Knowledge is power and data is an increasingly important part of our day-to-day lives. Better data means that we have the information we need to make more informed decisions, and this big data revolution is affecting all major sectors of our economy, including the real estate and rental industries.
Consumers can use data to make purchasing and lifestyle decisions, and property owners can use data to make better business decisions. One of the best examples of this is how environmental data gathering is empowering both renters and landlords to live better lives.
In order to understand how, let’s first look at how environmental data monitoring is conducted, and then explore some of its applications for tenants and property owners.
What is Environmental Monitoring?
Put simply, environmental monitoring is the process of collecting data pertaining to the surrounding environment or ecosystem. This includes gathering information about the environmental impact of certain areas or activities.
Environmental monitoring data is used to evaluate the status of an environment and uncover activities or practices that are harming the environment through pollution, climate change, or ecological damage.
Most commonly, data loggers are used to collect information on the local environment, including the temperature, humidity, or differential pressure of a specific area. However, in addition to these basic metrics, a variety of other types of data can be collected in the process of environmental monitoring. Let’s briefly explore a few examples.
Air Quality Sampling for Environmental Monitoring
One example of environmental monitoring is air quality sampling, which is used to detect harmful particulates or pollution in the air that impact the environment or surrounding population, Dickson notes it here in this guide. The industrialization of the economy over the centuries has created unhealthy air worldwide. As a result, an important part of environmental monitoring is gathering data on the amount of carbon and pollution generated by factories and industrial infrastructure.
Geographic information systems are used in conjunction with sensor observation services and data loggers to get an accurate picture of air quality and airborne pollutants that could put living organisms or the environment at risk.
After this data is aggregated, it can be integrated into an air dispersion model. This mathematical model can put air quality data into a larger perspective that includes the environment’s topography, meteorology, and particulate matter breakdown.
Passive air sampling techniques can also be used to continuously monitor air quality in a particular environment. Passive air samplers have the advantage of being quiet, easily deployable, and affordable.
Water Quality Monitoring
Another great example of environmental monitoring is the collection of water quality data. Water quality is crucial for ecological safety and public health, making it an important part of a comprehensive environmental monitoring approach.
It is important to understand that water quality monitoring is undertaken with many different goals in mind. Studying the quality of water in a particular region can indicate larger ecological problems in that area. One notable example is how the depopulation of Atlantic salmon in certain lakes and rivers led researchers to discover the phenomenon of acid rain.
Researchers also conduct in-depth analyses of the chemical makeup of water in different regions to uncover if harmful chemicals might be present. As science evolves, chemicals that were once thought benign are found to harm surrounding populations and wildlife. Many researchers, and even homeowners, are using water test kits to collect accurate data on water quality.
Microbiological Environmental Monitoring
Detecting viruses and bacteria is another important part of environmental monitoring of both air and water. This is particularly true for areas where the aquatic environment is connected to supplies of drinking water.
The COVID-19 global pandemic has thrust microbiological environmental monitoring into the spotlight, with many researchers now studying how to make environments more microbiologically secure and virus-free, and California authorities measuring the amount of virus in wastewater to determine where localized Covid-19 outbreaks are happening so that public health measures can be taken.
How Can Environmental Monitoring Affect Landlords?
Now that we’ve looked at a few different aspects of environmental monitoring, the implications for landlords should be quite evident. As a property owner, you carry a variety of ethical and legal obligations to your tenants. One of these responsibilities is to make the environment your tenants are living in safe.
As a landlord, you can be held liable for environmental dangers present on your property, particularly if you have not taken actions to analyze these potential dangers and correct them. Failure to conduct sufficient environmental monitoring could potentially represent civil or criminal negligence.
Data loggers are a powerful tool for landlords or business owners to collect reliable environmental data on their property.
Collecting accurate temperature and humidity data on your property could mitigate fire hazards. Monitoring the air quality on your property makes your tenant less vulnerable to airborne toxins, pollutants, and viruses. Collecting data on water quality on your property can help ensure safe drinking water for your tenants.
Importantly, landlords face increasing environmental regulations to minimize pollution and carbon emissions. Environmental monitoring is also crucial for landlords to minimize their property’s impact on the environment, so that they can comply with regulatory requirements and possibly even benefit from government incentives.
All of these steps are part of being a responsible landlord and fulfilling your obligations to tenants in order to avoid future legal complications.
How Can Environmental Monitoring Affect You If You’re A Tenant or Renter?
Conducting environmental monitoring as a renter can make you less vulnerable to environmental toxins, bacteria, viruses, and pollution.
Many renters, for example, have found that making use of a HEPA air filter or air purifier can mitigate the risk of possible airborne viral infections and allergies. Some renters are even using specific houseplants to improve the air quality of their homes.
Collecting data on water quality and making use of a high-quality water filter if necessary can play an important role in safeguarding your family and preventing toxic chemicals or harmful bacteria from entering your body through your water supply.
One disconcerting example of how drinking water can be affected is found in the use of lead pipes, which was widespread in the United States, and which the EPA found to be causing lead poisoning for Americans throughout the country. Despite a nationwide effort to replace lead pipes, they are still used in many states and represent a significant possible danger to renters in certain areas.
This is why many Americans are using water filters and other methods to safeguard the quality of their drinking water.
How Can Environmental Monitoring Save You Money?
Environmental monitoring has the potential to save businesses millions of dollars. For one thing, collecting environmental data is a crucial part of the supply chain process for many temperature-sensitive products.
Many companies in the food and beverage industry must ensure that food products are kept at specific temperatures throughout the entire supply chain process, so using the best data loggers on the market to collect temperature data is vital.
Healthcare companies must use data loggers to make sure that temperature-sensitive medical products are transported safely to hospitals and patients.
This is particularly pertinent today because COVID-19 vaccines must be kept at extremely cold temperatures throughout transit, which has led to increased demand for powerful, low-temperature freezers.
As a result, detecting temperature fluctuations early by using data loggers can save companies millions of dollars by avoiding product recalls and public health risks.
Landlords can also save money through environmental monitoring by preventing civil and criminal actions from being brought against them by renters or other third parties. Minimizing their property’s environmental impacts could also qualify them for government incentives and help them to comply with federal and state regulations.
It’s easy to see why environmental monitoring is important, particularly in the rental market. Whether you are a landlord or a renter, considering strategies to collect environmental data can improve your quality of life and save you money.