Plume Plotter

What is Plume Plotter?

It’s a website that shows a real-time display of the air pollution from the South London Incinerator at Beddington Farmlands if it existed now.

A typical incinerator produces as much pollution (in terms of oxides of nitrogen and particulates) as a 5-7 km stretch of typical motorway, according to the government’s pro-incineration document: Incineration of Municipal Solid Waste.

Does Plume Plotter just show the wind direction then?

No, there is more to it than that. Plume Plotter calculates how high the plume rises and how it disperses with distance. The display shows how much pollution reaches ground level at each point on the map.

Where does the pollution go?

See for yourself, at:

The air is already polluted so how can you tell where it’s coming from?

That’s why, as well as showing the amount of each pollutant, the website compares it with the background level. For example, if Plume Plotter shows 50 micrograms per cubic metre of nitrogen dioxide at a certain location, this is 327% of the background level in the area, so the predicted level there right now is more than four times the average.

How accurate is Plume Plotter?

No model is completely accurate, and Plume Plotter is based on a simple model which is definitely not the state of the art in air pollution modelling.

Plume Plotter is based on an old model (from the 1970s) and doesn’t take hills into account (Crystal Palace / Streatham being the notable one).  However, it does show the possible effects of how high and far a plume can go if unobstructed by hills

All models, like the ones used by Viridor, are only there to give an idea / impression.

Is Plume Plotter anti-incinerator?

No, Plume Plotter is objective and unbiased. Anyone can see how it is implemented and point out any errors.

All data about the incinerator and its emissions is taken from the incinerator planning application documents.