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What can I replace my water butt with?

Question: We have a water butt which catches water beside our house which overflows. I would like either to remove it and make sure the water is drained away without affecting the wall of our house, or put something else in place.

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Barry O’Neill, Key King Locksmith, London

Hi, the answer is quite a simple one, as well as being a locksmith, I am a general builder.

Remove the water butt to the side and install a soak-away. These are gravel-filled and when installed correctly they disperse the runoff rainwater slowly into the ground away from the property. The gravel acts as a slow draining compound within the vessel, hence the name soak-away.

Hope that helps.

​​​​​​​Best of luck

Soakaway - Taylored Drainage Solutions Ltd

Jason O’Keefe, Taylored Drainage Solutions Ltd, Bracknell

This picture will give you an idea of what a soakaway should look like. The soakaway crates are wrapped in the white membrane. For the average house, we use between 4 to 6 soakaway crates.

One of the factors when deciding how big it needs to be is the size of the roof area. The final depth of the hole, in which crates are placed, depends on soil type within the area

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