Four monitors have been installed near the landfill site along Railway Parade and Loftus Street in response to reports from the community. The monitors help us measure and monitor hydrogen sulfide (rotten egg gas) in the area. Information from the monitors, along with odour patrols by EPA officers and reports from the community, help us to check that our requirements on potentially odorous activities are working.The Department of Planning Industry and Environment have also established an air quality monitoring station in Bowral which reports on air quality and the data can be viewed at https://www.airquality.nsw.gov.au/southern-tablelands/bowral
About the monitors
The monitors are small (about the size of a litre carton of milk) and automatic. They take an air sample every 10 minutes and analyse it for hydrogen sulfide.
They can detect levels as low as 0.003 parts of hydrogen sulfide per million parts of air (ppm), and as high as 2 ppm. The monitors are connected to the existing mobile phone network, and every 12 hours they transmit the data collected to the EPA.
People can smell hydrogen sulphide at low levels. About half of people can smell hydrogen sulfide at a concentration of around 0.008 parts hydrogen sulphide per million parts of air (ppm), however some people can smell it at 0.0005 ppm while others first smell it at 0.3 ppm.
The chart shows the concentration detected in each 10 minute sample of air collected by the monitor. The results will be updated twice a week.
The chart is interactive and is best viewed in full screen mode. Filter the monitor results by selecting the sites in the tabs.
Health impacts of odours
(Information provided by NSW Health)
Exposure to low concentrations of hydrogen sulphide may cause irritation to the eyes, nose or throat, and difficulties in breathing in people with asthma. Repeated exposures at these levels can also understandably cause anxiety and distress and result in indirect symptoms such as headaches and nausea.
These effects are likely to be minor and temporary and should stop once the air quality improves.
Once it enters the body hydrogen sulphide does not accumulate as it is rapidly processed in the liver and excreted in the urine.
If residents are concerned about their symptoms or if symptoms persist once the odours have ceased, they should seek advice from their local general practitioner.
People who work in some industries are at risk of exposure to higher levels of hydrogen sulphide than the general population.
Community reports can play an import role in the EPA’s investigation of odours. Important information on odours can be recorded using the EPA fact sheet and odour log sheet (PDF 160KB).
If you are experiencing odour impacts please contact our Environment Line on 131 555.