IOT-Enabled Legionella Control

Real-time water monitoring=cheap/accurate Legionella control

Reduced risk of Legionella outbreaks is the key benefit, resulting in better public safety; cloud dashboard & predictive analytics allow real-time risk alerting and job scheduling.

 

Company Name

SPICA Technologies Ltd

Reference Number 2085

Market Sectors:

Energy, Health, Health and Safety, IT & Telecoms

Operational Areas

Health & Safety
 

Commercial Solutions

Ensure Compliance
Improve Customer Care
Increase Efficiency
Mitigate Risk
Reduce Cost
 

Commercial Opportunities

Seeking Alliance, Seeking Distribution, Seeking Funding

Speed to Market

Immediate
 

SPICA have developed a unique solution to tackle the huge risk associated with Legionella in public buildings, with a focus on healthcare facilities. Rather than traditional manual monitoring techniques, which are costly and inefficient, SPICA are connecting devices to water pipes, which send real-time readings on temperature and water flow into the devicepoint dashboard; in turn providing analytics reporting functionality and workflow alerts to ensure rapid threat management. This trailblazing IOT solution offers huge cost savings, better accuracy to exceed regulatory requirements, and a pro-active approach to tackling this widespread health risk.

Temperature Monitoring for Legionella - Background

Health and safety legislation mandates that all employers, or people in control of premises, take appropriate steps to mitigate and deal with risks associated with Legionella bacteria. Fundamental elements of an effective control method for Legionella include:

  • Avoiding water temperatures that favour the growth of legionella and other micro-organisms
  • Ensuring that water does not stagnate anywhere in the pipe system
  • Keeping accurate records

A critical element of the control regime involves monitoring the temperature of water at certain points of the pipe system - this is currently a largely manual and error-prone activity. It is also costly; on average, organisations spend approximately £18 per month per monitoring point to collect and analyse a small snapshot of data. There are several challenges with this approach:

  • Monitoring is manually intensive, so monitoring more (or all) of the pipe system is unfeasible
  • Manual monitoring, even when data-loggers are used, can be inaccurate
  • Only the data that was collected during monitoring can be analysed - there is no information that describes the behaviour of the pipe system at other times, and risks may go unnoticed. The incubation period of Legionella is only 10 days in water between 20 and 45 degrees centigrade, and since many organisations only monitor a small subset of the pipe system once per month, potential risks can go unnoticed.

SPICA’s devicepoint™ for Healthy Water is a much more efficient risk management tool, as part of a Legionella control regime. It constantly monitors the temperature of sections of pipe work, eliminates all of the manual work of reading and recording pipe temperature measurements, and provides a vastly superior picture of likely risks and pipe system usage.

How our Solution Works

We attach small temperature sensors to the surface of hot and cold water pipes at specified points in the pipe system. Those sensors constantly collect pipe surface temperature data and ambient temperature data and transmit the sensor information to the SPICA devicepoint™ cloud platform. The data is stored and analysed in real-time, which allows the platform to pro-actively alert the appropriate staff members of risks, identify potential stagnant sections of the pipe system, and produce completely accurate monthly reports.

The sensors are battery powered and use a secured wireless network (SIGFOX) to communicate – there is no need to connect individual sensors to an open WiFi network, and our low power technology means that the sensors will continue to operate for several years before batteries need to be replaced.

The solution is entirely non-destructive - no changes to the pipe network, puncturing pipes, power or network cables are required, and customers are encouraged to trial the solution, free of charge, for one month.

Benefits

Cost savings

On average, our research shows our monitoring solution is between 40-60% cheaper than traditional, manual methods.

Accuracy

Manual monitoring is notoriously inaccurate. It requires someone to accurately read a temperature value, note it on a piece of paper, and then subsequently incorporate the results into a written report. In addition, the behaviour of the pipe system outside of the manual monitoring window is completely unknown.

Completeness and better safety

A single once-per-month 2-minute snapshot of pipe temperature does not provide a complete picture of the pipe system behaviour, and in some cases will fail to detect a legionella risk since the incubation period of Legionella in certain conditions is only 10 days. Real-time data provides a much more accurate and complete picture of the pipe system behaviour and can alert people to the risk of legionella as soon as it (the risk) occurs.

Proactive

Having a constant, real-time, set of temperature data allows us to be much more proactive in our management of Legionella risk, and has some additional benefits:

  • Providing an up-to-date picture of outlets that are at risk and that should be investigated
  • Automatic notifications and alerts to staff to help implement proactive risk management
  • A complete, on-line history and audit of all data and all associated actions
  • Detecting which outlets need to be flushed for at least 2 minutes as part of a control regime, and more importantly which ones don’t (thus saving water)
  • Identify other risks – such as detected temperatures that exceed safe limits and pose a risk of scalding, or risks of freezing pipes.
  • Report on outlet usage, detecting outlets that are under used or where outlets have been left running

Ability to integrate directly into Building Management systems such as Maximo, as well as other enterprise applications e.g. SAP. 

 

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