In Situ Detection of Sewage Pollution and Its Sources in Aquatic Ecosystems
Sewage discharges pose a threat to human, animal, and ecosystem health, and disrupt recreational pursuits like fishing and beachgoing. Environmental Canine Services, LLC selects, trains and fields dog-handler teams to source track sewage from leaking sewer lines, faulty septic systems, and illicit pipe connections. The teams cost-effectively locate or isolate sewage discharge sources far more quickly than standard methods (e.g., in hours/days). Information about the origins of this application, the types of dogs sought and used, elements of handler training and testing, and types of stakeholders partnered with to date is also provided. Recommendations are made for further research into the scent components of this target, and to better assess individual dog performances, with an aim of promoting greater use of this effective but still underutilized application.
KeywordsDog Detection Water monitoring Water quality Water pollution Illicit sewage input Sewage discharge Sewage detection Aquatic ecosystems Stormwater Septic Septage
We thank Laurie Van De Werfhorst and Jill Murray for their contribution to this chapter (Box 5.1 and Table 5.1), and for their enthusiasm and open-mindedness to incorporating dogs into sewage detection efforts.
- Murray, J., & Holden, P. (2012). Tools for tracking human fecal pollution in urban storm drains. Report prepared for the city of Santa Barbara, Creeks Division. In partnership with: University of California, Santa Barbara Creeks, and Beaches. Santa Barbara, CA, 16 pp. Available at https://www.santabarbaraca.gov/civicax/filebank/blobdload.aspx?BlobID=16722. Accessed 7 Jan 2018.
- Pitt, R. (2004). Illicit discharge detection and elimination: A guidance manual for program development and technical assessments. The Center for Watershed Protection, University of Alabama, 378 pp. Available at https://www3.epa.gov/npdes/pubs/idde_manualwithappendices.pdf. Accessed 7 Jan 2018.
- Reynolds, S. D., Christian, D. P., & Reynolds, K. G. (2008, May 12–16). Illicit discharge detection is going to the dogs. Proceedings of the world environmental and water resources congress, Honolulu, Hawaii, American Society of Civil Engineers.Google Scholar