New team of wastewater warriors taken on to tackle customer drain dilemmas

Blasting blockages, blitzing fatbergs and keeping our pipes in pukka condition are just a few of the tasks allocated to a crack new team of sewer superheroes.

Regional water and wastewater firm, United Utilities, has recently recruited 22 new drain busters to speed up its response to sewer blockages or odours. The new key workers will cover four main areas: Pennines, Lancashire, Manchester and Merseyside.

United Utilities’ drain performance manager, Dawn Bromley, said: “We’re delighted we could continue with our recruitment plans post-lockdown.

“These new recruits, some of whom had been furloughed by their previous employer due to coronavirus, will start their new roles at the end of June after an intensive training programme,” she added.

United Utilities’ drainage delivery manager, Sean Reid, said: “At a time when the region’s economy has been ravaged by coronavirus, we’re proud that we were able to offer new key worker roles to the external market and in particular to provide a role to someone from our social mobility programme, reaffirming our commitment to social sustainability in the North West.”

Nineteen-year-old Tom Smith, from Liverpool, joins the team of blockage technicians from United Utilities’ Social Mobility Access programme which supports 18 to 24 year olds who are either ‘Not in Education, Employment, or Training’ (NEET), or who work part-time.

Tom, who previously worked part-time in retail, said: “I’m really enjoying the practical side of the training and meeting members of the team and I’m looking forward to putting the training into practice.”

United Utilities’ social mobility manager, Katie Moffatt, explained: “Tom was recognised as someone who had fantastic potential but needed additional support with his CV and interview techniques.

“We’re really pleased to see one of our participants successfully gain employment especially during this challenging time.”

Hannah Wieland, 24, from Widnes, has worked for United Utilities since she was 18. She was attracted to her new role as a blockage technician as it is out in the field on the wastewater network.

“I'm really enjoying the role so far, although I'm still unsure if Hi-Vis is doing anything for me!” commented Hannah.

“My previous role meant I had to intercept customer contacts before they became a complaint. I loved this role and it definitely inspired me to want to use my customer service skills face-to-face,” she added.

Dawn Bromley said: “We're the North West's water and wastewater company which means it's our job to keep the taps flowing and the toilets flushing for three million homes and 200,000 businesses across the region.

“If you’ve got a mind for fresh ideas, love thinking outside the box and fancy learning some new skills then a career with us could be your next big adventure.”