Accessibility Homepage Skip navigation Sitemap


Register and log in to gain access to our forums and chat about everything 'hedgehog'!

Thank you for looking to contribute to the Hedgehog Street forum. Please note that when submitting replies or posts, these are run through our spam-checkers, so there may be a slight delay in your posts appearing, and reflecting in the forum post details below. However, if you think anything has gone awry please contact us.

The views and opinions expressed in this forum do not necessarily represent the views of PTES or BHPS.

Rain water

Home Forums Champions’ chat Rain water

Viewing 11 posts - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
  • Author
  • #15375

    Hi, can anyone tell me, how long does rain water keep? I have a bowl outside, which is full, thank goodness for the rain. I collect it where it drips through a small gap in the gutter. I then use some cloth in a funnel to clean out any bits and fill bottles. After hearing a high % of water buts hold diseases, I wonder can anyone tell me how long it’s safe to keep?
    Many thanks for your time.

    Avatar photo

    Hi Annker

    Looks like no-one knows the answer! (so far, at least). I don’t either. What we need is a chemist, with a lab who can test it out.

    However, I suspect that many water butts might hold diseases because people don’t always empty them out completely. Even if they are emptied via the tap, there is still a reservoir of, usually slightly mucky water, left in the bottom, which could then re-infect the new water that goes in. Ideally people should empty their water butts fairly often by tipping them upside down once the bulk of the water has been used. Not so easy if you only have one water butt, but if you have a few, quite easy just to use one up first and then ‘rotate’ which one is used, so that each gets completely emptied in turn.

    By the sound of the way you are collecting the rainwater, I don’t imagine that it lasts very long, so hopefully, it will be o.k.


    Hi Nic, thankyou for answering. It was on radio 4 last year I think. It was quite serious with the disease they said they had found in water buts. More people should be aware of this as they could be watering their food! However, you are right, my little washing up bowl isn’t collecting a lot, when it rains and it starts to overflow I collect it in bottles and it’s easy to clean the bowl out. Just wasn’t quite sure how long a bottle kept was safe. I would hate to make the hogs ill after all this. Thanks again.

    Avatar photo

    Hi Annker

    Yes, I think I did hear something about the diseases in water butts, as well, and the potential dangers of watering vegetables.

    I completely understand that you wouldn’t want to make the hogs ill, but when you see some of the muddy puddles, etc. they choose to drink from instead of the nice water we provide, you might not worry quite so much. Not to mention treading in poos and then walking through the fresh water. Sounds like you are doing your very best for the hogs and that is all we can do. Maybe one day, we will find the answer to your original question.


    The rain water collected should be fine but if you want to use tap water simply follow the same steps gardners take and leave in a container for 24 hours before making available.

    Avatar photo

    I agree with SamP re. tap water and leaving it in an open container for a while might help.

    Alternatively, Annker, if you are worried about tap water, you could boil it and allow it to cool which should help the chlorine (or whatever it is they use these days) to evaporate.


    Hi, many thank for your continued help and advice. I have loads of rain water now! I filtered and bottled as much as I could yest, cleaned the bowl, went out again to stock the feeding station and behold, another washing up bowl full! It bucketed down last night so I’ve lost all that water and waiting for the same deluge today. It was so wet last night, I don’t think the hogs wanted to be out in it, so they emptied the feeding station! If the water board is watching this sight, we’ll, I boil all my own drinking water. They can work that one out! Many thanks, Annker

    Avatar photo

    Hi Annker

    You’re amazing – going to so much trouble for the hogs! Lucky there’s been quite a lot of rain around this year. But difficult if we have long dry spells.

    I know what you mean about the tap water. I filter all the water I drink! I was told I was near the end where they add the treatment – or something like that. Maybe wouldn’t do us any harm, but didn’t taste very nice!

    The hogs here get a bit of a mixture depending on what’s available.


    Hi Nic, thanks for that, I know I can give boiled water now when it’s dry (if ever). I’ve never drunk tap water till one night I forgot my tablets, so 2am had a drink to swallow them. Next news, food poisoning (15 yrs ago). Now, black gunk in taps, toilet cistern and washer which I’m sick of cleaning out. Water on and of at a whim. The hogs have got cleaner water than we have! Just writing to dft and my mp over signs.
    Best wishes, Annker

    Avatar photo

    Your water sounds really horrible, Annker. I thought they all had to maintain certain standards, or is it some sort of private supply. Mine is at least ‘clean’.

    Good luck re. the road signs. Looking forward to hearing that someone has actually managed to get one!


    Hi Nic, re water, it is the water boards water, nothing private. It comes out of the tap looking really nice and clear, but since the “big freeze” we’ve had burst pipes all over the place. There are filter ends on the bathroom taps and when just about to clean teeth out dangles some black slime, so you know you have to clean the d–n things, again. Same with shower head, then it’s the washer inlets over the soap tray. I moved a few years ago and had same problems at previous house. I will explode one of these days, no worries! Best wishes.

Viewing 11 posts - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.