Water Corporation welcomes its first furry and four-legged employee [Minister]
- In an Australian-first, the Water Corporation has employed its own leak detection dog
- Minister presents Kep with ID badge and welcomes her to the Water Corporation
- Kep will play an important role in helping to detect leaks in below ground water mains
Water Minister Dave Kelly has welcomed Kep, the Water Corporation's first four-legged employee - and the first dog to be employed by an Australian water utility - who will work as a leak detection specialist.
Kep is a female springer spaniel and her name was chosen by the Western Australian community. More than 7,000 people voted on Facebook to name the dog, with 'Kep' being the Noongar word for 'water'.
Ten-month-old Kep arrived from Sydney this week, after undergoing intensive training with one of Australia's leading dog trainers, Steve Austin. She has been trained to recognise the scent of scheme water, and ignore all other scents such as rain water, pipes and fittings. Her reward for finding the target scent is to chase a tennis ball.
The springer spaniel's employment follows a successful trial of leak detection dogs in regional areas by the Water Corporation in 2017. The trial was conducted to find an alternative to traditional leak detection technologies in regional areas, which are often not cost effective.
Kep will also be the furry face of the Water Corporation, helping to spread important water saving messages to schoolchildren through the Water Corporation's Waterwise Schools Program.
For more information, visit http://www.watercorporation.com.au/about-us/in-the-community/meet-kep
Comments attributed to Water Minister Dave Kelly:
"It was fantastic to present Kep with her ID badge this week, and welcome her to her new and exciting home at the Water Corporation.
"A trial last year estimated that the use of leak detection dogs in identifying broken water mains could be two times cheaper than other traditional methods.
"The Water Corporation manages more than 34,000 kilometres of water mains across 2.6 million square kilometres in WA - making it the largest water utility in the world in terms of the geographical area serviced.
"This is why they are always looking for new and innovative ways to detect leaks and save water. It's great to see the Water Corporation thinking outside the box and investing in research and development.
"Kep's first job will be to sniff out any leaks in about 400 kilometres of mains in areas around Dalwallinu, Pithara, Wongan Hills, Goomalling and Dowerin."
Contact: Minister's office
Phone: (08) 6552 6100