Victorian device still spotting leaks

A crack team of leak detectives has tracked down and plugged more than 18,000 hidden pipe leaks in the North West over the past 12 months - thanks to a device that has been used since the Victorian era.

Listening for leaks ...
Listening for leaks ...

The team from United Utilities saved an average of 900 million litres of water using wooden “listening sticks.”

The long wooden sticks with an ear-trumpet style end vibrate when a leak is detected, producing a distinctive sound.

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They have been deployed for more than 100 years and are still a staple for modern leakage engineers.

Digital sensors and remotely operated pressure monitoring equipment are also used to turn the tide on hidden leaks.