Just one of the latest developments we at ACMS UK have been working on is how we can make testing for legionella quicker, easier and less resource-heavy. Well, we believe we’ve managed to do just that! We can now offer remote temperature checking through our Vision software. No more daily or weekly laborious inspections, instead the reading will be uploaded to the software module, www.acmsuk.com/legionella, and the data will be visible to you at a glance.
Exciting and innovative as this is, one question does however have to be addressed..
Is remote testing for legionella actually compliant?
The quick and easy answer is… yes it is.. to an extent.
Remote monitoring will evidence that a temperature check was undertaken at a specific time and provided a result, it does not, however, prove that legionella bacteria is neither present or that it’s not proliferating.
What remote monitoring does deliver is regular (sometimes to the second) information pertaining to your water systems, thereby providing you with an excellent source of business intelligence.
By integrating the data with an expert eye, a competent person can determine where the system is likely to fail and move quickly to rectify issues before they happen. This is, of course, if the system has been set up correctly by competent people who are positioning the sensors to return the desired intelligence. It is not sufficient just to put a sensor on a final outlet or calorifier and sit back thinking ‘a job well done!’
Firstly, a full professional and qualified risk assessment of the system is required to identify any areas of remedial work prior to the fitting of sensors*. Then comes the task of where to position the sensors. To determine this, consideration needs to be given as to what data you require and why.
- Checking of temperatures
- Temperature fluctuations
- Little used outlets
- Little used pipe runs
- Peak and low usage times
- Weather influences
- Tank monitoring (sensor on the inlet, ambient and the outlet)
All of these and more will start to give an overall picture of the complete water system and a competent person can quickly interpret the readings and determine where any potential risks may lie thereby being able to resolve them.
What remote monitoring does not cover is:
- Pipework condition
- Tank Condition
- Sludge build up in tanks
- Calcification on outlets and shower heads
- Chlorination and cleaning
Remote monitoring, as part of a comprehensive package which includes professional set-up and total competency in terms of being able to interpret the data, is definitely a major step forward and helpful to any organisation having to maintain water systems. We will still need periodic visual on-site checks and calibration of the system, but alongside auto-flushing and manual auditing of the system, it is our belief that it certainly strengthens the fight against legionella bacteria and allows us to confirm a water system is continually compliant, rather than attempting to prove a water system is compliant at a specific point in time!
Vision software now integrates with the remote tech ( https://remote-tech.co.uk/ ) system and other remote monitoring systems.
*an existing risk assessment if up-to-date and all significant findings rectified is sufficient.