UK water companies admit to using dowsing to find water pipes

 
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18 December 2017 12:43
 

Ten of the 12 water companies in the UK have admitted they are still using the practice of water dowsing despite the lack of scientific evidence for its effectiveness.

The disclosure has prompted calls for the regulator to stop companies passing the cost of a discredited medieval practice on to their customers. Ofwat said any firm failing to meet its commitments to customers faced a financial penalty.

Dowsers, or water witchers, claim that their divining rods cross over when the presence of water is detected below ground. It is regarded as a pseudoscience, after numerous studies showed it was no better than chance at finding water.

Source:  https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/nov/21/uk-water-firms-admit-using-divining-rods-to-find-leaks-and-pipes

Get your dowsing rods at Amazon.com.  There’s one born every minute.

James Randi’s Educational Foundation gave up entertaining woo peddlers for their Million Dollar Challenge, and raised the bar for consideration.

Over the years, we have spent a great deal of time dealing with claims ranging from yet another dowsing claim to some VERY eccentric and untestable claims. The overwhelming majority refused to fill out the application or even state a claim that can be tested. Some of them show up in person and demand to be tested while they wait. We can no longer justify the resources to interact with these people.

 
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19 December 2017 05:46
 

If they would just read Nostradamus they would know where the pipes are.  It’s in there!

 
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19 December 2017 10:09
 
EN - 19 December 2017 05:46 AM

If they would just read Nostradamus they would know where the pipes are.  It’s in there!


That’s how they knew they were supposed to use dowsers, of course.

Geez ... you think these guys are amateurs or something!?

 
 
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19 December 2017 18:15
 
SkepticX - 19 December 2017 10:09 AM
EN - 19 December 2017 05:46 AM

If they would just read Nostradamus they would know where the pipes are.  It’s in there!


That’s how they knew they were supposed to use dowsers, of course.

Geez ... you think these guys are amateurs or something!?

Ah, well I have renewed respect for them now.

 
MARTIN_UK
 
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20 December 2017 00:18
 

What an embarrassment…

 
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20 December 2017 06:18
 
MARTIN_UK - 20 December 2017 12:18 AM

What an embarrassment…

Thanks, UK, for the momentary distraction from the daily embarrassment from the White House.

 
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20 December 2017 08:40
 

The well-driller who drilled my well asked me beforehand if I planned to use a dowser to find the best location. I asked him, “What do you suggest?” He said that in his many years experience drilling wells, the people who relied on dowsers had about the same success rate as people who didn’t. When I averred that this didn’t surprise me, he related the following story.

He’d always had a very productive well of his own right up until the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989. Immediately after that, it went dry. Having all the well-drilling equipment and plenty of land, he proceeded to drill a number of new holes, all of which turned up dry.

Now, despite his skepticism, my well-driller was friends with the president of the San Jose chapter of the American Society of Dowsers (or something like that). Each time he drilled another dry hole, his friend the president would chide him, “Let me witch your well for you!”

When he’d given up hope finding another productive location, my well-driller finally acceded. The president spent the next weekend eagerly traipsing all over my well-driller’s land with his dowsing rods. He finally chose the most remote spot on the property, way up on top of a hill with no access. After a considerable expenditure of time, money and effort carving a new road up to that location, my well-driller moved his rig in and started drilling. He spent several days going down eight hundred feet without finding a drop of moisture.

Now he buys his water from his neighbor, whose own well production improved after the earthquake.

I chose my spot based on elevation (for gravity pressure) and the presence of an enormous California bay laurel, a species of tree that likes a lot of water. Hit water at sixty-five feet.

 
 
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20 December 2017 11:52
 

I imagine with all the rain the UK gets that the island is practically floating, so finding water with dowsing is easy.

As for California, we just went through a nasty drought and I don’t recall hearing any dowsing stories saving us from it.