We have 10 continuous monitoring stations that measure different types of substances around the clock and report results in near real time. What each station measures depends on the individual station’s monitoring objectives. For example, data from seven of our stations located in Bruderheim, Fort Saskatchewan, Gibbons, Lamont County, Redwater, Elk Island National Park and a portable station are used to calculate the Air Quality Health Index.
As a result, these stations measure substances required by the provincial and federal governments to calculate this rating. Other Fort Air Partnership continuous monitoring stations (Scotford South, Ross Creek and Range Road 220) monitor specific substances because of industrial operating approval requirements. See Substances Monitored by Station for a complete list. Find out what our stations look like by taking an inside tour.
We have 16 passive monitors, mounted on metal posts along roadsides scattered throughout the Airshed. They measure concentrations of sulphur dioxide (SO2) and hydrogen sulphide (H2S). The filters are collected and sent to a laboratory for analysis each month to determine the distribution of these substances over a broad area and to measure trends over time. Passive samplers are a simple, inexpensive way of tracking concentration levels. The monitors don’t require power because they absorb air rather than draw air in.
PurpleAir sensors monitor for fine particulate matter (PM2.5). Although less accurate than PM2.5 analyzers in our continuous air monitoring stations, the sensors are an inexpensive way of providing a valuable assessment of levels of PM2.5 in areas that do not have continuous stations. PurpleAir sensor data is continuously collected, validated and available in real time on an AQMap operated by the University of Northern British Columbia in partnership with Environment and Climate Change Canada.
Our Network Map shows where all of our continuous and passive monitors are located. We currently have PurpleAir sensors in Waskatenau, Josephburg and Bon Accord.