Sunderland’s Innovative Approach to Legionella Safety

Case Study

3rd November 2023

Topic Environment
Technology IoT, LoRaWAN
Sector Environment

Sunderland Smart City has identified an opportunity to support our facilities management team with a pilot of flush valves and temperature probes to enhance legionella safety in our buildings.

Every month, our facilities support team visit around 250 properties to test the water temperature and flushing – with each visit taking around half an hour, and information recorded on a log sheet.

This project aims to address the challenges associated with water temperature testing and flushing of hot and cold-water outlets in council managed properties. The objective of this pilot was to test the feasibility of eliminating physical site visits, enhance reporting and record-keeping, provide alerts for maintenance issues, and improve overall Health and Safety compliance.


To achieve these objectives, the project deployed several IoT sensors linked to our LoRaWAN network, alongside an associated legionella sensor dashboard, focusing on two pilot sites: Glebe Football Club and Seaburn Camp.

The sensors deployed include flush valves and temperature probes (with ten flush valves and four temperature probes deployed at Glebe Football Club, alongside two flush valves and two temperature probes deployed at Seaburn Camp).

The pilot project targeted the off-season for Glebe, which runs from March to August, and the camping season for Seaburn, which also spans from March to August. The deployment of these sensors allowed for remote monitoring and data collection, reducing the need for physical inspections.

The data from these sensors was integrated into a user-friendly dashboard designed to streamline record-keeping and ensure data accessibility for service colleagues.

The legionella dashboard in action 


The legionella sensor pilot had a range of outcomes: during the pilot period, no site visits by operatives were required to Glebe Football Club and Seaburn Camp, resulting in a reduction in operational costs, and additional time freed up for service colleagues.

Feedback on the pilot was overwhelmingly positive, as operatives and managers found that the solution streamlined their work processes and eliminated time-consuming manual tasks. Additionally, use of the sensors reduces human error, thereby increasing confidence in the council’s Health and Safety compliance.

Finally, the project led to increased reporting frequency and rich data for our service colleagues, enabling a more detailed and meticulous monitoring of legionella risk.

The success of the pilot project has paved the way for scaling up the initiative. Additional sites, including football clubs and schools, may benefit from this technology in the future.

This Sunderland Smart City initiative showcases how IoT sensors can revolutionize facilities management, making it more efficient, cost-effective, and compliant with Health and Safety standards. The success of this pilot project sets the stage for broader adoption across the city.