26 September 2023

Leaky water pipes to go to the dogs

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Sydney Water is training two pedigree hunting puppies to sniff out hidden leaks in the city’s sewage and wastewater networks.

Minister for Water, Property and Housing, Melinda Pavey said the puppies may be cute but they were both being trained for a very important job.

Mrs Pavey said Winnie, a highly intelligent Cocker Spaniel, and Ziggy, an energetic English springer spaniel, were the first dogs in Australia to detect both leaks and odours in the wastewater network.

“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 the environment,” she said.

“As far 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.”

Mrs Pavey said the dogs had undergone months of intensive training with one of the country’s leading dog trainers, Steve Austin in Sydney.

“These highly-trained puppies will complement the existing approaches being used by our Sydney Water workforce, ensuring our water and wastewater services continue running reliably for the millions of people depending on these services every day,” the Minister said.

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