Thursday, July 18, 2024

Air quality boost for Mt Maunganui

Mount Maunganui residents can now check local air quality in real time following the addition of 11 extra air sensors to the local monitoring network.

The sensors build on the Bay of Plenty Regional Council network of 11 existing air quality monitors in the Mount Maunganui industrial area, where air pollution is most concentrated.

Toi Moana Bay of Plenty Regional Council Compliance Manager, Stephen Mellor said the addition of the new sensors means Council and the community now have a comprehensive network of equipment across both the industrial and residential area checking air quality 24/7.

“Mount Maunganui is a mix of residential and industrial zoned land, which means we’ve got residents living close to industrial activities. The new air sensors provide an indication of air quality in real-time, giving those interested an important local insight,” said Mr Mellor.

“Effective air quality management relies on good data to back good decisions. These new sensors are not as robust as the monitors we contract an independent provider to operate in the industrial area, at some cost, but they do provide a real-time indicator of air quality across the Mount residential area and guidance on how to respond to it.

“Some of the community has been asking for this for a long time and we’re pleased we were able to find an affordable solution that meets their needs,” he said.

One of the 11 new air sensor in Mount Maunganui.

The air sensors were put to the test recently after smoke from a fire at Matakana Island put a lot of fine dust into the atmosphere, resulting in a number of calls to the Pollution Hotline.

“It was good to see the systems we have in place working as they should,” Mr Mellor said.

“We received eight calls to the Pollution Hotline regarding this event in one night from as far as Greerton, and the air sensor downwind showed a spike in the data, right before the rain arrived.”

People can learn about the new air sensors or check the data in real-time by visiting www.boprc.govt.nz/mount-air or scanning the QR code on the sign at the base of any of the sensors.

 

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