Smart devices and data analysis make reporting easier and more accurate than ever for legionella control
Legionnaire’s Disease might sound like an illness from the past … perhaps belonging to the ages of smallpox, leprosy or gout. But caused by the waterborne bacterium Legionella, which can grow in building water systems, it is very much still with us today.
Building managers are obliged by law to monitor their systems for the risk of Legionella growth, and very effective best-practice guidelines have been developed to support them. The relatively low public awareness about Legionnaires Disease is a testament to their diligence in following these guidelines.
New developments in IoT technology, such as ZiggyTec’s Smart Legionella Control solutions, are set to transform legionella compliance activity, giving duty-holders new tools to increase the accuracy and frequency of reporting, while saving significant costs and resource wastage. But first, let’s have a look at the risk factors for Legionella, and traditional methods of mitigating them.
Risk Factors for Legionella
Legionnaires Disease is a type of pneumonia that can lead to serious disease. The bacteria can grow and spread in building water systems, such as sink taps, showerheads and large, complex plumbing systems.
Some risk factors for the growth and spread of Legionella include the storage or re-circulation of water as part of a building’s system; water temperature in the system being between a range of 20-45 degrees Celsius; and the presence of sources of nutrients such as sludge or organic matter.
Outbreaks of Legionnaire’s Disease can occur if contaminated water droplets are dispersed over a wide area, such as splashback in sinks or droplets from showers. Employees, residents, visitors or other building occupants who are susceptible to infection due to age, illness or a weakened immune system are most at risk from the effects of the disease.
Traditional way to manage the risk of Legionella
Risk assessments for the presence of Legionella have traditionally been carried out via manual water monitoring programmes. An engineer visits the site once a month, takes readings of the temperature parameters, records the readings on a site log book, and, where risks or issues are identified, reports these to relevant authorities in a separate report.
Best practice guidelines, such as ACOP L8, provide excellent advice for duty-holders on helping them to comply with legal duties on Legionella control. But the process is time consuming, generally limited to a monthly site visit and there is always the risk of human error in the data recording.
A new option: ZiggyTec’s Smart Legionella Control solution
ZiggyTec’s Smart Legionella Control solution is a new option in Legionella compliance management. It is an IoT-based means of capturing water temperature data and exporting it for risk management and compliance activity.
By automating the measurement of water temperature every 10 seconds, our solution ensures compliance with best practice such as ACOP L8 and relevant regulations. The devices also provide alerts on scalding and freezing conditions.
ZiggyTec’s state-of-the-art dashboards also show non-compliance events in real time, and automatically highlight other concerns.
The reports reduce the need for flushing by up to 95% which will potentially save thousands of litres of water – and tonnes of energy – every year, ensuring a rapid return on investment.
All of the data is stored in the cloud and easily accessible through a personalised data portal, allowing duty-holders to pull reports as and when they are needed.
Buildings we serve include offices, schools, universities, nursing homes and health and community centres.
Duty-holders enjoy a practical, time-, cost- and energy-saving alternative to monthly manual inspection visits.
Interested in booking a call with us to find out how you can streamline your compliance reporting on Legionella while keeping building occupants safe and well?