A WIDNES man has joined a water firm in a new apprenticeship as a water leak detective.

Harry Paxton, from Cronton, has joined United Utilities as a new apprentice within a taskforce to locate and stop leaks.

Twenty two new apprentices have now joined the taskforce to protect the North West’s resources.

Harry said: “The thing that has surprised me since joining United Utilities is how much work goes on in the background to keep people’s taps running.

“Another thing that has surprised me is how much water goes to waste.

“It has made me a lot more conscious of my own personal water consumption,” he adds.”

With the new role comes a range of new, modern technology to locate and prevent leaks. United Utilities has joined forces with invent tors to develop the use of FIDO, a sensor used to detect leaks through sound overnight.

Harry has since used an array of new technology to track down leaks. He said: “From specially-trained sniffer dogs who can literally smell leaking pipes to permanent loggers placed in pipes to detect sounds in the pipework, we have lots of kit at our fingertips nowadays,”

“I have used a range of different technology to track down leaks including a correlator, a ground microphone and a listening stick. “Listening sticks listen for auditory cues on the clean water network such as on hydrants and valves. In the presence of a leak, a ‘hissing’ sound is made which indicates there is a leak in the proximity,”

The water firm is committed to prevent leaks and reduce leakage by 15% by 2025.

United Utilities said: “Everyone can do their bit to conserve water: Only run the washing machine or dishwasher with a full load.”

“Have a four-minute shower, instead of a bath and turn the tap off when brushing teeth.

“Install a water butt to collect rainwater for watering the garden and water the garden early in the morning or in the evening, when it is cooler”.