Utah is adding two new air quality monitors in Salt Lake County

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Bad air in the Salt Lake Valley, Monday, Dec. 10, 2018.

The Utah Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is adding two new air quality monitoring stations — one in Murray and one in Magna, officials said Monday.

These two new stations, when they come online next year, will bring to 20 the number of such monitors across the state, DEQ spokesman Jared Mendenhall said. They will be the fifth and sixth stations in the Salt Lake Valley.

The Magna station, atop the Salt Lake County Senior Center on Main Street, is replacing a station that has been inoperable for some time and is expected to come online in January. The one in Murray, near Interstate 15 and about 50th South, while be operational later in the year.

(courtesy Department of Environmental Quality) This photo shows one of the air quality monitors DEQ is bringing on line.

The monitoring stations allow scientists to study air quality but also allow residents easy online access to data in their areas. The data is near real time as it is updated every hour, said Mendenhall. Find the information at deq.utah.gov/division-air-quality and click on current conditions.

The DEQ website also allows users to see trends and forecasts so they can make decisions about outdoor activities. "You can even dig down deeper for [information on] each pollutant,” Mendenhall said.

All of the Salt Lake Valley monitors collect data on PM 2.5, particulate matter that is small enough to be inhaled and is linked to health and respiratory problems, Mendenhall said, while some in outlying areas are calibrated to measure other kinds of pollution, such as ozone.

(Courtesy Utah Department of Environmental Quality) This new air quality monitoring station near I-15 in Murray will be online sometime next year.