Thursday, May 16, 2024


Mackay and Whitsunday Life


In a first for the local area, Mackay Regional Council will recruit the help of two very clever canines to detect water leaks.
Don’t worry, council hasn’t gone barking mad, Bubbles and Splash from NTS Group are two highly trained spaniels able to sniff out potential water leaks.
Together with the help of their diligent handlers they will cover approximately 63 kilometres of water mains in the City Centre precinct, South Mackay and East Mackay areas over the next two weeks.
Besides being adorable, these two pooches are incredibly accurate and quick at detecting a leak early and leading crews right to the source.
Splash specialises in potable water leaks while Bubbles can also detect wastewater leaks.
Mayor Greg Williamson said council was excited to hire the expertise of Bubbles and Splash to assist crews.
“This method has been used by other councils further south and is highly effective, not to mention cost saving,” Mayor Williamson said.
“Leaks can be detected without shutting down networks, digging up roads and interrupting businesses and households,” he said.
“A lot of the water mains in the City Centre area are aging mains that are prone to leaks. Using the dogs will help us to prioritise planned upgrades.
“The skills these dogs have is really impressive – they are able to sniff out chlorine in potable water so they can differentiate between water leaking from a pipe underground and all other types of water on the surface.
“This means the dogs can detect leaks even in heavy rain.
“The dogs are also particularly helpful in areas where it’s difficult to send out crews – like bushland where it can be hard to access – so this may be something we will undertake also.
“Once the dogs detect a potential leak, field crews can be sent out to investigate and repair.”
If you see Bubbles and Splash around Mackay over the next two weeks, you’ll know they aren’t barking up the wrong tree, they’re hard at work!

Handler Troy Meehan with Splash, the water leak detecting canine, from NTS Group with Mayor Greg Williamson putting Splash's unique skill to the test

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