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The removal and re-shaping of one of the largest colliery spoil tips in South Wales, while yielding long-term æsthetic and environmental benefits, gave cause for concern as to the possible mobilisation of airborne particulates during earthmoving operations (given also the known presence of buried combustion zones), with implications for public health and potential environmental nuisance.
As co-author of the original study, Andrew Sadleir identified the concerns and devised a detailed monitoring strategy. This resulted in the establishment of a network of monitoring stations in built-up areas adjoining the reclamation site.
Ongoing technical management of the data collection, processing and reporting were eventually entrusted to SADLEIR technical consultancy.
PM10 sampling equipment, as installed at the Aberbargoed monitoring stations
The Client received regular data reports, fully documented and - most importantly - independently verified, on airborne particulates and associated wind conditions.
The data processing and reporting process included careful cross-checking procedures, to ensure reliability of results.
Concurrent wind monitoring at each of the sampling stations enabled any abnormal PM10 concentration events to be directionally related to source.
PM10 concentrations, and derived statistics, were also evaluated against current UK and European recommended exceedance limits, providing the Local Authority client with valuable data for monitoring general compliance with urban air quality standards.
The interface unit uses a spare channel on the wind recorder datalogger, replacing an unsatifactory electro-mechanical recorder originally fitted to the PM10 sampler. This provides direct verification of the actual sample timings, independent of any field technician error or mains power failure.
In addition to regular analysis of substantial suspended particulates and wind climate data, SADLEIR technical consultancy has provided full technical support in equipment installation and maintenance; a service extending to the design and manufacture of custom modifications, such as this pressure-actuated datalogger interface unit.