Ten out of 12 water utilities within the United Kingdom admitted that their technicians use divining rods to find underground leaks or water pipes, in accordance to an investigation by science blogger Sally Le Page.
Dowsing is a centuries-old approach for finding underground water. Someone trying to find water holds two parallel sticks—or typically a single Y-shaped stick—referred to as divining rods whereas strolling in an space the place there may be water beneath the floor. The branches supposedly twitch when they’re over a water supply.
Needless to say, there’s zero scientific proof that this system truly works higher than random probability. But Le Page received a bunch of UK water corporations to admit that their technicians nonetheless make use of the superstitious apply.
Le Page heard from her mother and father, who stay in Stratford-upon-Avon, technician from their water firm, Severn Trent Water, had been utilizing a divining rod to resolve whether or not to do work within the space. Curious, Le Page tweeted at Severn Trent’s Twitter account to see if the utility actually had technicians utilizing the age-old approach.
“We do have some techs that also have them within the van and use them if they want to,” the corporate tweeted. “However, we want to use listening sticks and different strategies.”
Curious, Le Page despatched inquiries to 11 different main water corporations within the UK. Amazingly, 10 of them confirmed that their technicians typically use divining rods to detect leaks, whereas simply two—Northern Ireland Water and Wessex Water—stated they by no means use the approach.
This did not sit effectively with Le Page.
“You might simply chuckle this off. Isn’t it a bit foolish that massive corporations are nonetheless utilizing magic to do their jobs,” she wrote. “Except if they get it unsuitable, that might imply the distinction between a whole city having secure consuming water or not.”