Algae in water butts

Algae In Water Butts

algae-in-water-buttsGreen slime or algae in water butts can be unpleasant. The presence of algae in water butts may also be accompanied by an unpleasant smell or odour coming from the water butt. Algae in water butts can be caused by:

  • Nutrients in the water
    This could be from organic matter that has fallen into the water butt, for examples leaves that have fallen through the holes in the top of the water butt, or moss that has entered from the drain pipe inlet. Also, if the water butt contains grey household water (potential health hazard) this may also contain nutrients to encourage algae growth.
  • Sunlight
    Especially if the water butt is not covered by a lid, but also if a water butt sits in an area of direct sunlight, this will also contribute to algae growth. Algae rely on the sun for photosynthesis.
  • Warm water
    Related to exposure to direct sunlight, warm water in a water butt will also accelerate growth

The following suggestions may work to reduce growth of algae in water butts:

  • Move the water butt to a more shady area
  • Eliminate any organic matter getting into the water butt
    Possible solutions to this include putting some kind of netting over the top of the water butt to stop any organic matter falling through the top. Also, stretching old tights over the end of the downpipe just above the rainwater diverted kit. This should stop moss being washed into the water butt, but will need to be checked regularly to stop the drainpipe becoming clogged up.
  • Clean out the water butt thoroughly to remove all traces of algae
  • Regularly use a water butt cleaner or treatment

See water butt cleaners on Amazon UK.

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