaging offers a range of IBCs and other containers, perfect for storing water and other gardening products. Our team is capable of directing you to a product that will help your plants to flourish.

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