Camping owners are spending a lot of time on mandatory legionella checks. A Achterhoekse project group therefore devised an innovation to automate the controls on legionella. Rob van Dam from camping ‘t Wieskamp in Winterswijk and Jaap Wansink, co-owner of Teneo IoT BV., explain how entrepreneurs in the leisure sector can benefit from this technology in the future.
What was the reason for this project?
Rob: “In the winter of 2016 we had a major leak at our camping. A guest had forgotten to shut off the tap at his year place, which froze it up. Because the water flowed into the stream, we discovered the problem late. Coincidentally, I spoke to one of the founders of Teneo IoT bv. He said that they were developing a sensor that could measure the moment of flow in pipes. We got into a conversation and soon realized that such a sensor could also be used very well for legionella check. Now we have to keep track of which sanitary rooms have not been used for more than a week. Then you have to measure the temperature there and let the water flow through.”
Can you explain briefly what the new technology entails?
Jaap: “Our sensor measures the temperature in two places on the pipe. We can determine whether there is a flow in the pipe based on the difference temperature. You therefore measure whether there is a flow and what the temperature of the water is. That means you have the two most important risk factors for legionella.” Rob: “The system therefore only measures the risk of legionella, not whether there really is legionella. That is only possible by taking samples and sending them to a laboratory.”
Does such technology not already exist?
Jaap; “There are sensors that can measure flow, but they have to be placed inside the pipes. If you have three hundred camping places, that is a big investment. The big advantage of our sensor is that it can be attached externally to the pipe. The measurement data is then transmitted wirelessly, using LorA. That is a wireless network that look a bit like WiFi, but with a much larger range and a much lower power consumption. You can put up a gateway in your office with which you can receive the details of your entire camping.
What are the benefits for a camping owner?
Rob: “Manually checking takes a lot of time and you have to keep thinking about it. That gives pressure. Because you don’t want a legionella outbreak as an entrepreneur. That is why a possible cost saving is not even the biggest advantage for me, but the guarantee that you always have everything under control. And for our guests is it a quality guarantee, you are sure that everything is safe.”
Where are you now with the project and what is the schedule?
Jaap: “We have set up a project team consisting of various parties in the Achterhoek, each with their own expertise. We have submitted a subsidy application to the Achterhoek 2020 Implementation Agenda. Annemiek Riefel, Knowledge Broker Leisure Economics, helped us with this. She is very busy with new technology that can support the leisure entrepreneur. Our project fitted in perfectly with this.”
Rob: “We want to conduct a pilot on two camping sites: ‘t Wieskamp and ‘t Meulenbrugge in Vorden. Meulenbrugge is smaller and has a different management. In addition, we have private sanitary facilities at every pitch, while they have general sanitary buildings. These are all factors that are important in the process.
Jaap: “Our measuring principle has recently been patented. Expectations are high, we really think that this sensor technology can be of great added value. If the pilot is successful, we want to roll it out more widely. In the first instance within the leisure sector – camping sites and hotels- but it can also be very interesting for hospitals, for example.
Want to know more?
Do you want to know more about this project or about sensor technology? Then contact Annemiek Riefel (Knowledge Broker Leisure Economics), tel: 0543-250 380.
Copyright article: ECHT Achterhoek (Magazine Achterhoeks Toerisme)