BLASTING blockages, blitzing fatbergs and keeping pipes in tip-top condition are just a few of the tasks allocated to a new team of sewer superheroes.

Water and wastewater firm, United Utilities, has recently recruited 22 new drain busters at its Lingley Mere site to speed up its response to sewer blockages or odours.

The new key workers will cover the 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."

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.”

Tom Smith, aged 19, joins the team 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 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.”

Hannah Wieland, aged 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.

Hannah said: “I'm really enjoying the role so far, although I'm still unsure if hi-vis is doing anything for me!

“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."