Arrowtown records week of high air pollution
Arrowtown exceeded national air quality standards every day last week.
Arrowtown has exceeded the National Environmental Standard (NES) for air pollution, a daily PM10 average threshold concentration of 50 micrograms per cubic metre of air, or 50ig/m3, 16 times this winter.
Otago Regional Council air quality scientist Deborah Mills said the calm and clear weather in Arrowtown last week resulted in "classic conditions" for air pollution.
Every night temperatures dropped to between -6 degrees C and -9C and it was not surprising standards were breached, Ms Mills said.
Otago Air Zone 1, which includes Alexandra, Arrowtown, Clyde, and Cromwell, consistently recorded some of the worst winter air pollution in New Zealand.
On Tuesday Arrowtown recorded its highest air pollution level this year of 147ig/m3.
The reading was higher than the highest recording last year of 116ig/m3 but lower than its highest ever recording of 168ig/m3 in 2008.
Alexandra was the only other town in Central Otago to exceed the threshold last week, recording 68ig/m3 on Monday. However Alexandra had breached the threshold 22 times this year.
The biggest cause of the pollution was domestic fires.
Ms Mills said despite more than 100 houses in Arrowtown removing open fires and upgrading to efficient heating, the town would continued to record high PM10 levels when extreme winter weather struck.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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