Satisfied patrons and high-quality drinking water: SCHELL solutions for hotel, sauna and campsite operators

15-minute read

The particular operating conditions applicable to hotels, campsites and leisure facilities such as saunas or swimming baths, are accompanied by their own set of challenges. On the one hand, rising costs for energy and water require solutions for improving operational efficiency. On the other, facility owners need solutions for their sanitary equipment that can help them maintain drinking water quality as required by law without compromising on comfort for their patrons.

Challenges for drinking water quality, cost effectiveness and user hygiene

Capacity utilisation at hotels and leisure facilities often varies according to the time of year. These businesses need solutions that offer optimum, year-round support for drinking water quality.
The sanitary equipment used by hotels, saunas and campsites needs to meet especially high standards. Operators here have to manage fluctuations in use, and ensure compliance with laws and regulations while providing first-class user comfort for their patrons. Variations in usage intensity not only occur on a day-to-day basis but also result from seasonal changes to operating conditions. On public holidays, for example, hotels generally have many bookings and are very busy. During the peak holiday season, hotels and campsites also typically handle high numbers of visitors. At other times, however, hotels and B&Bs experience very low levels of bookings – such as during the off-season, which may vary from one establishment to another. Some operators may even shut up shop completely at certain times of the year – such as a hotel that accommodates hikers during summer and skiers in winter but is routinely closed for business between these two seasons. These periods allow time off for personnel or are used to carry out renovations, for example. However, despite low capacity utilisation or temporary closures, these businesses still need to ensure they maintain their drinking water quality. In Germany, the law makes specific provisions for these various periods of downtime, in relation to the tasks to be completed before closure and after reopening. A key piece of legislation here is the German Drinking Water Ordinance, which has also been recently amended.We will take a closer look at these tasks later in this blog post.
Last but not least, building operators are also looking to run their drinking water installation sustainably while saving water. Faced with rising utility bills for water and energy, facility managers are looking for ways to boost operational efficiency in their buildings. Solutions for maintaining drinking water quality at the required level are another point of focus here.
Hotels, saunas and leisure resorts at the upper end of the market will also be looking to satisfy higher standards when it comes to the design of their sanitary equipment. In addition, effective measures for optimising user hygiene are also required for the frequently varying user groups present in public hotel facilities and bathing areas in saunas or campsites, for example.

SCHELL solutions – user hygiene and saving water

Operators of hotels, B&Bs and leisure facilities prioritise the well-being of their guests. Since these types of establishments experience considerable fluctuation in visitor numbers, these businesses – whether hotels, saunas or campsites – benefit from solutions for optimising user hygiene. According to the WHO, 80 percent of all germs are passed on via the hands, which can occur as a result of touching contaminated surfaces after washing hands, for example. Contactless wash basin taps minimise this risk, as direct contact with the tap can be avoided entirely while patrons are washing their hands at the basin. Water flows only when it is really needed, as the sensor registers hands when they enter detection range, starts the flow of water and then stops it again when the hands are again taken out of range of the sensor. Compared with conventional single-lever mixers, contactless SCHELL taps can cut water consumption by up to 70 percent. And a low-contact self-closing tap can achieve water savings of up to 55 percent compared with a standard single-lever fitting. While patrons do need to touch a low-contact tap once to start the flow of water, no further contact is needed to close the fitting, since the flow of water stops automatically after a preconfigured period of time. Both types of tap also effectively prevent the increased rates of water usage that result from running taps that absent-minded guests have forgotten to shut off. SCHELL maintains a broad-based portfolio of high-quality electronic wash basin taps, whose contactless functionality makes an important contribution to user hygiene and saving water. Many of these taps are suitable for networking with the SCHELL SWS Water Management System, which not only offers support for maintaining drinking water quality but can also help to boost the cost effectiveness of a drinking water installation.

Tasks involved in drinking water installation shutdown and recommissioning

Water is essential for life itself. Accordingly, legislation has been put in place to regulate the handling of this precious resource and focuses on maintaining drinking water quality. Drinking water present in a system that has not been tapped for only four hours is considered to be ‘stagnating’ and therefore not fit for human consumption, as stagnating water may offer a breeding ground for harmful bacteria. 
If tapping points stay unused for even longer – during holidays, for example – regulations apply regarding the tasks to be completed at both the beginning and the end of this service interruption. To maintain drinking water quality, rules and regulations require a complete flush-through of the drinking water installation every 72 hours. 
If the duration of the shutdown is longer – from 72 h up to 1 week – then special measures must be taken for the drinking water installation. The shut-off valve must be closed and left in a filled state, as long as there is no risk of frost. For recommissioning, a complete exchange of water conforming to the German DVGW W 557 (A) must be achieved by stagnation flushes at all tapping points. Business interruptions lasting one month to a maximum of six months also require the closure of the shut-off valve with piping left in a completely filled state. In this case, however, the recommissioning tasks required by law also involve microbiological testing. This not only costs time and money but also ties up personnel. As required by the German TrinkwV regulations, the potable water hot (PWH) and cold (PWC) lines must be tested for the presence of Legionella. This makes recommissioning after prolonged periods of downtime significantly more complex and cost-intensive. Recommissioning the system after the end of a business holiday becomes especially expensive and involved after a stoppage period of longer than six months. In this scenario, the building’s supply pipe must be isolated from the utility’s water mains when the shutdown starts – a task that must be carried out by a qualified plumber or the water utility itself. The aim here is to avoid retrograde contamination of the water mains.

In this scenario, recommissioning the drinking water installation involves formally notifying the water utility about the time when business operations are planned to restart. Recommissioning itself must be completed according to DIN EN 806 4 and caried out by a registered installation company. To conform to DVGW W 557 (A), the entire piping system must be flushed across all of its tapping points. In addition, microbiological monitoring tests for Legionella must be completed for PWC and PWH to comply with TrinkwV requirements. 

Automated stagnation flushes versus manual stagnation flushes

Here, German legislation basically offers two options for handling situations where drinking water installations are subject to periods of low use. Both methods are permissible according to the generally recognised codes of practice: either the installation is shut down and necessary tasks are completed or, alternatively, a shutdown is avoided by simulating the specified normal operation of the system. 
Depending on circumstances, the tasks as mentioned in this post can, as has been shown, prove to be expensive and time-consuming – especially if the drinking water installation is discovered to be contaminated. Operators are therefore well-advised to avoid long periods of downtime and the necessary recommissioning work. This is achieved by simulating the installation’s ‘specified normal operation’. 
One approach to avoiding a shutdown and the consequential follow-up costs is routine manual flushing – to be completed by facility management personnel, for example. To generate suitable flow velocities for such manual stagnation flushes, all fittings in the section of the installation must be opened simultaneously and can only be closed once all fittings have been flushed at the same time for a sufficiently long period of time. This is not only time-consuming and prone to human error but also requires excessive water consumption and many (expensive) person-hours to complete. First of all, every single fitting must be opened. They then all run at the same time for a defined period. After this, every single fitting must then be closed again. While the fittings are flushing simultaneously – and until they can all be shut off again – a lot of water is lost that could have been saved.  
In contrast, automated stagnation flushes use far less water even while running at the same time. 
Managers of hotels, saunas and campsites are therefore well-advised to install a modern, efficient water management system – such as SWS from SCHELL. Instead of a shutdown with corresponding, cost-intensive follow-up tasks and risks, the SWS Water Management System can create groups of associated, networked fittings and carry out automated flushing to simulate the specified normal operation of the installation. 

Using stagnation flushes to maintain drinking water quality

If expensive measures to recommission the drinking water installation need to be avoided, taking an intelligent approach to stagnation flush planning is advised. Shutdowns endanger drinking water quality. German drinking water legislation requires an exchange of water throughout the entire drinking water installation at intervals of no more than 72 h. If this does not result from the normal use of the system, then an exchange of water can be achieved by stagnation flushes. 
To be effective, stagnation flushes not only need to cover all of the fittings in the building but must also conform to other rules: avoiding the ‘pipe-in-pipe’ phenomenon is important. If sanitary facilities in buildings such as hotels are used by many people simultaneously at peak times, then the installation piping must be designed to be large enough to handle this level of heavy use. To achieve a proper exchange of water, turbulent flows must be created in the piping. Particularly in the case of large pipe diameters, this is only possible by flushing multiple tapping points at the same time. 
SCHELL offers a solution portfolio to cater to every eventuality here, including appropriate electronic fittings for all tapping points as well as the SCHELL SWS Water Management System with its innovative SMART.SWS add-on for remote administration on the go.

SCHELL solutions – setting fitting parameters with SCHELL Single Control SSC

To help in maintaining drinking water hygiene, electronic SCHELL wash basin taps can carry out stagnation flushes automatically (every 24 h or 24 h after the last use), once appropriate settings have been configured on the fitting. With the SCHELL Single Control SSC Bluetooth® module and matching app, parameter setting is even easier. Once set, the parameter configuration can then be transferred to other fittings of the same model, for example. This saves the tradesperson a lot of time. If the SSC Bluetooth® module is left permanently installed on the fitting, this offers additional advantages: Stagnation flushes can be assigned using the integrated flushing calendar – including logging and optional export as a CSV file. 

SCHELL solutions – drinking water hygiene with the SCHELL SWS Water Management System

The combination of electronic network-capable SCHELL fittings and the SCHELL SWS Water Management System can also offer decisive support for maintaining drinking water quality in hotels and saunas, and at campsites: many electronic fittings from SCHELL can be networked with SWS to offer centralised programming, control and monitoring. 
As one example, stagnation flushes can be programmed based on time or temperature triggers, which are then also logged automatically when they occur. SWS also offers automatic documentation of water consumption (estimated), stagnation flushes performed and other parameters, such as providing information about the tapping points in the installation that are most often or least often used.
Since larger-scale facilities feature many tapping points with high rates of use at peak times, the piping installed in hotels and saunas and at campsites is often generously dimensioned. 
SWS offers functionality for grouping fittings together, with the aim of carrying out simultaneous stagnation flushes at a fixed point in time – and so simulating the specified normal operation of the system. SWS gateways also offer the option of integrating SWS into a central building control system. The SMART.SWS online service, a browser-based add-on, provides monitoring and control functions for SWS, including remote access. This is particularly useful for businesses that operate over several buildings, as remote access to SWS from any compatible connected device can also save valuable time and therefore reduce staff costs.

Application scenario: Hotel Sonklarhof, South Tyrol

At Hotel Sonklarhof, the emphasis is on comfort and quality of stay for its guests. For the fit-out of the WC areas open to the public, the hotel owners were therefore interested in aesthetic appeal and uncompromising user comfort. For the wash basins, the owners decided to install electronic XERIS E taps from SCHELL.

Challenge: Redesign of female and male WCs open to the public in this 4-star hotel to be more aesthetically appealing. Optimum user hygiene was another key requirement, since the sanitary facilities are used by many hotel guests and visitors. The customer was also interested in carrying out stagnation flushes as a prophylactic measure against the spread of harmful Legionella bacteria in the piping.

Solution: SCHELL’s electronic XERIS EHD-K large wash basin taps met the requirements in every respect: This tap’s tall pedestal stand und elegant contours highlight the hotel’s careful attention to its interior decor. The infrared sensor electronics in the fittings help to ensure user hygiene and comfort. The contactless operation also means water only flows when it is actually required. Offering a reduction in water consumption of up to 70 percent compared with single-lever taps, XERIS E also offers resource-friendly operation. In addition, XERIS E offers the option of carrying out stagnation flushes, which constitute a preventive measure to avoid the propagation of harmful bacteria in the piping.

For more information about the use of SCHELL products at Sonklarhof, read our case study

Application scenario: Panorama Sauna Grafschaft-Holzweiler

The Panorama Sauna in Grafschaft-Holzweiler is one of the most popular sauna venues in the Cologne/Bonn metropolitan area. In the course of a comprehensive extension project, SCHELL products were chosen that could enhance the unique spa experience at this site while also maintaining drinking water hygiene.

Challenge: A new extension to the sauna area was intended to complement the sauna with its high-end design. Alongside a modern and appealing design, the sauna owners were looking for premium, robust quality capable of handling high visitor numbers. Requirements for energy efficiency, drinking water hygiene and user hygiene also needed to be met.

Solution: SCHELL offered an impressive package of high-end, modern design, first-class advice and assistance, and exceptional product quality. Robust LINUS Inox DP-C-T exposed shower panels with ThermoProtect thermostats offer impressive reductions to water consumption. SWS can be used to carry out automated stagnation flushes, which can prevent the excessive propagation of bacteria harmful to health, such as Legionella. As a result, the shower panels and SWS help to ensure the hygienic and trouble-free operation of the showers at Panorama Sauna into the long term. 

Read our case study to find out more about the Panorama Sauna extension project. 

Application scenario: Campsite and recreational facility St. Leoner See, Germany

Modern and energy-efficient SCHELL solutions offer long-stay campers and holiday guests alike a high level of comfort at the idyllic St. Leoner See recreational facility. One part of the facility is open all year round, the other only seasonally. Accordingly, a solution was needed that could maintain drinking water quality (according to German VDI 6023) even during periods of seasonal partial downtime.

The operators decided to install products from SCHELL: the wash basins and shower fittings in the new sanitary facilities are networked with SWS. One special featureis the use of two SWS servers to control the system, as only half of the sanitary facilities are open in winter. While one server controls the stagnation flushes in the sanitary facilities that are used all year round, the second server is networked with the wash basin and shower fittings in the sanitary facilities that remain closed during the winter season. On the second server, individual flush intervals are set to prevent stagnation in the drinking water installation during this period of non-usage. SCHELL XERIS E HD-M wash basin taps and SCHELL LINUS D-C-T concealed showers help ensure that usage is hygienic, comfortable and economical with water. 

Read our case study to find out more about the high-quality sanitary equipment fit-out at this lakeside facility. 

De Betuwe Hoeve campsite, Ommeren, Netherlands

This campsite in the Dutch town of Ommeren was to undergo renovations and become more environmentally friendly. Thanks to solutions from SCHELL, sustainability was improved at this campsite, despite strong seasonal fluctuations in use.
Electronic SCHELL fittings were networked with the SCHELL SWS Water Management System. Stagnation flushes automated with SWS help support the maintenance of drinking water quality even during seasonal differences in occupancy at the campsite. SWS can be used to assign fittings to groups for carrying out stagnation flushes. These groups are then triggered simultaneously to create the high flow rates in the piping that are often essential for maintaining drinking water hygiene. This automated execution also keeps operations sustainable, since water flows only when it is actually needed. The contactless SCHELL fittings cut water consumption by up to 70 percent compared with conventional single-lever mixers and therefore further increase sustainability – as water is triggered by the IR sensors only when it is really needed. SCHELL products used include the GRANDIS E HD-M kitchen tap and XERIS E HD-M wash basin tap. Read our case study to find out more about the high-quality sanitary equipment fit-out at the campsite.


Operators of hotels, saunas and campsite face a number of challenges that are highly specific to their types of business. Seasonal fluctuations in use affect capacity utilisation, resulting not only in usage peaks but also complete shutdowns of some facilities. From new development projects to modernisation work in this segment, made-to-measure solutions are needed to improve user hygiene. Above all, intelligent solutions must be chosen that support the maintenance of drinking water quality – because the hygienic operation of a drinking water installation is a key priority here. SCHELL products and solutions also help the owners of hotels, saunas and campsites to conserve resources, keep their businesses cost-effective, comply with legal duties as facility operators (including record-keeping) while prioritising the well-being of their guests. Here, the SWS Water Management System offers optimum support for maintaining drinking water quality, as SWS can be used for the networking and centralised control of many kinds of electronic SCHELL fittings and associated products. In this way, SWS helps operators comply with the law while also fulfilling the high safety standards for their patrons. Deploying the SCHELL Water Management System not only balances the need to maintain drinking water quality while saving water but helps to save time and cut personnel costs. Last but not least, the economic aspect also offers a decisive advantage, since the investment in an SWS rollout is quickly repaid thanks to its cost-saving effects for operators.
When extended with the SMART.SWS online service, remote control and monitoring becomes possible – from anywhere in the world. SCHELL products and solutions are the perfect choice for sanitary equipment fit-outs in hotels, saunas and campsites, particularly because of the ideal answers they offer to the challenges affecting these specific segments of the market.

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