“A show about people who wade through faeces for a living,” as The Independent would have it, the programme is a rare opportunity for the general public to get better acquainted with the people who keep the water system running.
Filmed during the 2013 heatwave, stars of the show include John Butcher, the company’s regional aqueducts manager and “self-confessed pipeline anorak”.
Butcher’s job is to care for United Utilities’ 1,000km of large diameter trunk mains including the enormous Haweswater Aqueduct.
To make the programme, the production company Mentorn got unique camera access to United Utilities’ 5,000 employees and hundreds more partner staff and customers across the North West from Carlisle to Crewe.
Hannah Wyatt, Executive Producer for the show, said: “Without clean water we couldn’t survive. It’s easy to think it just falls from the sky and someone collects it but in fact it’s a huge and complex operation from customer services to ground breaking engineering projects. The series goes behind-the-scenes of this process and meets the unsung heroes who keep our taps flowing.”
The first episode of Watermen: A Dirty Business was broadcast at 9pm on Tuesday, 15th April on BBC Two, and the series has been continuing on Tuesdays at 9pm.