Author: Jeff Smith
This report presents results of ambient air quality monitoring carried out by Environment Waikato during 2005. Monitoring sites were located in Hamilton, Tokoroa, Te Kuiti, Taupo and Matamata.
The main air contaminant of concern in the Waikato region is suspended particles (PM10). In September 2004, the Ministry for the Environment introduced a National Environmental Standard (NES) for PM10 of 50µg m-3 (24-hour average) with one allowable exceedence each year. The NES became effective from September 2005. Concentrations of PM10 were measured at all locations, along with monitoring of benzene at three Hamilton sites.
Tokoroa experienced the highest PM10 concentrations and greatest frequency of exceedence. During 2005, the maximum measured PM10 concentration at Tokoroa was 89µg m-3 and 30 exceedences of 50µg m-3 were measured. This compares with a previous maximum of 97µg m-3 measured in 2004, the same year that the maximum of 41 exceedences was observed. Unusually elevated concentrations of PM10 appear to have been observed at Tokoroa between Dec 2003 – Sept 2005 and this may be related to variations of wind conditions or a baseline data anomaly caused by instrumentation error.
In Hamilton, measured PM10 concentrations did not exceed 50µg m-3. However data were not collected between 15 May – 19 July 2005 and it is entirely possible that the highest PM10 concentration occurred, but was undetected, during this period. It is also possible that PM10 exceedances may have occurred during this time of instrument failure. Monitoring at Hamilton was carried out using a TEOM analyser with a sample temperature of 40°C. Additional daily sampling with a gravimetric instrument is recommended during winter 2006 to verify data from the TEOM.
Monitoring of benzene at Hamilton for 12 months in 2004–2005 showed concentrations at previously monitored sites were lower than results from 2003–2004. While it is possible that this is an early indication of a declining trend, the limited monitoring period is too small to be certain. Benzene concentrations are within the current MfE guidelines, but would exceed the guideline value that will become operative in 2010.
At Te Kuiti, concentrations twice exceeded 50µg m-3 (24-hour average) and the maximum measured 24-hour average was 54µg m-3. In Taupo, monitoring was carried out every third day and one exceedance of 50µg m-3 was measured in 2005, when a 24-hour PM10 concentration of 52µg m-3 was recorded. Because the sampling regime at Taupo is limited to monitoring one-day-in-three, extrapolation would suggest around three exceedances for 2005.
In general, all areas show similar seasonal variations in PM10 concentrations, with higher values occurring during the winter months. Interannual trends of PM10 concentrations were not apparent at any of the monitoring sites.
A new PM10 monitoring site was established at Matamata in June 2005 and, while no exceedances have been observed since the monitoring commenced, the dataset is too short to allow for further analysis and interpretation of the data.
Air quality monitoring 2005
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|2||Air quality monitoring in Hamilton||3|
|2.2||Concentrations of PM10||8|
|2.3||Concentrations of Benzene, Toluene and Xylenes||12|
|3||Air quality monitoring in Tokoroa||14|
|3.1||Concentrations of PM10||14|
|3.3||Emissions and instrumentation issues||20|
|4||Air quality monitoring in Taupo||21|
|4.1||Concentrations of PM10||21|
|5||Air quality monitoring in Te Kuiti||24|
|5.1||Concentrations of PM10||25|
|6||Air quality monitoring in Matamata||34|
|6.1||Concentrations of PM10||35|