How to get free water-saving devices for your home and garden 

Are you eligible for a free water butt, water-saving cistern bag or even wildflower seeds? Find out here

As we face hotter and drier summers, water companies are helping us conserve water by offering free water-saving devices for our gardens. In preparation for potential summer hosepipe bans and droughts, now is a good time to get ahead of the game and check what your water company offers.  

Free water butts, discounted water butts and water-saving kits for the garden, are a few of the water-saving resources on offer. However, there is no single approach that the water companies are taking, so it’s a case of investigating what your water supplier has to offer. 

Green water butt against side of houseCredit: Shutterstock/Lea Rae

A spokesperson at the Consumer Council for Water said: “We really urge people to check out their water company’s website to see what freebies they can claim from their water company. Even if you can’t get a free or discounted water butt, most companies will offer other free water-saving kits that can help to reduce your use around the home. You’ll also find lots of practical tips and advice on how to save water, energy and money.”  

With assistance from the Consumer Council for Water, Saga Exceptional has put together a guide to the water-saving devices on offer in England and Wales.  


1. How to get a free water butt

Look out for giveaways on water company and council websites

If you’re prepared to be patient and eagle-eyed, you might be able to get a free water butt for your garden – but only in some locations.  

South West Water asks customers to answer some questions about their water use to see what free water saving products they are eligible for – which might include a water butt (for example, if you currently do a lot of watering with mains water), although its site warns of 20-week delivery times. If you don’t meet their criteria, or don’t want to wait, it directs you to the Save Water Save Money website, where you can purchase an inexpensive butt. 

Dacorum Borough Council recently gave away 100 litre (22 gallon) water butts to a random 20 people who signed up to its Dacorum Climate Action Network. Meanwhile, Southern Water announced in January that any customer living in Gurnard on the Isle of Wight would be eligible for a free water butt to combat storm overflows. 

2. How to get a discounted water butt

Find out if you qualify for a discounted water butt

Many of the water companies offer discounted water butts via the website. These include: South East Water, United Utilities, Welsh Water and Wessex Water. Although some say they are discounted, these discounts do vary by water company, and depending on the discount, you may be able to buy one more cheaply elsewhere.  

To see if you apply, visit Save Water, Save Money and type in your postcode. 

Essex and Suffolk Water and Northumbrian Water partner with a company called Water Butts Direct to offer their customers a discounted butt. 

Affinity Water customers can buy gain a “discounted” water butt. The prices are similar to if you bought one from Save Water Save Money, although you do get free delivery.  

You may be able to purchase water butts more cheaply from DIY stores, so do your research before you buy. The Range’s Slimline Water Butt and Stand, with a 100-litre capacity retails a£28.99. 

3. How to get a free water-saving kit

Many households are eligible for flush savers and shower timers

Cambridge Water and South Staffs Water are among the suppliers offering free home water-saving products, available through the Get Water Fit website. Enter your postcode and see if you’re eligible for the gadgets, which include a shower regulator, four-minute shower timer, a Buffaloo cistern bag that saves 2 litres (3.5 pints) of water with every flush, and two 5 litre (9 pint) per minute regulators that fit on most basin taps. 

Before you can place your order, you’ll need to take a quiz on your water usage. When you’re done, as well as being able to order free water-saving devices, you’ll be given tips on how to reduce your water usage at home.  

Similarly, Anglian Water offers both a water saving bathroom kit and a garden water-saving kit. The bathroom kit includes a digital shower timer, a save-a-flush bag that saves 1 litre (1.75 pints) of water each time you flush your toilet, and a leaky loo tablet that dyes your water so you can easily spot whether you have a leak.

The garden kit includes a small bag of SwellGel water-saving crystals to mix into your compost, plus water-storing plant mats, a Water Stick that tells you when a plant needs water, and wildflower seeds. And although Anglian Water doesn’t provide discounts on water butts, it does stock them on its website. 

4. Make your own water butt

Get creative and save water

Yorkshire Water has no offers on water butts but does have a page explaining how you can make a ‘mini butt’ out of a plastic container.  


5. Free water-saving visits

Help at home to save water

Unlike most other water companies, Thames Water does not offer free water-saving devices to order through the Save Water Save Money site. Instead, it provides free home visits where it will fix leaks and install devices as part of a home water audit, which can offer significant savings for those who use more than 500 litres (110 gallons) a day.

Southern Water offers a similar service and provides free installation and water butts in various areas across its region to help reduce storm overflow. These includes areas such as Havenstreet and Gurnard on the Isle of Wight and Deal in Kent. In other areas Southern Water will fit water butts, if arranged in advance (although they will need to be purchased), and will fit free water-saving devices in your kitchen, bathroom and toilet. 

Person running tap from a green water butt into a watering canCredit: Shutterstock/DJTaylor

What’s on offer in Scotland and Northern Ireland?

Water saving support across the rest of the UK

While there are several water suppliers in England and Wales, water in Scotland is provided by just one company, Scottish Water.  

Scottish Water doesn’t offer free or discounted water butts, but it does provide advice on how to save water in the garden, and encourages consumers to take part in its interactive quiz, Garden Greatness. 

In Northern Ireland, sole supplier Northern Ireland Water encourages you to use the aforementioned ‘Get Water Fit’ website, where you can take part in a quiz and receive free watersaving items, including a fourminute shower timer, toothy timers and SwellGel bags for the garden.   

Camilla Sharman

Written by Camilla Sharman she/her


With her 30 years of experience, Camilla Sharman has covered a wide range of sectors within the business and consumer industries both as a feature, content, and freelance writer.  As a business journalist, Camilla has researched articles for many different sectors from the jewellery industry to finance and tech, charities, and the arts. Whatever she’s covered, she enjoys delving deep and learning the ins and out of different topics, then conveying her research within engaging content that informs the reader.