Methodical Monitoring of Dust Fallout for Compliance

Case Study by Sean Altern – Consultant: Biodiversity Conservation Services

Legislated methodologies are applied throughout the process from on-site sampling to laboratory analysis.

Dust Fallout Monitoring is a nationally legislated scientific monitoring practice used in order to quantify and help identify the source of airborne dust particles that are settling at a particular point. This could be on or near an industrial site, a mine or even a new development such as a housing estate. The purpose of monitoring, though legislative and requiring of monthly report submissions, is not meant to be punitive but rather to enable properties to better understand the effect of their operation on air quality. Subsequently, following careful analyses of the results in relation to site influences, measures can be put in place to reduce this if need be.

Dust Fallout Monitoring has a nationally legislated methodology in terms of the 2004 National Environmental Management: Air Quality Act and subsequent National Dust Control Regulations. These regulations specify the exact methods and equipment to be utilised to be followed in order for results to be scientifically valid as per South African National Standard (SANS 1137: 2012) which is the identical implementation of the international methodology known as ASTM D1739: 1998. As such there is not much room for customisation however NCC is able to provide the detailed reports that are both fulfilling of all stipulated criteria with added graphs and customised infographics making these lengthy and complicated documents much more user friendly and easy to understand.

Reports provide clear and concise information pertaining to cause and results.

Professional dust fallout monitoring and evaluation can put an end to often misplaced sources of dust fallout.

NCC’s technicians are able to set up and manage all aspects of dust fallout monitoring with background files, site specific protocol and sampler installations. Samplers are changed on a monthly basis and results analysed at a routinely accredited SANAS laboratory. The results are then scrutinized against various measurable site influences in order to identify source and cause. The information is finally collated into a neat report inclusive of mitigation measures for submission to the client and air quality officer.

Sources of dust fallout may often be misplaced (towards development or industry) and professional dust fallout monitoring and evaluation can put an end to this. It is importunate to bear in mind that correlation does not always equate to causation. Long term trends picked up over months of monitoring become evident and this enables prediction and subsequent accurate source cause action.

The stringent and systematic process used ensures accuracy and compliance with national legislation thereby allowing for and enabling sustainable development and adapted operations that do not infringe on the health or well-being of others whist providing proof to settle any such disputes. 

Samples may vary from month to month according to site influences.

NCC Environmental Project Team

  • Nick Gates – Project Manager
  • Sean Altern – Project Lead
  • Lulama Zibi – Project Technician

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