Water companies are making use of divining rods to find underground water lines despite there being no medical evidence they work, an Oxford University scientist found.
Sally Le Page said the girl parents were surprised when a specialist used two “bent tent pegs” to find a mains pipe.
She approached all the UK’s water companies , and a majority confirmed engineers nevertheless use the centuries-old technique.
However , a number said the equipment had not been standard-issue equipment.
The using divining rods, also known as dowsing, has been in use for hundreds of years.
A dowser will typically support the rods, usually shaped like the notice Y, while walking over property and being alert for any motion to find water.
Major biologist Ms Le Page, in whose parents live in Stratford-upon-Avon, first contacted Severn Trent Water via Twitter .
It replied: “We’ve found that some of the older strategies are just as effective than the brand new ones, but we do use drones as well, and now satellites. ”
Other companies which gave an identical response were:
- Anglian Water
- Thames Water
- Scottish Water
- Southern Water
- Welsh Drinking water
- United Utilities
- Yorkshire Water
Microsoft Le Page said: “I still cannot state this enough: there is no clinically rigorous, doubly blind evidence that will divining rods work.
“Isn’t it a bit silly that will big companies are still using miracle to do their jobs? ”
In a statement issued later on, Severn Trent said: “We shouldn’t issue divining rods but we all believe some of our engineers make use of them. ”
All the businesses emphasised they do not encourage the use of divining rods nor issue them to technical engineers, and said modern methods for example drones and listening devices had been preferred.
Northern Ireland in europe Water, Northumbrian Water, South West Drinking water and Wessex Water said their particular engineers do not use them.