Bad odours are often dispersed from chemical industries, waste dumps, sewer plants, and other facilities. They are indicative of pollution emissions from these sites and cause discomfort, apprehension, and sometimes signal the presence of health hazards. Monitoring the pollution by direct means, such as chemical analysis of ambient air, is obviously the most reliable mechanism to acquire data regarding pollution. However, this is not always possible. In this paper we report on the value of local government hotlines that record information provided by the public regarding bad odours. These data can alert the authorities to the existence of pollution and should be regarded as potentially useful when collected in conjunction with information from automated weather stations. An analysis of data from the Be'er Sheva municipality and the Ramat Negev regional council hotlines is provided. Complaints recorded by these systems were correlated with weather data from local automatic weather stations to indicate the sources of the bad odours. Wind direction was found to be highly correlated with bad odour and pollution sources, revealing consistent patterns in terms of the time of day and weather conditions.
- Citizen complaints
- Odour dispersion