Solution to monitor smoke pollution generated by a wood heater
PM2.5 24-hour time varying graphs
PM2.5 1-hour average time varying graphs
Mornington Peninsula Shire, Community Safety and Compliance
The Mornington Peninsula Shire received complaints related to wood smoke from a wood heater used by the occupants of a residential property.
It was reported that when used, the wood heater was very smoky, causing significant disturbance to occupants of the neighbouring property including respiratory illness and difficulty sleeping due to exposure to smoke.
PM2.5 particles from wood smoke result from burning organic material and fossil fuels. PM2.5 particles are smaller than 2.5 microns in diameter and can be breathed into the lungs causing health effects.
The Shire needed to determine if the smoke pollution generated by the wood heater was a breach of any relevant legislation by means of an air-quality monitoring assessment.
Kenelec Scientific developed and supplied a SmokeTrak Real-Time Particulate Monitoring Station – a fully transportable wood smoke detection system consisting of a TSI 8530 DustTrak II Aerosol Monitor assembled with a PM2.5 impactor plate, along with a GPS sensor connected to a web-based mapping and recording program that can track particulate sources down to an individual site.
The SmokeTrak was deployed on the ground of a habitable room with the inlet pipe facing the source address over a period of 28 days. Data collected by the SmokeTrak included the time of day or night, duration of the smoke generated and the air quality.
Using the SmokeTrak, elevated PM2.5 was observed, coinciding with the times the wood heater fire was in use and when ambient levels of PM2.5 were at a minimum.
Based upon the evidence collected including measurements, diary evidence, videos and observations, the Shire found that the smoke generated appeared to be injurious to personal comfort and therefore may have constituted (or is liable to be) a nuisance under the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008, and allowed the Shire to make recommendations to minimise the negative impact to neighbouring areas.
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Products used in this project
Designed principally for tracking of smoke particulate, the SmokeTrak is ideal for applications such as bushfire smoke plume tracking, identification of highly polluting domestic wood fires and for tracking of point sources of particulate matter.
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