In an effort to provide easy access to real-time information, the City has deployed an air quality sensor at Memorial Park.
The sensor is part of a new generation of laser particles counters and provides a real-time measurement of airborne particulate matter. Particulate matter describes solid particles suspended in the air including dust, smoke, and other organic and inorganic particles.
How does it work? A particulate laser counter uses a fan to draw a sample of air past a laser beam. Any particles in the air will reflect some light from the laser beam onto a detection plate, like dust shimmering in a sunbeam. The reflection is measured as a pulse by the detection plate and the length of the pulse determines the size of the particle and the number of pulses determines the particle count.
Click on the green dot (located in White Rock) to display the current sensor information.
You can hover over the legend colors and a pop up display will appear and explain what each color means (The legend graph is colour-coded).
You can also zoom out to see other cities.
Have questions? Read our Q&A (below).
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Air Quality Sensor Q&A
1. Why did the City choose to install an Air Quality Sensor at this time? The City chose to install it as part of our efforts to become a Smart City.
2. What is an Air Quality Sensor? Air Quality sensors are devices that detect and monitor the presence of air pollution in the surrounding area.
3. What is the purpose of the Air Quality Sensor? The main purpose of the sensor is to educate ourselves and the public on the surrounding environment.
4. Is there a problem with the air quality in White Rock? There are no air quality issues. The Air Quality Sensor should be viewed as a tool the same way someone would view a weather or tides report. It is informational data.
5. When would I benefit from accessing the Air Quality Sensor data? An example of when it would be useful is if large parts of the province were blanketed in smoke from forest fires and you wanted to see how it was affecting the air quality in White Rock.
6. Why did the City choose Memorial Park to install the Air Quality Sensor? The Air Quality Sensor needs to be connected to the Internet in order to transmit data, which it does every 80 seconds, and this location is where the wifi is already located.