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Community Odour Monitoring Project

Home // Human Exposure Monitoring // Community Odour Monitoring Project

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Report Odour Observations Login
(for project volunteers only)


Odours have become a prominent issue in some communities in the Wood Buffalo region, as a result, WBEA's Human Exposure Monitoring  Program (HEMP) monitors, detects and chemically characterizes odour compounds in ambient air. In addition to using specialized instrumentation to detect odours, HEMP has launched a community-based odour monitoring project. For this new initiative, WBEA recruited volunteer participants from the community of Fort McMurray in 2013, and is looking for volunteers again for the 2014 project year.


Monitoring human exposure to odours in the region is part of a long-term strategy of WBEA. Due to public concerns over odours, HEMP will continue to identify, assess and communicate how odours can be monitored and reported to community members. The main objective of WBEA's Fort McMurray Community Odour Monitoring Project is to involve the community in identifying and monitoring odours in the air in order to determine the impact  on residents.

2014 Volunteer Timeline:

The project will run for approximately one year, but it does not require a large commitment of time. In fact, volunteers are asked to go about their daily activities and simply record odours if, and when, they are noticed.

Community Odour Panel:

WBEA's Fort McMurray Community Odour Panel is a group of individuals selected from the local community who will monitor and report on odours as they notice odour occurences throughout their regular day-to-day activities. Community volunteers will be recruited from the various districts of Fort McMurray which include: Abasand Heights, Beacon Hill, Dickensfield, Downtown Fort McMurray, Gregoire, Thickwood, Timberlea, Waterways and Wood Buffalo.

Residents selected for the community odour panel are trained to recognize and quantify the specific odour types that may exist in the geographical area of Fort McMurray. Volunteers are then be trained to quantify the level of odours, and to report these observations. When community volunteers experience odours they are asked to record their response to the odour through one of 3 methods of their choice: 1) Website; 2) Smart phone application; or 3) prepaid response observation cards, to be sent for further assessment and data analysis.


WBEA will use the data collected to better understand the odour patterns impacting the community of Fort McMurray. Data gathered will also be used to inform the public and to address the odour concerns of local residents. Others can use the data to better understand which of their activities may be causing an odour problem, and how to best control odours.

WBEA will communicate project conclusions, and will continue to use existing odour measurement methods to share a wider picture of the state of odours in the region. A final report will present the results of the collected data, major statistics, relations with community odour panel observations and conclusions gained from the monitoring project.

Project Administration:

WBEA is managing the project and has contracted Odotech Inc. to do the work. Odotech has extensive experience in odour monitoring projects around the world.

Please click to view the Odotech Community Odour Monitoring Project Website.


If you are interested in learning more, or would like to volunteer as a participant in WBEA's Fort McMurray Community Odour Monitoring Project, please contact us at 780-799-4420, or at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .