Newhaven Rainwater Capture Project

Lewes District Council have approached Our Rainwater to see how we can help them tackle some of the complex flooding problems that their community is facing. This scheme will install 25 rainwater capture tanks, at no cost to the householder, on properties in some key priority areas of Denton, Newhaven.
A photograph of a field flooded by the rising River Ouse near Lewes

Attribution: hehaden on flickr

The problem

Lewes has a substantial history of flooding as rainfall exceeds the capacity of the drainage network. Denton, in Newhaven, has faced particular issues from flooding, as high rainfall events have caused river levels to rise, storm drains to become overwhelmed, and properties to flood.

Lewes District Council is undertaking a number of projects to help alleviate the flooding problem in this community, such as creating community rain-gardens to give rainfall the opportunity to soak away rather than build up on the surface.

Capturing rainwater

This project is targeting a different source of water - the rainfall that lands on our roofs and flows straight into the drains, which quickly become overwhelmed. By installing water tanks on the downpipes that take the rain from our roofs into the drains, we can intercept and slow the flow of this rainwater so that the drains are less likely to be overwhelmed.

What's on offer?

This trial scheme is supplying 25 rainwater capture tanks, completely free of charge, to eligible householders in key target areas of Denton, Newhaven. Once we've made sure that your property has the right downpipes and enough space for us to install the tanks, we'll offer you a choice of one of two different tank designs. For this trial scheme we only have 25 tanks to install, which will be offered on a first-come first-served basis.

Don't worry, if you sign-up and we've run out of tanks, or you're not quite in one of the target areas, we'll keep your details on file and let you know as soon as we have a project that you can get involved in.

slim rainwater tank
Classic Slim Wall

This is a large 250L Oak-coloured water-butt from Freeflush. Your downpipe enters at the top through a leaf-catcher to stop the tank from blocking, and an overflow pipe slows the flow of rainwater as it is released.

Dimensions: 99.5cm wide x 25cm deep x 119.5cm high

Full product details

200 Litre Manhattan city planter rainwater tank
Manhattan City Planter

This is a chic and compact 200L Black granite coloured water-butt from Freeflush. Your downpipe enters at the top, which can be planted up for decoration. The planter on top helps catch debris from the downpipe to stop the tank from blocking, and an overflow pipe slows the flow of rainwater as it is released out of the tank.

Dimensions: 50cm wide x 50cm deep x 105cm high

Full product details

Research and innovation

Each of the free rainwater capture tanks that we're offering will be fitted with an array of smart sensors, so that we can monitor how well they're keeping water out of the drains. This innovative research will be used to refine our campaigns in the future, so that we can ensure the tanks we install are working as well as they can for you and for our communities.


We're hugely grateful to Innovate UK, a UK Research and Innovation Council, for funding this project. Thanks also goes to Lewes District Council, for reaching out and helping to identify where in their community help was needed, and to Freeflush, for working with us to ensure that the rainwater capture tanks we're installing are both pretty and practical!

Lewes District Council and Innovate UK Logos

Sign up now to register your interest in a free water-butt!

Connect with us

Innovation Centre
University of Exeter
Devon, EX4 4RN

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