University of Groningen

"The first app to work properly to our full satisfaction!"

- Simon Larkens

University of Groningen Legionella Control

App saves time & keeps everything up to date

With 2,100 draw-off points throughout the eleven buildings leased by the university’s Faculty of Medical Sciences (UMCG), Legionella control and prevention are a never-ending concern for Hans Bouwman.

The University of Groningen started taking water management even more seriously following a Legionella outbreak in its dental department in 2012. Hans and his colleague made this their full-time responsibility. Since they’ve been using LegionellaDossier, they’ve virtually eliminated any errors and freed up time to focus on other important matters.

The UMCG covers almost 1.1 million sq ft and houses not only the faculty itself but also research laboratories and the outpatient Dentistry, Oral Surgery & Medicine department. All areas where clean, safe water is crucial. The laboratory sinks, the dentists’ rinse basins, the water fountains… Bouwman has to take readings and flush pipes every week according to a tight schedule. He’s been using the digital LegionellaDossier app since 2015.

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Maps & checklists

Armed with a digital temperature probe and a device with prevention & control software installed, he stops off at each of the draw-off points along the water supply pipes one by one. Every temperature reading is automatically entered into the app. It calculates exactly when the pipe’s contents have been flushed out and enters this automatically into the archive.

Suppose a sink’s showing a temperature anomaly. The app reminds the property manager to flush the pipes again for the next few days until the temperature readings reach normal levels, so Legionella bacteria don’t get a chance to take hold. Once readings reach normal levels, the app records this and unflags the draw-off point, removing it from the next day’s checklist. What’s really great about the app is that it also works offline.

Reduced workload

Hans explains how the app has reduced his workload, ‘We used to have to do everything by hand. This meant there was a high likelihood of errors, and it took a lot of time. Nowadays, I never flush pipes for longer than necessary. All the information is automatically recorded to the logbook for the relevant technical manager.

And checklists for the dentistry faculty to flush certain draw-off points are automatically generated. This saves me at least half a day a week to concentrate on other important matters like repairs. It’s reduced my workload significantly, and I can rest assured that everything is totally up to date every week.’

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‘It’s the first app to work properly to our full satisfaction!’

Simon Larkens (Head of Maintenance, UMCG Services Department) also thinks the new approach is a major improvement, ‘The 2012 Legionella outbreak was a huge wake-up call for us. We hired a consultant who helped us get our drinking water management policies in order. It was him who suggested we use LegionellaDossier.

The University had already been evaluating several other apps but had never been able to find one that worked to our full satisfaction. LegionellaDossier was the first app where we all had that ‘Eureka’ moment! We even helped design a custom version, and its roll-out went really smoothly.

Besides our app subscription and the purchase of temperature sensors, we also invested in hardware. But the return on investment is invaluable in terms of the reduced workload and peace of mind it gives us, knowing that our water supplies are virtually 100% safe. I’d recommend it to any organisation required by law to prevent and control the spread of Legionella bacteria.’

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