Watermen: A dirty business

Tessa Smith - Web banner watermen

Watermen: a dirty business’was a series of six hour-long programmes shown on BBC2 during Spring 2014, featuring employees from United Utilities.

The series was filmed over the period of a year, following our teams as they work to keep the taps flowing and toilets flushing for our 7 million customers across the North West.

We’re incredibly proud of the work we do and are delighted to have the chance to share the passion and dedication of our teams and the issues and challenges they face on a daily basis.

If you’ve missed any episodes or just want to watch your favourite again, you can see them on BBC iPlayer.

If you saw the series, come talk to us on Twitter or Facebook and let us know what you think (don’t be shy!) using the hashtag #watermen, or find answers to your questions and meet the team below.


Andy and Terry Meet our stars

Keeping the taps flowing and toilets flushing is not a job for the faint of heart. Meet our fabulous stars for whom no job is too large, small or revolting.


Adrian and Wes Episode one

It’s Britain’s hottest summer in seven years. ‘Cooling off’ brings dangers for our network team and the sewers are heating up, with unpleasant consequences for Adrian and Wes…Find out more about what they get up to in episode one.


Leak detectionEpisode Two

Focusing on the men and women who take our calls, come to unblock the drains and keep the sewage flowing. This episode is all about fat. Find out more about what we get up to in episode two.


Vic & Babs Episode Three

In the world of water there is never a dull day, from broken sewers, to raw sewage polluting a river. This episode sees our teams keep calm and carry on in the face of potential disaster.


John Dawson in training facilityEpisode Four

From collapsed Victorian sewers to 1970s pipes giving way under increased demand, this episode is a lesson in history as the United Utilities workforce try to cope with an ageing grid of 40,000 miles of sewers and 25,000 miles of water mains.


Tessa Smith Episode Five

From a collapsed sewer under a lucrative holiday home in Blackpool, to a rain-soaked team in Preston, this episode sees the watermen dive underground and under water as they do all they can to prevent upheaval for customers, come rain or come shine.


Watermen episode 6Episode Six

The grand finale! This episode features a dramatic solution to algae problems in a reservoir, job interviews, what to do with a fatberg and fond farewells all round.




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