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Air Quality and Pollution

This page deals with issues of air quality that are the responsibility of all residents of Mendip

Local Air Quality

Good air quality is important for good health and well-being. A large number of factors can effect the air we breath, but some of the most important are:

  • Road traffic
  • Industry
  • Fires

Each year local authorities are required to produce Air Quality Reports of the district. These are carried out by looking at specific pollutants and measuring the levels of these to make sure they are below European standards. Within Mendip the majority of local air quality pollution is caused by road traffic. At the present time none of the limits have been exceeded. If you would like to view the local air quality reports, click on the Documents section at the bottom of this page.

What can you do for Local Air Quality?

  • Follow garden bonfire guidelines, but try to avoid them where possible and compost your garden waste
  • Never burn anything that can produce dark smoke
  • Follow guidelines on using domestic chimneys
  • Report incidences of dark smoke from businesses to the Council
  • Try to use your car less, try walking and cycling instead

Industries covered by Environmental Permits

Information on industries covered by Environmental Permits is available on request by contacting 0300 303 8588 or emailing env-health@mendip.gov.uk.

Garden Bonfires

There is no law that bans bonfires within Mendip, and there are no set times when bonfires can be lit. However smoke from bonfires can cause a nuisance to your neighbours, and the Council can take action where bonfires are deemed to be unreasonable, or are happening too frequently. Before having a bonfire please consider the following:

  • Can the garden waste be composted, or taken to a Somerset Waste Partnership
  • If you produce garden waste regularly you may wish to take advantage of the Garden Waste Collection Service that is available
  • Before lighting a bonfire check that neighbours do not have their washing out
  • Make sure materials to be burnt are dry, so that they burn quickly and produce less smoke
  • Aim to burn material as quickly as possible and never leave the fire unattended
  • Never burn materials that are likely to cause dark smoke, or strong smells, such as plastics, rubber, foams, painted products etc

Domestic Chimneys

There are no smoke control zones in Mendip, however smoke from chimneys can still be classed as a nuisance, especially if the appliance and chimney are not properly maintained. To ensure minimum impact from the use of your fire, and to maximise the amount of heat, you should:

  • Ensure fuel is clean, dry and well seasoned if wood
  • Never burn painted or preserved wood
  • Ensure that the chimney is swept from top to bottom at least once a year. National Association of Chimney Sweeps or the Guild of Master Chimney Sweeps provide lists of local chimney sweeps.
  • When using coal the Solid Fuel Association recommends that you always buy from a coal merchant who is the member of the Approved Coal Merchants Scheme
  • If installing a new appliance, employ a HETAS approved engineer
  • For further information on minimising smoke and other pollutants from the use of wood burners please visit the Ready to Burn Website.
  • For further information on open fires and wood-burning stoves please see leaflet below.

pdf icon Open Fires + Wood Burning Stoves [221kb]

Mendip District Councils Air Quality Reports and guidance on open fires and wood-burning stoves are available to view at the bottom of this page under the 'Documents' tab.

 

Last modified: 01 February 2018