Ozone data in " we just can’t see it | TheUnion.com

Ozone data in " we just can’t see it

An ozone monitor attached to the roof of Nevada City’s city hall has been collecting data for a month, but concerned residents can’t view the results online because of a technical difficulty.

The malfunction comes at a time when smoky conditions from wildfires have made this summer one of the dirtiest on record.

“It’s taken longer than we thought to get fixed,” said Paul Frederickson, chair of the monitoring committee for Save the Air in Nevada County.

Technicians are working on the problem and hope to have the information available to the public by the end of the month, Frederickson said.

The group is made up of residents worried about the health impacts the county’s poor summer air quality has on people living in the area. The group purchased the $4,000 monitor and installed it onto City Hall last month with the hopes of posting 1-hour and 8-hour averages on its Web site, http://www.stainnc.org.

Wireless Internet connections from the rooftop aren’t working because of an interference coming from a transmitter on the courthouse, Frederickson said. Programmers are looking into stringing a hard cable from City Hall to the roof top as a remedy.

“We got it all installed and it looked like everything was running great, then it kept crashing because of all the interference we were getting,” Frederickson said.

Members of STA in NC purchased the monitor to gather a better sense of how ozone, a form of air pollution, moves in the county. A monitor installed on the Litton Building near Sierra College provides data for the Northern Sierra Air Quality Management District, and until recently was the only monitoring site in Western Nevada County.

“We don’t know how representative that one monitor is. We have some indications already that there are some difference between Nevada City and the Litton Building,” Frederickson said.

When smoke from regional wildfires began darkening the skies three weeks ago, STA in NC temporarily took the monitors down to prevent sooty residue from clogging the machine.

Volunteers hope to have the equipment up and running properly by the end of the month.

Another monitor purchased for the Grass Valley area is having trouble finding a home, Frederickson said.


To contact Staff Writer Laura Brown, e-mail lbrown@theunion.com or call 477-4231.

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