Warrington wastewater workers get shot at TV fame

Two wastewater workers from Warrington are starring in the second series of Sewermen which celebrates the everyday heroes poking through our poo to clear blockages and keep our filth flowing freely.

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

In this Thursday’s [7 May] episode, fatberg expert, James Devereux, who lives in Warrington, tackles a mammoth build-up of fat that’s taken up residence in a major sewer under Manchester city centre.

James, 34, says he really enjoyed the whole experience: “It was good fun, the production crew were great at helping us relax in front of the camera, and made it like they weren’t even there,” he explains.
“I forgot the microphone was on continuously, while taking a break I started singing to myself in my car. I’m hoping that bit hasn’t made the final cut,” he adds.

The fly-on-the-wall documentary gets down and dirty with the hard-working folk from Warrington-based regional water and wastewater firm, United Utilities.
In a future episode, Bunty Hebbar, who lives in Latchford, Warrington, is also captured on camera as he starts his first shift out on the road having previously worked in the company’s customer call centre.

Bunty says: “I found the whole experience very exciting and different. It's something I never thought I'd be doing but thoroughly enjoyed it. The camera crew made me feel at ease.”

Filmed by award-winning production company, Label1 TV, the brains behind the BBC’s award-winning documentary series Hospital, the second series of 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.

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.

“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.”