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New Site Offers (Almost) Real-Time Data From Louisville Air Monitors

Erica Peterson

Ever wonder how the air quality varies across Louisville?

Now there’s an easy way to find out. The Louisville Metro Air Pollution Control District is providing almost real-time data from the city’s network of air monitors on the web.

The new site — which the district is calling Louisville Air Watch — works sort of like the federal government’s AirNow website. The latter allows people to check a city’s air quality index and see details about how much ozone or particulate matter is in the air.

The city-wide numbers collect and combine data from across Louisville. If you want to take a deeper dive, that’s where Louisville Air Watch comes in. The site allows users to zoom in on an individual air monitor and see the latest data it collected.

“It’s not to say this is going to be the exact air quality where you live, but it’s going to give you a pretty good idea of what the air quality is like in your area,” said APCD spokesman Tom Nord.

The monitors all track different pollutants — some just look at ozone while others measure other pollutants like nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide and particulate matter. Others also measure precipitation and wind speed and direction.

The data isn’t exactly real-time, but generally updates every hour or so.

Nord said knowing the general air quality index will be sufficient for most people, so they can make informed decisions about how much time to spend outside when the air is unhealthy.

“But we feel this is an extra step to sort of give people who want to dive deeper into this information a more detailed picture of the air quality,” he said.

Check out Louisville Air Watch here.

Erica Peterson is WFPL's Director of News and Programming.