Improving air quality

Article image - Improving air quality Wood smoke settling over Armidale city

Armidale Regional Council, New South Wales, has attempted to improve air quality by combining with the Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) to install a dedicated air quality sensor with hourly data available online and a network of Purple Air sensors across the city which also deliver real-time data.

Armidale has battled poor air quality, particularly in the winter months for many years due to the cold winters and the use of wood fired heaters.

Mayor, Simon Murray, said the air quality data received from the sensors so far has revealed some worrying statistics that need to taken seriously.

“I’ve been looking at the data from the OEH sensor which has already revealed so far this winter poor and very poor air quality on a number of occasions.

The Mayor said the Air Quality Index on the OEH monitoring site for Armidale had reached 243 (hazardous) at 1am and had remained at very poor and poor for the rest of the morning. The results were replicated on the Purple Air Monitoring site.

“The city woke to the smell of wood smoke that had been trapped over the city for the whole night. These are the conditions that can pose serious health risks for the community.

“The good news is that by properly operating your wood heater you can reduce excessive wood smoke leaving your chimney by up to 90 percent.”