Using technology to improve the lives of social housing residents has been a topic that the team at ROCC have talked about many times this year and we’ve focused on a variety of topics from monitoring residents well-being through sensors and artificial intelligence to helping tenants cope with mental health issues using home hub devices.

For this article I’m going to look at how we can help to keep residents healthy and protected from disease through our environmental monitoring solutions.

Can environmental monitoring keep our residents healthier and protect them from disease?

A regular maintenance task when managing properties is legionella testing. Legionella bacteria is commonly found in water. Legionella bacteria multiply where temperatures are between 20 and 45°C and the relevant nutrients are available. These bacteria can cause legionnaires disease which is a potentially fatal type of pneumonia that is contracted by inhaling airborne water droplets containing the legionella bacteria.

The primary method of controlling the legionella bacteria is by managing the water temperature in the property. Hot water systems should store water at temperatures in excess of 60°C and cold water should be stored below 20°C.  Landlords are obliged to carry out testing (ACOP L8) of water systems to ensure the water is being stored at the correct temperatures. If a registered social landlord (RSL) is providing communal hot water, good practice is to conduct a legionella risk assessment then sample a proportion of homes that they provide hot water to.

Often with testing, come drawbacks. The manual checks are costly, operatives carrying out the tests face challenges gaining access to the properties, on occasion’s operatives could enter inaccurate data or make mistakes and there is obviously no continuous monitoring once the operative leaves the property.

So, how can ROCC help?

By partnering with Cambridge based environmental monitoring company Purrmetrix, the ROCC housing maintenance and repairs system via the use of temperature sensors has the ability to automatically raise maintenance jobs should the water temperatures at properties fall within certain readings.

Small, low cost and simple to deploy wireless temperature sensors are clamped onto water pipes or the hot water system and data is wirelessly communicated in real time back to a gateway hub in or near the property. The gateway then determines whether the water temperature is correct or not. If not, it will in real time create a new maintenance job in the ROCC system, where it is pushed through for either automatic or manual scheduling to an operative so they can attend the property and carry out any repairs work required to ensure the water is then being stored as safely as possible.

The entire solution of monitoring of the water temperature, through to creation of a maintenance job, allocation and scheduling of the work and passing to an operative can be completely hands off and automated by the systems.

The benefits of deploying this solution are:

  • Removing a high percentage of manual readings and in turn reduce costs
  • Sensors can be moved from home to home sampling a rolling proportion of housing stock across the community therefore minimising outlay on hardware
  • Providing real time data on other risks such as scalding and boiler breakdowns
  • Completely automating L8 compliance

By utilising smart sensors closely coupled with a back office management solution such as the ROCC housing maintenance system RSL’s can ensure tenants are proactively protected while reducing overall costs of managing the process.

To find out more about how we can provide integrated environmental monitoring solutions to protect your residents call us on 01273 274716 or complete this form.