All you need to know about Kep, our newest (and furriest) employee!
This is Kep, Australia's first ever leak detection dog. We recruited her to help us detect leaks in underground water mains, where usual methods of detection aren’t as effective.
After successfully completing her training in New South Wales, she recently arrived in Perth.
Kep and her handler will travel around the state covering specific sections of pipes each day, as part of a planned work program. Once Kep has detected a leak, the area will be recorded and our crews will carry out repairs.
|Kep and the Minister for Water, Dave Kelly
||Kep with her handlers
Read the media release
Leak detection dogs are a cost effective method of detecting leaks in long underground pipes, where current leak detection methods are ineffective and expensive.
With around 34,000 km of water mains state-wide, we are always looking at new and innovative ways to detect leaks in our schemes. Finding and mitigating leaks can help us reduce the amount of water lost in this way.
We asked Western Australians to help us choose a name from a shortlist of five, via a poll on our Facebook page. Kep was the winning name, and is the Noongar word for ‘water’.
Kep is an English springer spaniel, and is the daughter of Tommy – an experienced detection dog who took part in our initial trial in June 2017. English springer spaniels were traditionally bred as hunting dogs, but are widely used today as sniffer dogs. They’re perfect for this role due to their amazing sense of smell, work drive and ability to cover rough terrain.
Kep will live with her qualified handler in a purpose-built dog run that’s safe, secure and protected from the elements. At the end of the work day she will be tired, happy, and ready for peace and quiet as well as a good sleep!
Kep will have a qualified handler, trained in animal ethics and care. The handler will ensure Kep is always feeling her best, and gets plenty of water and rest breaks. Kep will also be highly obedience trained, so she can listen to her handler’s commands and keep safe at all times. Kep will be trained to keep at least 5m away from snakes, and will sense them coming much sooner than a human!