Air quality refers to the condition or state of the Earth's atmosphere - the layer that supports all life on Earth.
The quality of this air is dependent on its gaseous composition and processes of weather namely wind, temperature inversions and rainfall.

Current practices and lifestyle choices have an impact on the composition of the gases in the air. Human activities such as land clearing, industrial production, use of private motor vehicles, wood and solid fuel heating and lawn mowing generate many air pollutants, locally, regionally and globally.

Air pollutants include sulfur dioxide, nitrous oxide, carbon dioxide, ozone, hydrocarbons, particulate matter and odours. Many of these are greenhouse gases in the Earth's atmosphere that also contribute to global warming.

Sydney's south-west region, which includes the Camden LGA, tends to collect air pollutants from the surrounding region because of the complex terrain and daily pattern of air flow in the Sydney basin.

Air pollution can be worse in winter. Environmental conditions particularly temperature inversions tend to trap pollutants, especially wood smoke, close to the ground and prevent their dispersal. Dispersal is further inhibited by the calm wind conditions that prevail at the colder times of year.

For more information phone 4654 7777.

Open Burning

Residents are advised that burning in the Camden Local Government Area is prohibited.

Exceptions apply for bona fide hazard reduction works where a Hazard Reduction Certificate has been issued by the Rural Fire Services (RFS). The RFS can be contacted on 9608 7777.

Some agricultural operations and cooking fires are permitted. For information in this regard contact an Environmental Health Officer on 4654 7777.

The burning of vegetation, without a Hazard Reduction Certificate is prohibited, except with a written approval from the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA).

Solid Fuel Heaters

Wood fired heaters can be a source of unwelcome nuisance in our community during the cooler months.

If you have a wood heater here are a few easy steps you can take to start the season well:

  1. Have the fire box and flue cleaned. Built up tars and residue block the flue, restrict airflow and burn dirty.
  2. Check for wear and tear and have all repairs attended to by appropriately qualified tradespeople.
  3. Have a ready supply of good quality dry timber and kindling.
  4. Refresh your operator skills. Be sure you know how your wood heating appliance works and operate it at its optimum settings at all times.

Like any appliance, wood heaters eventually wear out. If you are looking for a new heater you might consider installing cleaner more efficient alternatives including reverse cycle air conditioning or gas.

If you are thinking of buying a new wood heater please refer to Council’s website for more information about the selection, installation and use of solid fuel (wood fire) heaters in the Camden LGA.

What signals will you be sending this winter?