London is currently in training to become our very first K9 leak detection specialist. Over the next 18 months London will learn how to detect hidden leaks and odours using his unique gift of an exceptional ability and over 100 million scent receptors in his snout to smell!
A leak detection dog is essentially a sniffer dog, expertly trained to sniff out hard to detect water leaks, such as burst pipes.
These specialist dogs are trained to identify certain scents such as chlorine and wet earth, which is how they are able to distinguish leaks from naturally occurring waterways.
Impressively, they can detect leaks located meters away, in dense bushland and even underground! The bigger the leak, the farther away they’ll be able to smell it.
Once the dog has identified the leak that isn’t visible to the untrained eye (or human nose!), we are able to use technology and manpower to head straight to the source and carry out the maintenance required.
With many mechanical methods for leak detection, you may be wondering why use a dog?
Leak detection dogs are able to detect leaks that are completely out of sight. Compared to other methods, these highly skilled dogs are more consistent and precise in locating leaks above and underground, saving a great deal of time, resources and manpower. When trained, they have been proven to accurately detect leaks at a range of 96-99%.
According to Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology, non-revenue water losses sit at around 10%, with leaks in the systems network accounting for a significant amount of that. Catching them early and reducing leaks significantly reduces Australia’s water wastage, benefiting the environment and ensuring water and wastewater networks are running efficiently.
Treated like a game of hide and seek, the dogs thoroughly enjoy going to work every day. Rewarded with a game of fetch once a leak has been detected, this really is a dogs dream job!
We look forward to keeping you updated on London’s progress, you can follow him on Instagram @London_the_weimaraner for the #pupdates!