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Sydney Water enlists leak detection dogs

Two pedigree hunting dogs trained to detect hidden leaks and odours are now working across Sydney’s wastewater network.

Named Winnie and Ziggy, the two dogs will be complimenting the existing approaches used by the Sydney Water workforce to ensure the regions water and wastewater services continue running reliably.

The New South Wales Minister for Water, Property and Housing Melinda Pavey said not only are the dogs both very cute, they are training for a very important job.

Leak detection dog Ziggy.

“Winnie and Ziggy will help us to find and fix hidden leaks from the 26,000 kilometres of wastewater network, which if left undetected can lead to overflows into our creeks, waterways and environment,” said Mrs Pavey.

“As far as we know, no other water utility around the world has trained dogs to detect leaks and odours at levels as low as these dogs can detect.

“Winnie and Ziggy are able to identify the presence of sewage in minute concentrations, even when we might think it is okay.”

Sydney Water General Manager of Customer, Strategy and Engagement Maryanne Graham said the dogs have an unbelievable sense of smell so when the utility’s regular methods are restricted – by access for example – it can use the dogs to investigate and identify leaks instead.

The two dogs have undergone months of intensive training with one of Australia’s leading dog trainers, Steve Austin, who Ms Graham said will also be training a new puppy called Splash.

Splash will be taught to find leaks on the water network using the small of chloring to disinfect drinking water, which will be a first in NSW.

For more information visit the Sydney Water website.

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