Four-legged answer to water loss

Yorkshire Water’s Ian Lloyd, leakage team leader, left, and Simon Redfern, leakage manager with CAPE dogs, Denzel and Kilo.

by ANTONY CLAY

WE all know that dogs love water. Well, there are some dogs who have been given the chance to spend a lot of time with it.

Yorkshire Water has taken on some four-legged staff members to help it track down leaks.

In the company’s bid to cut down on wasted water, it has started a trial using specialist sniffer dogs to find leaks in rural areas.

The puddle-finding pooches will improve the speed and accuracy of leak detection by surveying around 4km of pipeline per day.

Springer spaniels Denzel and Kilo will search for specific scents that are associated with treated clean water, including chlorine used in the water treatment process.

Yorkshire Water’s Katrina Flavell, technical specialist, innovation, left, CAPE SPC’s Luke Jones, middle, and Yorkshire Water’s Ian Lloyd, leakage team leader, with CAPE dogs, Denzel and Kilo.

The project is seeing Yorkshire Water team up with CAPE SPC to pilot the use of the sniffer dogs.

The water company is looking to reduce leakage by 15 per cent by 2025, reducing waste and saving customers money on their bills and the sniffer dog initiative is one of a number of strategies to achieve this goal.

Martyn Hattersley, head of leakage operations at Yorkshire Water, said: “We’re looking forward to working our new team mates, Denzel and Kilo, during the trial as they help us to locate losses from large diameter pipes in rural areas and reduce water being lost by underground leaks.

“These leaks can often go unnoticed for longer than we would like as the water remains underground. In rural areas the dogs from CAPE will sniff out the leaks we can’t see above ground.”

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