Sonic helps detect risk of Legionella in water systems

20 September 2022 | News

Hero Labs today announced that its Sonic device – the smart technology system that helps prevent water leaks in properties – is now able to help detect the risk of Legionella in a user’s water systems.

Legionella is a type of bacteria that is commonly found in water.  It multiples in temperatures of between 20 and 45°C and spreads Legionnaires’ disease, which can be fatal.  

As Legionella bacteria are dormant below 20°C and do not survive above 60°C, the best breeding grounds is warm stagnant water.  Sonic monitors these two factors independently every 60 minutes – and an alarm will be triggered in six cases – if either a) water does not circulate around the system of the property or b) the temperature is in the ‘danger zone’ of between 20 and 45 °C.

Case / DescriptionType of Alarm
User consumed less than 20 litres of water in the past  seven daysWATER STAGNATION
(low risk alarm)
User consumed less than 20 litres of water in the past 60 daysWATER STAGNATION
(high risk alarm)
Water temperature has ranged between 20°C and 60°C in the last 40 hours*WATER TEMPERATURE
Water temperature has ranged between 20°C and 45°C in the last 30 hours*WATER TEMPERATURE
Water temperature has ranged between 25°C and 45°C in the last 20 hours*WATER TEMPERATURE
Water temperature has ranged between 25°C and 45 °C in the last 10 hours*WATER TEMPERATURE

*Legionella grows quicker in some temperature intervals and slower in others hence the different time thresholds

As an example (in case six), an alarm will be triggered if a single sample of water has a temperature of between 20ºC and 45ºC in a 20 hour timeframe.   

If a user receives a low risk ‘water stagnation’ alarm and decides to generate water activity by turning on an appliance, the risk will only be only mitigated when the next hourly check takes place.  All water must then be flushed through ‘end appliances’ such as taps and showers so that all areas that could harbour bacterial growth are cleared.

How Sonic users can turn on the Legionella functionality

This functionality can be enabled or disabled in the ‘alerts’ section of the app.

How Sonic alerts users to the risk of Legionella

Once users are alerted to the risk of Legionella bacteria in their plumbing, they are provided with more information and steps to rectify the issue. 

Sonic provides users with helpful information on how to rectify any issues

Steve Moore, CEO, Hero Labs, commented: “In some conditions – quite common this summer – ie warm and stagnant water, Legionella can multiply quickly and become a problem within days. If you are responsible for a water system – for instance if you manage a number of properties – or simply are a homeowner, it’s vital to prevent the growth of Legionella bacteria.  There are a number of ways to kill Legionella bacteria, and the simplest and most effective is by managing water temperature and flow.  Sonic, which provides a thorough knowledge of a property’s usage, along with our ability to detect risks, means that we can provide an early warning of any concerns so that property owners and managers know what to look out for, and can keep people safe.”

Sonic by Hero Labs uses ultrasonic technology to monitor water use within a property, including the early detection of damaging water leaks.  The new Legionella functionality was trialled over the summer by a test group and now has been officially released to all Sonic users.