Pipeline dog can detect mercapten


Bill Allen, a dog trainer in Saskatchewan, offers pipeline sniffing services among the abilities that his dogs can perform. He paid a visit to the Weyburn Rotary Club recently with his pup Ruff, who’s almost two years of age, and explained how he got into the specialized business and what things are involved in offering the said service. Allen was once a part of a search and rescue group back in Alberta and was shown how dog training can become very beneficial. He also explained how his dog sniffs for pipeline leaks. They don’t look for gas (which is toxic but odourless) but for the tracer element mercaptan instead because it is harmless but has a particular stench. Manufacturers purposely mix mercaptan into natural gas and propane so it can be detected and is designed to go out to the point of leak and go straight up. This meant that Allen and his dog need to walk the length of the pipeline, and if the dog smells any of the mercaptan smell that’s familiar to him coming up from the ground, he will sit down to let his master know. For the full story, click here

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