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Super sewermen get second shot at TV fame

Steve Iverson

They’re the everyday heroes poking through our poo to clear blockages, and keep our filth flowing freely, and they’re coming back to a TV screen near you.

Often funny, sometimes shocking but always enlightening, the second series of Sewermen airs on Thursday 30 April at 9pm on Paramount Network (Freeview Channel 31; Freesat 132 and Sky 150).

This fly-on-the-wall documentary gets down and dirty with the hard-working folk from the North West’s regional water and wastewater firm, United Utilities.

Filmed by Label1 TV, the brains behind the BBC’s award-winning documentary series Hospital, Sewermen brings back some favourite characters from last season and introduces viewers to new stars in the making.

United Utilities’ bog-busting army of men and women deal with more than 21,000 domestic wastewater blockages a year. From smelly unmentionables to clumps of rags and greasy blockages, these wastewater warriors never know what they’ll find.

This time the spotlight also shines on the firms’ crack team of specially-trained filth-busters at work. These brave guys and girls travel the region cleaning some of the dirtiest and trickiest sewers and tanks so that they’re fit to fight another day.

Viewers also get a bird’s-eye view of a mammoth feat of engineering as the water company starts the multi-million pound revamp of the Haweswater Aqueduct which pipes 570 million litres of water from the Lakes through Cumbria, Lancashire and into Greater Manchester every day.

Among the shows stars are engineering head honcho, John Hilton, and big pipe expert John Dawson, who contend with driving rain and gale-force winds as they manage construction of key sections of this 109km pipeline.

Filth aficionado’s fear not, there’s also lots more fun and games with the firms’ poo patrol who get down and dirty in our drains to clear blockages and stop sewer flooding.

This series sees blockage busting duo Stuart Quinn and Ian Goulding avert a possible poonami at Blackburn Rovers football club and a team of fat-busters clearing Manchester’s city centre sewer of a foul-smelling build-up of FOG – fats, oils and grease.

To make the programme, Label1 cameras got unique behind the scenes access to United Utilities’ 5,000 employees and almost 120,000 kilometres of pipes from Carlisle to Crewe.

United Utilities Customer Services Director, Louise Beardmore, said: “This show is a window into our world and shines a light on the essential service we provide. It’s a great opportunity for people to see what we do every day to keep the water flowing for customers.

“Water company staff are among the army of key workers making sure the UK continues to have the vital services it needs during the current COVID-19 crisis. Thousands of our people continue to be out on the UK’s streets carrying out critical maintenance, laying new pipes, finding and fixing leaks and unblocking sewers.”

Label1 Series Editor, Helen White, said: “We were privileged to capture a second series of Sewermen following the everyday heroes at United Utilities who keep our taps running and toilets flushing. We’ve filmed more great stories this year from technicians battling blocked drains to engineers tackling burst pipes and huge engineering projects. We’d like to say a heartfelt thank you to all staff and customers who took part in or helped with filming.”

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