Well it was officially a very wet November and December continued in the same way. It was lovely to have a bit of milder, drier weather and then the cold and snow arrived. But what about all that lovely water your water butts have been saving for you? The garden certainly doesn't need watering, so are they spilling over?
Our answer to this, as well as saving on our water bills and water usage was to install a rainwater flushing toilet last year, when changing a rather old downstairs toilet - the type with the cistern high up so it used a lot of water when flushing. It has been a huge success, our water bills last year were significantly lower. The downstairs toilet is the one most used during the daytime so this made perfect sense.
Permaculture Magazine, and after discussing it with my Dad (master of all things DIY), we installed one. It involved raising one of our water butts to enable the water to fill the cistern. There was a lot of hard graft put in my my Dad as the fittings to the old toilet were very outdated so lots of head-scratching. But it was done, the toilet is fitted with two inlet float valve systems and all we have to do is switch from water butt to water mains if the water butt hasn't enough water which really should only occur in the Summer (as it did this year), but not now - it's been filling nicely from all that rain.
We had to switch it back to the mains last week for a couple of days as the water butt froze, but we're back on the rainwater flush now. I'm sure once the snow has gone, it will return to being filled nicely with rain again.