Category: <span>Air Quality</span>

Media Release: Garden Route Air Quality remains tops

Media Release: Garden Route Air Quality remains tops

For Immediate Release
14 January 2022

“Humankind faces its greatest existential threat in the form of climate change” – President Cyril Ramaphosa, 2020 State of the Nation Address

Climate change refers to long-term changes in weather patterns and temperatures. Such shifts may be natural, such as through variations in the solar cycle. Climate change has been primarily driven by human activities since the 1800s, particularly through the burning of fossil fuels like coal, oil, and gas. Fossil fuel combustion produces greenhouse gas emissions that act like a blanket around the Earth, trapping the sun’s heat and raising temperatures.

Climate change and air quality are closely related. Some of these emissions are not only of concern, but they often come from the same sources. Furthermore, air pollution and climate change interact in complex ways in the atmosphere. Increasing levels of greenhouse gases (GHGs) alter the energy balance between the atmosphere and the Earth’s surface, altering the chemical composition of the atmosphere.

Examples of developments that will result in the release of GHG`s include:

  • Electricity generation facilities that utilize fossil fuels.
  • Industrial developments that contribute to atmospheric emissions.
  • The extraction and production of fossil fuels.
  • The development and related operations of feedlots.
  • Clearing of vegetation and where it is replaced by built infrastructure such as roads, airports, and urban development.
  • Waste disposal facilities.
  • Treatment of waste through burn technologies.

In October 2011, the Government of South Africa published the National Climate Change Response White Paper, which details the Government’s vision for an effective response to climate change and a just transition to a climate-resilient, lower-carbon economy and society. The Minister has promulgated the National GHG Reporting Regulations. The purpose of these Regulations is to introduce a single national reporting system for the transparent reporting of greenhouse gas emissions, which will primarily be used to: Inform policy formulation, implementation and legislation.

“The Garden Route District Municipality recognises climate change as a threat to the environment, its residents, and its future development,” says Dr Johann Schoeman, District Manager: Air Quality. Böckmann (2015) states that measures should be taken to reduce or eliminate carbon emissions or enhance greenhouse gas sinks (mitigation). However, due to lag times in the climate and biophysical systems, the positive impacts of past and current mitigation will only be noticeable in the next 25 years (Jiri, 2016). In the meantime, adaptation is seen as an inevitable and necessary response to the changes projected in the district. Garden Route District Municipality has therefore prioritised the development of a Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment and Climate Change Response Plan.

The Air Quality status of the Garden Route

Air Quality in the Garden route is managed through its 3rd generation Air Quality Management Plan (AQMP). Our Air Quality vision is: To have air quality worthy of the name “The Garden Route”

“The GRDM is one of the front-running municipalities with regards to Air Quality management in South Africa,” said Schoeman.

Air pollution is an increasing risk, and it is estimated that more than 7 million people die worldwide because of air pollution. it is due to this risk that the GRDM for the last 6 years intensified its air pollution awareness through its GRDM Clean Fires campaign, focussing on air pollution awareness at the primary school level.

The Garden Route is a fast-developing zone with people all over South Africa migrating to the district. This will ultimately also lead to increased industrial activity and more pressure on the environment. Within the Western Cape Provincial contexts, GRDM issued 21% of the total number of Atmospheric Emission Licences within the Western Cape, with only the City of Cape town issuing more licences than the GRDM.

Garden Routers is fortunate to have three Provincial Air Quality monitoring stations, which are located strategically within the district. Their placement is based on potential hazardous sources of pollution. These stations are complemented by monitoring stations operated by the industry as well as air quality monitoring activities done by the Garden route district municipality. The George station is also reporting live to the South-African Air Quality Information System (SAQIS).

In general, the pollution measured at these stations are in compliance with the Ambient Air Quality standards of South Africa and the Garden route can still be regarded as a district with very good air quality. The public can access the data on the SAQIS- system. There is excellent cooperation between GRDM and Industry and many emissions reduction programmes and improved technology projects have been implemented to mitigate the harmful effect of air pollution.

Goals 3 and 4 of the GRDM Air Quality Management Plan focus on Climate change response (CCR). The following tasks are envisaged under this objective relating to CCR:

  • Determining the types and quantity of fuels used in households
  • Continue the Clean Fires campaign at schools
  • Refine the emissions inventory to include household emissions
  • Identify the largest contributors of greenhouse gas emissions within the GRDM
  • Engage with these contributors to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and acknowledge those who take effective steps
  • Assist local municipalities to amend by-laws to affect emissions limits on unlicensed industries that emit greenhouse gasses.

The importance of air quality on the quality of life is often overlooked due to a lack of understanding of the impact that poor air quality has on the health and wellbeing of the community. The GRDM AQMP will continue to prioritise protecting vulnerable communities against exploitation.

Feature image: Air quality sensor

ENDS

13 August 2021 Public Notice: Noise Disturbance Advisory, Mossel Bay (13-15 August 2021)

PUBLIC NOTICE: NOISE DISTURBANCE ADVISORY,
MOSSEL BAY (13 – 15 AUGUST 2021)

Starting this afternoon (Friday 13 August 2021 until 15 August 2021), PetroSA Voorbaai Tank Farm (TK 109D) will be emptying one of its tanks at Voorbaai using air pumps. There are no risks associated with the activity other than noise disturbance in the Voorbaai and Bayview areas.

PetroSA apologises in advance for any inconvenience caused and would like to thank the public for their patience during this time.

MG Stratu
Municipal Manager
54 York Street
PO Box 12
GEORGE
6530

Tel: 044 805 5071 (after-hours)

NOTICE NO: 68/2021

10 June 2021 Media Release: Garden Route Clean Fires Campaign reach expands year-on-year

Media Release: Garden Route Clean Fires Campaign reach expands year-on-year

10 June 2021
For Immediate Release

For the last seven (7) years, Garden Route District Municipality has incorporated air pollution as part of its community awareness-raising activities. The project was identified due to poor air quality, especially in informal settlements. This pollution is often caused by fires used for household purposes, such as cooking and heating.

The peer education project was first launched in the Klein Karoo in 2014 and was later rolled out in the rest of the Garden Route. The project advanced over the last three years, where the focus was shifted to primary school learners. More communities are being reached when primary school learners are educated.

Dr Johann Schoeman, Manager: District Air Quality Control at GRDM, said, “The municipality awarded a three-year tender to Mingcele Africa NPC.  Mingcele facilitates and manages community development projects with a special focus on educational training support and environmental awareness”. Adding to this, he said: “The Western Cape Education Department was approached whereby the Clean Fires campaign is now incorporated as part of the Grade 3 curriculum”.

The course material covers the following air pollution aspects:

  • what air pollution is;
  • the health effects thereof;
  • what causes air pollution;
  • how you can help to reduce air pollution;
  • how to make a fire;
  • how to make a “cleaner” fire for heating purposes; and
  • how to construct a stove from waste material.

Each participating school receives a study pack with the course material that is very convenient to the teacher. The course material is in line with the Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statements (CAPS), are printed in English, isiXhosa and Afrikaans, and each resource pack consists of:

  • Six printed posters;
  • A game pack to learn about pollution and the environment;
  • Five lesson plans; and
  • Five worksheets in English, isiXhosa and Afrikaans.

(Lesson plans and worksheets are all bound in a full-colour booklet DVD with five plug-ins for an interactive whiteboard).

This year alone, 66 schools in the Garden Route participated in the programme – that is, 115 teachers and 4400 children. It is anticipated that four family members are reached per child with a cumulative impact of 17 600 community members reached through this project for this year alone.

The project statistics for the last three years are as follows:

  • 2019: 37 schools and 72 Teachers;
  • 2020: 46 schools and 63 Teachers; and
  • 2021:  66 schools and 151 Teachers.

For the last three years, the project almost reached 50 000 people in the Garden Route district.

Continuous monitoring and evaluation of the project occur through follow-ups and communication through two-way social media channels and attendance registers.

Due to the success of this project and the positive feedback received from the participating schools, the GRDM committed itself for another three years and a new tender was subsequently advertised for the continuation of the project.

As at Wednesday, 9 June 2021, the sixty-six (66) schools in the district have already received their study packs.

For any further information on the project, please contact Dr Johann Schoeman or Mr Angus Andries at: jschoeman@gardenroute.co.za or 044 693 0006.

Feature image: Study packs ready for distribution to schools in the Garden Route district.

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10 June 2021 Media Release: Garden Route District Municipality establishes a dispersion modelling function

Media Release: Garden Route District Municipality establishes a dispersion modelling function

For Immediate Release
10 June 2021

The Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) recently procured the Enviman AERMOD (Air Quality Dispersion Modelling) software programme that enables the GRDM Air Quality Unit to conduct dispersion modelling studies. This is a new initiative to expand the scope of work of the GRDM Air Quality Officers.

According to Dr Johann Schoeman, GRDM Manager: Air Quality: “Air dispersion modelling is defined as a series of mathematical simulations of how air pollutants disperse in the ambient atmosphere. It is performed with computer programs that solve the mathematical equations and algorithms which simulate the dispersion of pollutants.”

Dr Schoeman says AERMOD is also listed as an approved dispersion model in the Regulations that governs Dispersion Modelling, 2014, Government Notice R533. Thus, the program allows for creating air quality maps for comparison against national guidelines and limit values.

The application of this software will assist the Air Quality unit in dealing with air quality complaints. It predicts the emissions and effect of a specific source on a particular residency, depending on real-time weather data availability. For example, suppose a person phones the GRDM to complain about the smoke from a stack of Facility X. In that case, the GRDM can execute a theoretical predication of the dispersion by entering the real-time weather data and stack parameters, and the model will determine the concentrations at the complainant’s residency. GRDM can then determine if the complaint is indeed justified by comparing it with the National Ambient Air Quality standards.

The GRDM can also determine the air quality impact of area sources such as landfill sites on communities. The below dispersion model for Methane was done for the proposed GRDM Landfill site in Mossel Bay, based on the predicted landfill volumes during year one and the historical weather data for Mossel Bay over the last three years.

The programme can also determine various percentile equations to determine a specific source’s worst-case scenario on a community. The 99 percentile, for example, predicts the highest concentration of a pollutant for 1% of the year. This is demonstrated in the picture below.

Feature image: Average hourly period concentrations for Methane from the proposed Landfill site in Mossel Bay computed over a year. As can be seen in both examples, the methane concentrations are insignificant and will not cause any harm to the community. 

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26 March 2021 Media Release: Garden Route at the top of its game in controlling air quality

Media Release: Garden Route at the top of its game in controlling air quality

For immediate release
26 March 2021

Garden Route district continues to achieve 100% submission of NAEIS reports

The “National Atmospheric Emission Inventory System” or “NAEIS” is an internet-based emissions reporting system, which is a component of the South African Atmospheric Emission Licencing and Inventory System (SAAELIP) portal. NAEIS allows for regulated industries, as well as authorities to report atmospheric emissions from all sectors for compiling a national atmospheric emission inventory profile. NAEIS is legislated through the National Emission Reporting regulations that prescribe NAEIS reporting.

“Emission inventory means an accounting of the amount of pollutants discharged into the atmosphere and it contains the total emissions for one or more specific greenhouse gases and air pollutants originating from all sources in a certain geographical area and within a specified time span, said Dr Johann Schoeman, Manager: District Air Quality Control.NAEIS is a web-based atmospheric emissions monitoring and reporting system that is aimed at providing accurate, current and complete information. It includes all significant sources of identified atmospheric emissions, including greenhouse gas emissions from South Africa. NAEIS uses a single national reporting system of atmospheric emissions, which includes:

  • Informing policy formulation;
  • Meeting obligations as a country, under the United Framework Convention on Climate Change and any other international treaties to which it is bound; and
  • The establishment and upkeep of a National Emission Inventory Profile.

To comply with the reporting regulations, facilities must report emissions from each preceding year. This is made possible when the NAEIS system is opened for reporting from 1 January to 31 March annually. To ensure that this is done, the GRDM Air Quality unit arranged training sessions for its industries since the inception of NAEIS reporting in 2015 to assist stakeholders with reporting on the NAEIS system. Since the start, the Garden Route district collectively achieved a 100% submission of NAEIS reports although the National target currently stands at 90%.

This 100% submission rate is achieved through relentless assistance to our industry. “We guide the industry through special NAEIS completion target-group sessions, appointments and personal assistance,’ said Dr Schoeman.

“Most of the larger industries also have the capacity to appoint consultants to assist them with NAEIS reporting. We therefore focus on the smaller industries that do not have the capacity to do the reporting.”

Dr Schoeman further explained: “Within the Garden Route district, we have 37 facilities that have to report on NAEIS. With a week remaining, we already achieved a 70% submission rate with 26 Facilities that already submitted their NAEIS reports. We are in the process of reminding and assisting those that are busy with their NAEIS reports to do their submissions before 31 March 2021.”

The GRDM’s Air Quality section is sure that another 100% submission rate will be achieved for 2021. The Covid-19 pandemic made it challenging for both Industry, as well as the Air Quality Officers, because additional to compliance with Covid-19 protocols were added to daily tasks. Despite these challenges, the GRDM used innovative means to achieve its goals and objectives. After the NAEIS reporting cycle, authorities have to audit the NAEIS report, after which the National Department does National verifications.

For more information on the South African Atmospheric Emission Licensing and Inventory Portal (SAAELIP) go to:
https://saaelip.environment.gov.za/saaelip/home/

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10 February 2021 Media Statement: Oil smell and possible oil pollution in Dana Bay

Media Statement: Oil smell and possible oil pollution in Dana Bay

For Immediate Release
10 February 2021

Community members recently raised concerns via social media regarding possible oily residue in the Blinde River and areas reeking of oil in Dana Bay.  An inspection was subsequently done at the Blinde River on 10 February 2021 at around 13:15. Results of the inspection indicate that the blackish residue is most likely from algae growth in the river.

Algae often loosens up and decomposes alongside river banks and is in this case visibly darker in colour, similar to oil residue. PetroSA, who also visited the Blind River also confirmed this finding. However, samples were taken and sent for lab tests to confirm this statement. Furthermore, it was also confirmed that there was no oily smell from the black algae residue in the River or in Dana Bay.

The oily smell during the night is most likely residing from the PetroSA Gas To Liquids (GTL) refinery and specifically from an oil spill that occurred at the end of 2020 in two storm water ponds located adjacent to the N2. This incident was subsequently communicated to community members.

The respective case officers from National and Provincial level have been informed and are currently busy with applicable administrative action to resolve this issue. Over the short term, a solution is to clean the affected ponds, which is already underway. While the long-term solution is to upgrade the applicable unit to prevent spillages going forward. Further details about such clean-up operations need to be directed to the relevant authority, i.e. PetroSA.

The fact that the smells are more eminent during early morning hours is just that at that time of the morning, weather conditions are normally stable with dispersion conditions favouring air pollution. As soon as the temperature rises and the wind picks up, the smells gets dispersed.

Provincial air quality monitoring stations are located in George, Mossel Bay and Oudtshoorn. The concentrations of pollutants measured at the Mossel Bay station continues to comply with the National Ambient Air Quality Standards. Furthermore, the listed activities in the Garden Route are monitored through their respective Atmospheric Emission Licences and any non-compliance will continue to be addressed through administrative action.

Mossel Bay residents are further informed that PetroSA management has opted in for an open line of communication with the public. Residents are therefore urged to contact the PetroSA Shift Manager at 044- 601 2531 to lodge a complaint which will be subsequently investigated.

The public is also welcome to contact the District Air Quality office for any applicable air quality complaints under the GRDM jurisdiction. The office number is 044-693 0006 during normal office hours (Monday – Thursday, 07:30 – 16:30; Fridays from 07:30 – 13:30).

Dr Johann Schoeman
Manager: District Air Quality Control
jschoeman@gardenroute.gov.za
Tel: +27 (0)44 693 0006 | +27 (0)84 317 9167

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25 January 2021 Media Release: Ambient Air Quality Monitoring conducted in Louis Fourie Road Mossel Bay 

Media Release: Ambient Air Quality Monitoring conducted in Louis Fourie Road Mossel Bay 

For immediate release
25 January 2021

The stretch of the Louis Fourie Road between Hartenbos and Mossel Bay was identified as an Air Quality hotspot in the Garden Route District Municipality’s (GRDM) 3rd Generation Air Quality Management Plan (AQMP),  as a result of mobile emissions. This declaration was made based on estimate emissions, making use of traffic counts and international-based emission factors from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA).

According to Dr Schoeman, GRDM Manager: Air Quality: “Based on the traffic counts obtained from the South African National Roads Agency Ltd (SANRAL), the highest traffic density in the Garden Route district is most probably experienced along the R102 provincial road between Hartenbos and Mossel Bay through the Voorbaai area. A total number of 9.5 million vehicles were counted during 2018”.

It is recommended in the AQMP that ambient air quality monitoring be undertaken to verify the estimated emissions and compliance with the National Ambient Air Quality Standards.

From 5 January 2021 to 11 January 2021, the GRDM District Air Quality Unit commissioned its Zephyr mobile Air Quality monitoring station on Louis Fourie Road in Mossel Bay to verify the estimated emissions in the AQMP. Monitoring work was also intended to determine whether the stretch of road is indeed a hotspot.

“The results indicated periods of exceedances of the 24-hour average concentrations for both Sulphur dioxide (SO2) as well as Oxides of Nitrogen (NOx), 24-hour average concentrations as specified in the National Ambient Air Quality Standards,” said Dr Schoeman.  According to Dr Schoeman, the Zephyr monitoring station does not make use of reference methods for sampling, hence it is calibrated, and the results are highly accurate and therefore the perfect tool for screening purposes. The Zephyr was imported from the UK, who is using it extensively for more than five years to determine the impact of vehicle emissions in the greater Londen.

The exercise helps in creating awareness and to demonstrate that non-industrial activities also have an impact on ambient air quality.  The results will be discussed with Mossel Bay local municipality, which can be used as supplementary motivation to improve traffic flow along Louis Fourie road with the Provincial Roads directorate.

8 October 2020 Media Statement: Odour complaints in Mossel Bay receiving attention

Media Statement: Odour complaints in Mossel Bay receiving attention

For Immediate Release
8 October 2020

As part of an investigation about the offensive odour complaints in Mossel Bay, the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) Air Quality (AQ) and PetroSA convened a two-weekly meeting on odours in communities. The latest odours originate most likely from an oily effluent spill in the two storm-water dams on the refinery site. This incident was reported to the authorities and discussed in length at an engagement, followed by a media statement by PetroSA which addressed details of the incident. As part of the action list emanating from the meeting, GRDM visited the site and incident on the 6 October 2020. During the site visit the GRDM AQ Unit was joined by Mr Rudzani Makahane, Water Use Officer of the Breede-Gouritz Catchment Management Agency.

The oil spill into the storm water system was confirmed as signs of oil residue was visible in both the storm water ponds and the Blind River. There was a distinct pungent smell of hydrocarbons present at the ponds. Although, the GRDM is the Air Quality Licencing Authority for PetroSA, and offensive odours form part of air pollution, the primary origin of the odour is storm water. Thus, the primary source must be addressed in order to mitigate the air quality offensive odours (secondary matter).

The GRDM proposed that the incident needed to be addressed through a multi-sector approach by all applicable authorities. The case has also been referred to the Provincial Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, as well as the National Department of Environmental Affairs and Fisheries (DEFF). The GRDM will continue to put pressure on the relevant authorities to act in terms of their respective jurisdictions.

ENDS

 

28 August 2020 Media Release: Third Generation Western Cape Air Quality Management Plan Review

Media Release: Third Generation Western Cape Air Quality Management Plan Review

For Immediate Release
28 August 2020

The Western Cape Government, through the Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning (DEA&DP), implements systems and provides an oversight role in the province with respect to air quality management. In line with Section 15 (1) of the National Environmental Management: Air Quality Act (Act 39 of 2004) (NEM: AQA) Provinces and Municipalities are required to develop Air Quality Management Plans to manage air quality in their regions. For it to be effective, the AQMP needs to be reviewed every 5 years to establish whether the identified goals and targets have been effectively implemented.

In accordance with the NEM: AQA requirements, a Western Cape Air Quality Management Plan (AQMP) was first developed in 2010 to manage air quality in the Province. The 2010 Western Cape AQMP outlined the air quality management planning, monitoring and regulatory interventions, inclusive of assessing air quality impacts and characterizing the sources of pollution within the Western Cape Province.

The 2nd Generation Western Cape AQMP was built upon the strengths and successes of the 2010 Western Cape AQMP and was informed via formal Public Participation Process workshops during 2015 and adopted in 2016. The 2nd Generation AQMP mainly focused on strengthening the linkages between Air Quality Management and Climate Change Response, as well as spatial planning for growth and development in the Western Cape Province.
The 2nd Generation AQMP upholds the vision and the mission of the 2010 Western Cape AQMP which are as follows:

VISION

“Clean and healthy air for all in the Western Cape”

MISSION

“To ensure the effective and consistent implementation of sustainable air quality management practices, by all spheres of government, relevant stakeholders and civil society to progressively achieve and efficiently maintain clean and healthy air in the Western Cape”

GOALS

Four goals of the AQMP support the vision and mission, with each goal addressing the different aspects of the vision and are underpinned by objectives to achieve them. These are:

  • Goal 1 Ensure effective and consistent air quality management, linked to Climate Change Response
  • Goal 2 Continually engage with stakeholders to raise awareness with respect to Air Quality Management and Climate Change Response
  • Goal 3 Ensure effective and consistent compliance monitoring and enforcement
  • Goal 4 Support Air Quality and Climate Change Response programmes, including promoting and facilitating the reduction of Greenhouse gas emissions.

Following 5 years of the implementation of the 2nd Generation AQMP (2016-2020), the DEA&DP is extending an invitation and calling on all Interested and Affected Parties (I&AP’s) and authorities in the different regions of the Province to review the 2nd Generation AQMP. This first phase of the public participation review process will run from 3 August to 3 September 2020.

The review is to, inter alia:

  • Assess progress made in air quality management in the Province;
  • Establish whether the identified goals and targets have been effectively implemented;
  • Establish whether the goals and targets were still valid in terms of new developments and economic growth in the province; and
  • Identify potential air quality risks and interventions that can be translated into new goals and objectives, where required.

All I&APs and authorities are invited to participate in the first phase of the Public Participation Process, which will contribute towards the development of the 3rd Generation Western Cape AQMP.

Due to the current novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic, the Public Participation Process (PPP) cannot be undertaken through the known conventional methods. In compliance to the National Disaster Management Regulations, which prohibit social gatherings, the PPP will be conducted via two sets of questionnaires to the public and industry, respectively. The I&AP’s and authorities will be engaged through alternative platforms to ensure that the Public Participation Process of the 2nd Generation AQMP is far-reaching.

The links to the background document & questionnaires will be made available on the WCG website, Facebook and Twitter.
Please click on the links below to access and complete the questionnaire.
English: https://forms.gle/qqFs7MVGXoZHuZwt8
Afrikaans: https://forms.gle/mbLbV1R6RUwxFFWp9

If you have any queries and should you wish to engage with the DEA&DP through any other virtual means (e.g. via MS Teams, Skype, Zoom), kindly contact:
Sally Benson: Sally.Benson@westerncape.gov.za

22 July 2020 Media Release: New Mobile Air Quality Sensor for the Garden Route

Media Release: New Mobile Air Quality Sensor for the Garden Route

For Immediate Release
22 July 2020

The Garden Route District Municipality procured a new ambient air quality sensor for monitoring ambient air quality. The Zephyr® is a compact and lightweight ambient air pollution sensor that accurately measures harmful gases and particle matter.

​“Zephyr® sensors provide detailed air quality measurements in real-time to help identify pollution hotspots at a localised level such as busy road junctions, industrial activities and at area sources such as sewerage works, pumps station and stockpiles,” said Dr Johann Schoeman, GRDM Manager Air Quality Management.  The district might procure more sensors over time to be able to easily deploy district-wide analysis and optimisation of pollution-lowering initiatives. Ambient monitoring is a legislative requirement for District and Local municipalities and one of the objectives of the Garden Route 3rd Generation Air Quality Management Plan.

​Every unit is GPS enabled and can be used as a static or mobile sensor for while walking, cycling or driving.

Pollutants being measured

How it works

1. Power: Via a solar panel or DC power supply
2. Zephyr: Measures pollutants in the air in real-time
3. GSM: Built-in connection captures and sends data
4. SQL Database: Raw data is stored and calibrated
5. Upload Server: Data is authenticated and converted
6. Data access: Access and download your Zephyr data
7. MyAir: Access data via your online dashboard
8. API: Integrate data into an existing system

Every Zephyr® air quality sensor is calibrated prior to dispatch and its calibration performance is tested against reference standard analysers. Furthermore, every Zephyr® comes standard with a calibration certificate.

While the sensor is deployed, real time measurements can be accessed by the District Air Quality officers via a laptop, personal computer or cellular phone. This is extremely helpful especially when dealing with air quality complaints. Data is viewable in various formats such as excel spreadsheets, graphic formats or a dashboard. It can also be viewed as a snapshot, providing the user with  an overall view of the air quality in the current location, based on USEPA Air Quality indexes. GRDM already requested Earthsense, the manufacturer of Zephyr®, to adopt the index for our local conditions and to tweak the programme for South African National Ambient Air Quality Standards.

The sensor is currently located in the Mossel Bay region where it is used as a tool to assist with an air quality complaint. The Garden Route has various air quality hot-spots, as identified in the AQMP. Therefore, the sensor will be moved around in the District to obtain the necessary air quality status of each of the hot spots. This data is essential in order to mitigate and improve the general air quality of the region.

It is also the District’s goal to expand the ambient monitoring network so that each town has its own Zephyr® to assist in achieving the GRDM Air Quality vision “To have air quality worthy of the name Garden Route”.

For any further information, please contact Dr Johann Schoeman on: jschoeman@gardenroute.gov.za or 044 803 1300.

ENDS