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Episode 4

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.

In Blackpool, Andy and Terry deal with an ancient collapsed sewer which has caused a pavement to subside before tackling a rather pungent blocked sewer. A 40-year-old water main in Cheshire bursts, leaving two thousand irate villagers without water. Meanwhile in Rochdale, waste water team Adrian and Wes investigate a blocked Victorian sewer which is overflowing onto a main road. However, these problems are a learning curve for some, as the aqueduct which supplies Manchester's water supply is turned off for the first time in 60 years to check for repairs. It is a jaw-dropping thought that the 4,000 men who originally built the tunnel had none of the technology team have nowadays, a testament to the skill and engineering still relied upon today.

Release date:

1 hour

Last on

Tue 10 Jun 2014 00:50
BBC Two Scotland


Role Contributor
Executive ProducerHannah Wyatt
Series ProducerSimon Kerfoot