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Water management


The automatic temperature monitoring facility not only detects temperatures which could lead to legionella colonisation, but also those that might pose a scalding risk, or, conversely, a risk of pipes freezing. It will also help users identify under-used outlets or, for example, taps or showers left running. The majority of users will want the system set up to alert if there is a problem and send an alarm notification as appropriate. At any juncture users and managers can see how many outlets are being monitored, how many are presenting high, medium, low or no risk temperature or flow-wise, and which are functioning optimally.


By clicking on screen where an issue is identified, the user receives a summary of what the issues are. You can, for example, easily bring up a list of all outlets where temperatures or water flows are presenting a potential risk.


Equally, individual users can decide, in the event of an alert, whether it displays if they access the main dashboard or is emailed to them via their mobile device. In an ideal scenario – where most outlets pose minimal legionella risk – users may never get an alert because the water management system is functioning perfectly.


A user might want, however, to log in monthly and export a report which will give a summary of all activity for the last month. The range of temperatures can also be illustrated via a colour-coded graph.


These are invaluable tools for a busy care home estates team. Once the data is recorded it can be integrated into an organisation’s CAFM (computer-aided facility management), compliance


How do cloud-based IoT water management systems work in practical terms?


The first step is an on-site survey which will check out the Sigfox signal strength and where required, boosters can be integrated into the system. The client orders the required IoT monitoring hardware, and there is then a monthly subscription fee to access data via the cloud-based LinkThru portal. Users are allocated log-in details with no need to install software on their PC, since all the data readings are held in the cloud and accessed via a simple web interface.


During the installation process the


software system or exported as required. The interface which we have developed is designed so that no matter how big the site, and how many buildings you have, the overarching data readings are easily viewable.


Any new technological solution can only operate to its optimum if users are aware of how best to use it. While our IoT remote monitoring system is intuitive to use and set up to suit every individual client, applications training according to specific site requirements is a core part of our solution.


Once we have mutually agreed and set up parameters to meet client needs these become the default and no settings will need to be altered, although they are easily editable if and when requirements change. We also offer online how-to guides and videos designed to help users install the system and obtain all the benefits, entirely self-sufficiently.


engineer fitting the monitoring device simply needs to enter data on the type of outlet, its location building/floor number, and its unique ID into their phone or device.


The software then registers all this data, enabling a precise record to be maintained of temperatures and flow ‘events’ at every device. Once this is done, monitoring begins immediately, and, provided no alerts are generated for that particular outlet, there is no need for the engineer to re-visit it. Visit www.linkthru.com for more information.


Conclusion


IoT water monitoring is a completely new way of thinking for the care home sector so it will not become universally adopted overnight, but trends indicate that use of the cloud is becoming mainstream. According to research by Forbes, cloud- based computing spending has been growing at 4.5 times the rate of general IT spending since 2009 and is expected to grow at faster than six times the rate of IT spending by the end of this year. With safety, efficiency, cost reduction and evidencing all key priorities at the heart of the sector, the benefits of remote water monitoring solutions like LinkThru all indicate that the future of this sector really does lie in the clouds. TCHE


Kevin Belben


Kevin Belben, technical applications manager at Cistermiser and Keraflo, has 23 years of commercial and technical business development experience, including 4 years specialising in providing practical solutions for effective bacteria control in NHS estates and social care applications, tailored to meet specific customer needs.


May 2020 • www.thecarehomeenvironment.com 41


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