Dogs to do leakage detection

The feasibility of using trained sniffer dogs to cut gas leak detection times and avoid unnecessary excavations is to be explored in a new study by Northern Gas Networks (NGN).

Dogs to do leakage detection

Paw Patrol, a network innovation allowance funded project, is to build on the previous project ‘Gas Detection Dogs’ to investigate how sniffer dogs can be practically deployed to assist gas engineers in undertaking field operations.

The project will cost £12,959 and last for four months. NGN said the prospect of utilising dogs could be “game-changing”, not just for how it conducts business but also how it engages with stakeholders.

Gas Detection Dogs established that dogs can be trained to detect very small concentrations of mercaptan, the odour given to odourless domestic natural gas.

Field trials will be carried out at a test site on NGN’s network at Clay Flatts in Cumbria. The site is an old gas storage facility with a number of pipelines which can be used to supply gas in order to simulate real-life leakage situations.

The trials will test the dog’s performance, accuracy, sensitivity and suitability in a variety of operational scenarios. Avoiding excavations would have financial, environmental and safety benefits.


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