Energy company Vattenfall has started a trial using dogs to sniff out small leaks in its district heating network in Almere.
A large part of Almere is dependent on a hot water-based heating system but it is difficult to detect leaks in the pipes, Vattenfall technical specialist Mark Spithorst told local broadcaster Omroep Flevoland.
“Big breaks are easy to spot because water would pour out, or there would be subsidence. But small leaks, which happen much more often, go undetected because the water is absorbed by the soil,” he said.
Small leaks can be found by measuring ground temperature, Spithorst said, but that takes time because the whole network has to be checked.
By training a dog, such as Tucker, to sniff out water, the process can be done much quicker, handler Wesley Visscher said.
“A dog can distinguish between the smell of ordinary water and the smell of the city heating system because it contains various minerals which the dog can detect.”
Once a leak has been found it is marked, and repairs can begin.
People who see Visscher and his dog often think they are looking for drugs, he said. “But once you explain what you are doing they are impressed,” he said.
The trial lasts until the end of the year and, if successful, will be rolled out in other parts of the country as well.
Thank you for donating to DutchNews.nl.
We could not provide the Dutch News service, and keep it free of charge, without the generous support of our readers. Your donations allow us to report on issues you tell us matter, and provide you with a summary of the most important Dutch news each day.Make a donation