Highland Council Uses IoT to Improve Water Quality

Highland Council IoT

IoT Scotland welcomes its first customer as the Highland Council introduces transformational water monitoring technology.

The Highland Council has chosen the open-access network, IoT Scotland, to provide IoT connectivity for an innovative and transformational water monitoring contract.

The council awarded a three-year contract to Dundee-based IoT Scotland partner, M2M Cloud, to roll out their Neptune water-monitoring sensor technology to more than 100 buildings across their estate. The sensors will be used to remotely gather data from the council’s water systems, providing an effective way to monitor and control the risk of legionella, a dangerous bacteria that causes Legionnaires’ disease.

Water systems with the right environmental conditions, such as temperatures between 20C and 45C, can potentially develop harmful bacteria. To negate this risk, sensors are attached to the surface of water pipes to record temperature readings every 10 seconds. Data captured is then transferred over the IoT Scotland network for The Highland Council to view via an intelligent dashboard.

Real-time alerts notify the building users of changes to the temperature to provide early notification that the water system is out of specification, replacing a previously timely and manual monitoring process where engineers would travel across the council estate to take temperature readings.

The Highland Council is responsible for the largest local government area in the UK. Covering an area larger than Belgium, with a population of more than 230,000, the council manages 1,100 non-domestic properties.

M2M Cloud developed its Neptune technology following a proof of concept trial involving CENSIS – the Innovation Centre for Sensor and Imaging Systems and IoT – which saw the technology rolled out at two Highland Council properties.

The Scottish Government-backed IoT Scotland network provides businesses and the public sector with access to affordable IoT connectivity. Allowing them to monitor and potentially control the status, efficiency and productivity of their assets and equipment, and to make more informed data-driven decisions that will deliver economic and social benefits and drive operational efficiencies.

Councillor Allan Henderson, chair of the council’s environment, development and infrastructure committee, said: “IoT has been ‘the next big thing’ for a while now, but in recent years it has developed in a major way, to the point that there are now a number of well tested and useful applications for the public sector.

“IoT represents a very real opportunity to help local authorities save money, reduce their energy/carbon output and improve service delivery, and a national IoT network provides the connectivity to facilitate these projects.”

Scott Edgar, operations director at M2M Cloud, said: “Having a National IoT network will enable any business or public sector organisation across the country to potentially access and benefit from Neptune Water Monitoring technology. Neptune helps ensure a water system is compliant and also helps with planned preventative maintenance schemes.

“The technology can also help organisations react quickly to problems and target resources to the right place saving time and money while lowering carbon emissions.”

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