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How Rosamund Community Garden Increased Rainwater Storage Capacity to 1,100 Litres

Published on: 3 Apr, 2023
Updated on: 5 Apr, 2023

Volunteers at the Rosamund Community Garden off Pewley Down increased their rainwater storage to 1,100 litres, a six fold increase, mainly by the simple task of adding guttering and a huge 1,000-litre water butt, a recycled IBC (Intermediate Bulk Container) to one of their two existing polytunnels.

Willing volunteers moving water butts in the rainwater harvesting day at the Rosamund Community Garden on March 30.

The rainwater harvesting project was organised by garden volunteer Lisa Dittmar, partnering with Ben McCallan from Zero Carbon Guildford and Surrey County Council’s Green Social Prescribing programme.

Setting up the plumbing for the 1,000 recycled IBC water butt.

Lisa said: “The day involved setting up guttering on one of our polytunnels and increasing the storage capacity elsewhere.

“We were extremely lucky with the weather, the temperature was mild and the rain held off until just after the event finished. And then rain it did!

“On the first night alone, we collected over 300 litres of rainwater in our new large water butt – also known as an IBC container that used to hold 1,000 litres of chipotle sauce!”

The finished job…..

The Rosamund Community Garden grows produce “in tune with nature, using no-dig methods, slow natural enrichment and non-mechanisation”.

If you would like to join for a spot of friendly communal gardening, email: for a chat.

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Responses to How Rosamund Community Garden Increased Rainwater Storage Capacity to 1,100 Litres

  1. Jim Allen Reply

    April 3, 2023 at 10:11 pm

    Sadly this amount of water is well below requirement for a dry summer. We have 5,000+ litres capacity for rainwater storage which we can collect in one night of rain. It lasts about two months across the dry summer on our seven raised beds.

    I’d recommend another three IBCs. Storage capacity is king! Especially within a poly-tunnel.

  2. John Lomas Reply

    April 4, 2023 at 10:28 am

    IBCs [Intermediate Bulk Containers] seem to have become a bit like old pallets, they seem to be discarded by some parties. It seems similar to fly-tipping”.

    So it could be an idea to have some sort of list somewhere where groups and or individuals could register their interest in having one or more for their plots/allotments etc.

    • Ben McCallan Reply

      May 6, 2023 at 7:51 am

      It’s a good idea from John Lomas. I will look into how this might work locally. I visited the Renew Hub in Manchester this week and they have a wall of them which they redistribute, so it can definitely be done.

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