“We treat 4.4 billion gallons of sewage a year. We have about 200 miles of pipe we maintain. We send a robot in at least once every five years to inspect from the inside,” said Michael Gianforte, executive director of the Two Rivers Water Reclamation Authority. The authority also uses lasers and sonar to check the condition of the pipes.
But now assisting in the task are Kai and Remi, dogs that are trained to sniff out human fecal pollution anywhere, on land or water.
“That can be from damaged sewer lines or from septic tanks that are not being properly maintained,” said Alison McCarthy, coastal watershed protection coordinator of Clean Water Action. “It can also be from illicit connections from people’s homes into the stormwater system.”