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Air Information Help

How do I use Air Info?

Use the links at the top of each page, or the map on the Air Info homepage to select the location of an air quality monitoring site. (On the map, only the orange square next to the name of the site is a link).

The page for each monitoring site provides key summary statistics, plus graphs showing PM10 levels for the last week and past 180 days.

For the latest information, use the links under 'Hourly averages' for the last two days' PM10, temperature and windspeed readings.

If you have any problems using the service, please email us:

>> Email us - use 'Website feedback' as your subject

About the daily average PM10 levels

Each monitoring site page includes two graphs: the last seven days and the last 180 days. The bars on the graph show how the level of PM10 changes from day to day. When the bar goes above the red line, PM10 readings have gone over the guideline value, and are said to be HIGH.

At the top of each page the number of High Pollution Days since the start of the year is shown. In addition, the date of the last High Pollution Day is shown, and the highest daily average PM10 reading this year.

>> What is a High Pollution Day?

About the hourly PM10 readings

Use the 'Last 2 days' PM10 readings' link under 'Hourly averages' for more detailed information. The graph shows how PM10 levels rise and fall through the course of the day.

About the air temperature and windspeed readings

These graphs show air temperature and wind strength information from each monitoring site. Air temperature is shown in degrees Celsius, and wind speed is shown in metres per second. Information from the last 2 days is shown.

Both air temperature and windspeed affect the levels of PM10. When temperatures are colder, more fuel is burned to heat homes - the major contributing factor to air pollution levels. Higher winds help to clear air pollution and lower PM10 levels.

About the air quality monitoring sites

PM10 levels are monitored continuously at Mosgiel and Alexandra. The Otago Regional Council monitors air quality at other sites around Otago, and this information is available on request.

Airsheds in Otago

Map of airsheds in Otago
Map: Ministry for the Environment

In October 2004, the Ministry for the Environment introduced national air quality standards to protect public health.

Throughout New Zealand areas have been identified as likely, or known, to exceed the national standards. These areas are known as airsheds. They indicate hotspots where increased PM10 levels may be observed at certain times of the year.

In Otago, 22 settlements with possible air problems have been grouped into two airsheds, called air zones, according to their similarity in topography and climate.

  • Air zone 1 includes towns where a large number of High Pollution Days are probable in winter.
  • Air zone 2 includes towns where a moderate number of High Pollution Days are probable in winter; towns where some High Pollution Days are possible in winter; and towns where High Pollution Days are unusual.
  • Air zone 3 covers the rest of Otago.

Download PDF of Otago Airsheds

Regional Plan: Air

Click here for full list of Air Zone maps

 

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