Internet of Things Facilitating Legionella Detection

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Temperature Monitoring Unit (TMU) devices connected to Sigfox operator, Heliot Europe’s 0G IoT network, are helping Cistermiser reduce the risk of legionella by monitoring flows and temperature in water systems.

Anecdotally, installing the LinkThru TMU devices which are used by building owners, facilities managers and maintenance professionals in water monitoring systems, system saves organisations 27,000 litres of water and around £225 per year on average. Legionella prevention is a concern for operators of office, healthcare, care sector, catering and hospitality and sports facilities.

Established over 40 years ago, Cistermiser manufactures and supplies products and solutions for the treatment and cost-effective management of water. Its LinkThru TMUs are compact, easy-to-install, scalable, and have been designed to connect to a cloud-based reporting and alert system. They replace traditional resource intensive approaches to legionella risk management, and automate the process and reporting required to mitigate the risk of legionella.

LinkThru TMUs have been designed in collaboration with Heliot Europe and Spica Technologies. TMU device connectivity is handled by Heliot’s robust Sigfox network. Spica enables data captured by TMUs to be configured into the appropriate required reports and alerts, that enable organisations to adhere to HSE technical guidance and approved codes of practice.

Sigfox is ubiquitous, robust and reliable across the UK and Europe. When this form of connectivity is integrated into our devices it enables reach into areas that other networks cannot access.


Richard Braid, Cistermiser’s managing director, says, “The issue of legionella is increasingly in the news and is problematic. Traditional methods of water outlet and sentinel temperature monitoring associated with reducing the risk of legionella are resource intensive, manual, costly, and prone to error. What is more, managing the electronic log book that is required to demonstrate legionella compliance is difficult with current traditional paper-based systems. LinkThru has been designed to meet this challenge. Once devices are connected to pipework systems, they harness IoT technology and connectivity to monitor water temperature and flow, and the data captured is reported in an appropriate format for regulators. This enables building owners to ensure compliance with HSG274 regulation. So that they can reduce the risk of legionella and other waterborne pathogens 24/7.”

“Since our LinkThru TMUs are often fitted in remote locations, we needed to ensure that we developed an effective network to connect our devices to. We considered SIM cards and cellular networks and WiFi – but the reality is that these were not cost effective for our devices, nor were they as reliable. Instead, we explored the use of Sigfox and sub-gigahertz network technology, and settled on that for a number of reasons. Sigfox is ubiquitous, robust and reliable across the UK and Europe. When this form of connectivity is integrated into our devices it enables reach into areas that other networks cannot access. Such as underground locations or in concrete buildings, which is where many water systems are located. Connecting our devices to a Sigfox network also enables us to transmit small packets of data, helping to ensure battery power on devices is not compromised, meaning devices can last in the field for longer. Further, using Sigfox connectivity is more appealing to IT and security teams, as it means that devices do not need access to clients’ networks, WiFi or security systems. So, installers, facilities managers and building managers can fit TMU devices easily to set up a legionella management system, and start drawing insights in real-time rapidly.”

Heliot Europe is the exclusive operator of the global Sigfox 0G™ network in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia, the UK, Denmark and Liechtenstein. This makes Heliot Europe the largest 0G™ network operator in Europe. With Sigfox 0G™ technology, Heliot Europe offers a cross-border, seamless, user-friendly, cost-effective and energy-efficient network and helps companies to further transform their business model towards digital services in areas such as asset tracking, asset monitoring and supply chain management. What is more, low-frequency radio technology is also a cost-effective alternative to the existing Narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT and CAT-M). 

Gareth Mitchell, UK Partner Manager, Heliot Europe says, “Cistermiser is a true industry leader in its field. It has reviewed the market and developed IoT-based devices to improve operational efficiencies within the water management sector. Its LinkThru devices, connected to the Internet of Things via our sub-gigahertz Sigfox network, enables organisations to improve how they run legionella risk management operations. Moreover, this is a proven example of how Sigfox can drive reliable connectivity across IoT devices and applications, where other forms of connectivity cannot succeed. We are delighted to support Cistermiser as it takes this product to market.”

Heliot Europe also offers customers and partners access to its global Sigfox 0G™ ecosystem with almost 1000 sensors and analysis tools for collecting and evaluating their data. It is also a founding member of the 0G™ United Nations Association, the international association of 0G™ network operators with currently over 55 network operators worldwide.

Staff Reporter

Staff Reporter covers the latest news, trends and opinion from the facilities management (FM) and corporate real estate (CRE) sectors. The FM market is currently estimated to be worth USD 1 trillion annually and is projected to grow at a compounded annualised rate of approximately 5% between now and 2026.

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