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Thames Water and Severn Trent Water are still using dowsing to find leaks

Most UK water companies have dropped the scientifically discredited method of dowsing to find water leaks, but Thames Water and Severn Trent Water say they still use it


27 January 2023

A water engineer uses copper divining rods to trace the course of an underground pipe

Some water engineers in the UK still use divining rods to trace water leaks

Alex Ramsay/Alamy

Thames Water and Severn Trent Water are still use dowsing rods to detect leaks despite scientific studies showing that the method is ineffective.

A 2017 investigation found that 10 out of 12 water companies were regularly using water dowsing to detect leaks, prompting criticism from some academics that regulators should step in to stop the practice of “witchcraft” at customers’ cost.

New Scientist has now found that, more than five years later, most of the 19 …

Source link In recent days it has been revealed that two of Britain’s major water companies, Thames Water and Severn Trent Water, are still using an ancient technique known as dowsing to search for water leaks. In this method water diviners use tools such as bent rods or even their own hands to quantify the presence of water in the ground.

First reports of dowsing go as far back as the 15th century and more recently it has been a popular topic of conversation among those interested in alternative therapies, especially during the New Age movement in the 1970s.

The use of dowsing in the modern world has come under fire from sceptics in the scientific community for its perceived lack of scientific reliability. However its use has not just been restricted to locating water sources. In the agricultural industry; farmers have used it to treat pests, balance the soil and even discover mineral wealth. In recent years some gas companies have used it to locate gas pipelines, highlighting its perceived effectiveness when used by those with experience.

Thames Water and Severn Trent Water have defended their use of dowsing technicians, claiming that these people have a high success rate when finding leaks. This technique is particularly useful when all other methods fail, such as scan cameras, because it allows them to quickly locate and fix the issue.

In conclusion, dowsing as a technique remains controversial, but continues to be used by Thames Water and Severn Trent Water as a tool to quickly locate water leaks. Despite scepticism, many people claim its use is successful when used by experienced and skilled technicians, highlighting the potential for dowsing in the modern world.

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