"FAIR HAVEN, N.J. — Some specially trained dogs are helping humans curb themselves.
A company that has trained dogs to recognize the smell of human fecal bacteria has been sniffing out sources of water pollution nationwide, discovering broken sewer pipes, leaking septic tanks and illegal sewage discharges, to the delight of environmental groups and government agencies.
Conventional water sampling tests take 24 hours at a laboratory, and often must be duplicated to ensure their accuracy. Testing of sewer systems with dye or smoke takes days and is costly. But the dogs give an instant yes-or-no indication as to whether a particular location is contaminated with the bacteria.
Using dogs rescued from shelters and specially trained to detect human waste in the same way other dogs are trained to sniff out drugs or explosives, the dogs of Otisfield, Maine-based Environmental Canine Services are always looking out for No. 2."