The Natural Resources Conservation Board has installed a new air quality monitoring unit in High River.
Compliance manager with the board, Kevin Seward says the Scentroid CTair unit will provide more information related to odours experienced by area residents.
"It measures a few different parameters than the CRAZ unit, the Calgary Region Airshed Zone," he says. "It measures reduced sulphur and the CRAZ unit measured total reduced sulphur, but this new unit also measures ammonia and volatile organic compounds which are different than what the CRAZ unit monitors."
The big question is, does it measure the smell?
"It does, it has an artificial intelligence that it takes all the parameters that it's monitoring, and it converts that to an odour unit. It's just a unit and it gives us a scale, whether that scale is to some people is to an odour that some people would experience, high or low, I don't know but it does give us a scale of what it would rate the odour based on those compounds that it is measuring."
He says the unit is brand new to the NRCB, it's about the size of a shoe box and can run on solar panel.
Because it's portable it can be moved around to check out other sources of contaminated air.
Seward says it's so new officials are still learning about it so while they plan to make the data available on their website that will take about a month so they can make sure it's accurate.
Monitoring from the Calgary Region Airshed Zone equipment is also available on its website.
He encourages people to call their complaint line when there are concerns about odours.
"We do log every complaint that if people complain it gets logged and put into our data base," Seward says. "The other thing is if people would like a follow up, to answer some questions, please tell the call centre that and please leave your contact information."
"We want to take the complaints that we receive from the public, we want to take that information, compare it to this scientific information that we're getting from this air monitoring station and the Calgary Region Airshed Monitoring station, then take that data and compare it to any activity that may be happening at the feedlot that may be causing those odours."
The new unit is located by the High River Spray Park.