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Meet the pooch sniffing out water leaks close to your home!

PUBLISHED: 17:00 07 January 2019

Denzel, a three-year-old old springer spaniel, is being drafted into the Essex and Suffolk Water leakage detection team to help sniff out and locate leaks on the water company’s pipe network. Photo: Essex and Suffolk Water

Denzel, a three-year-old old springer spaniel, is being drafted into the Essex and Suffolk Water leakage detection team to help sniff out and locate leaks on the water company's pipe network. Photo: Essex and Suffolk Water

Essex and Suffolk Water

Denzel, a three-year-old old springer spaniel, is being drafted in to sniff out leaks close to where you live.

Denzel, a three-year-old old springer spaniel sniffing out a leak. Photo: Essex and Suffolk WaterDenzel, a three-year-old old springer spaniel sniffing out a leak. Photo: Essex and Suffolk Water

What has four legs, a wet nose, and absolutely loves sniffing out leaks?

Essex and Suffolk Water’s newest team member and secret weapon when it comes to the battle against leakage, that’s who!

Denzel, a three-year-old old springer spaniel, is being drafted into the Essex and Suffolk Water leakage detection team to help sniff out and locate leaks on the water company’s pipe network.

Denzel has been through a rigorous training programme with his handlers Luke Jones and Ross Stephenson of Cape SPC (specialist pet control) so he is now an expert on leaky pipes.

Luke and Ross are both ex-military dog trainers and have trained him to recognise the tiniest traces of chlorine used to disinfect water supplies.

They have also trained Denzel’s colleague Snipe, a two-year-old cocker spaniel who works with Denzel on a daily basis.

Denzel searches land where the water pipes are laid and when he thinks he’s picked up the scent of a leak he alerts his handlers and the detection teams and they can carry out further investigation to hopefully find and fix the leaks.

Essex and Suffolk Water network performance specialist Joe Butterfield said: “We are so excited to have Denzel as part of the team here and can’t wait to see what he can do.

“We’ve seen so many stories where working and searching dogs have produced results for the likes of the police and the military that it would be foolish of us not to give this a try and to see if the technique can be applied to our supply area.

“We are always looking for new and innovative ways to save water and detect leaks and recruiting Denzel to the team is a fantastic example of this!”

Denzel’s handler Luke Jones said: “Using dogs to search for drugs and explosives is well known, but there are a host of other applications that we are only just starting to explore. We’re really excited by the progress Denzel and Snipe have made over the last six months.

“Cape SPC are continually reviewing results and data with hope to building a strong case study which evidences the benefits of this asset.”

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