Air Quality Monitors Up and Running in Courtenay

March 13, 2024

Curious about air quality readings near you? Over the past year, several new air quality monitors have been installed across the city, with real-time readings available online for anyone interested in learning more about local air quality. 

Mayor Bob Wells said the new air quality monitors are helping gather more detailed information. 

“Air quality in Courtenay has been a community health concern for many years,” said Wells. “The City’s new monitors are gathering important data, and we’re also excited to see residents participating in this effort. The online map shows several new monitors that have been installed on private property. Since air quality can vary greatly between neighbourhoods, all of these monitors help governments and health authorities get a better understanding of this issue so we can continue to work towards solutions."

Real-time readings from all monitoring locations are available online at:

Fine particulate matter (also known as PM2.5) is the greatest threat to air quality in the Comox Valley, as observed by the provincial air monitoring station in West Courtenay. Common sources of PM2.5 include smoke from residential wood burning appliances, open burning and wildfires.

“So far, the highest PM2.5 readings have been observed during winter evenings and overnight, when the use of residential wood burning appliances is common,” said Jeanniene Tazzioli, Manager of Engineering, Environmental Projects.  “As we transition into summer, the air quality monitors will be a valuable resource for anyone wondering about impacts to air quality from open burning and wildfire smoke.”

The readings indicate the amount of PM2.5 in the air at a specific location, at a moment in time. The measurements can change quickly, so they are averaged over 24 hours to determine if they exceed the BC Air Quality Objective of 25 µg/m3 (micrograms per cubic meter). The data collected from all monitors is compiled by Environment and Climate Change Canada, and analyzed by the province to measure progress over time.

While monitors do not identify specific sources of PM2.5, and therefore cannot be used for bylaw enforcement, residents with concerns about sources of excessive and persistent smoke are welcome to contact City of Courtenay Bylaw Services at

For more information about air quality and monitoring visit: