PurpleAir monitors purchased by Atlantic Power and Pinnacle Renewable Energy Inc. are being installed in Williams Lake, including at city hall.
The monitors measure particulate matter PM2.5, uploading data continuously, said Martin Kruss, educator educator co-ordinator with Scout Island Nature Centre, the organization leading the project with support from the Ministry of Environment.
“PM 2.5 means the particles are 2.5 micrometres across, so just beyond human sight,” Kruus said in news release issued by the city. “A simple way to think about it is say you get a face full of dust from a passing car. Sometimes your eyes can get itchy and your nose runs, so your upper respiratory system is catching those bigger particles. But the stuff that’s a little finer can get down into your lungs and possibly do human harm, and that’s what we’re monitoring for.”
So far Kruus has installed the monitors at Scout Island Nature Centre at the nature house, city hall, South Lakeside Drive, Westridge Drive, North Lakeside Drive, Commodore Crescent and near the Williams Lake Golf and Tennis Club.
Three other locations proposed are the Williams Lake fire hall, Glendale North and at Columneetza Secondary School where the ministry has its own air quality monitoring station.
In a previous interview about the project, Dr. Peter Jackson, professor of environmental science at University of Northern British Columbia, told the Tribune the data will be uploaded on an air quality website run by the university.
The website, cyclone.unbc.ca/aqmap was developed two and half years ago by Brayden Nilson, a masters student at UNBC from Fort St. John.