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Air Quality

What is an O​zone Alert?

Ozone Alerts are a proactive measure to keep ozone levels low in Wichita and surrounding areas.

Ozone Alerts are intended to inform Wichita and the surrounding Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) of potentially high ozone so they can:

  • Plan "Everyday Actions" that can reduce ozone-forming emissions and avoid high ozone levels; and
  • Take precautions to avoid potential harmful effects of ozone.

Ozone Alerts are circulated through multiple channels including:

  • Email distribution
  • 10am City of Wichita Public Safety Briefing;
  • City of Wichita social media sites on Facebook and Twitter; and
  • BeAirAwareKS Instagram.

Ozone Alerts are issued when meteorological and environmental conditions indicate ozone levels could be high the following day. Conditions that can cause high ozone levels include:

  • High temperatures;
  • Increased amounts of ozone on preceding days;
  • High ozone upwind; and
  • High-wind conditions.

Ozone Alerts should encourage the community to plan Everyday Actions to eliminate ozone-forming emissions and reduce the possibility for ozone levels to be high.

Encouraging community members to sign up for Ozone Alerts and reinforcing the list of Everyday Actions are invaluable ways to help.

Ozone Aler​​t Days

When weather and environmental conditions indicate Ozone levels could be high, an Ozone Alert will be issued. Ozone Alerts will be issued the day before the Ozone Alert Day, so that you can plan Everyday Actions for the next day to keep ozone levels low.

Sign up for Ozone Alert ​​Emails

Sign up to receive Ozone Alert emails for the Wichita Metropolitan Statistical Area which includes all of Sedgwick, Butler, Harvey and Sumner Counties.

Subscribe to Ozone Info & Alerts

Everyday Actions

What to do on an Ozone Alert Day to keep Ozone Levels low:

  • Share a ride, walk or bike
  • Take the bus
  • Refuel in the evening
  • Drive less - postpone errands and take your lunch to work
  • Do lawn and garden chores gasoline-free
  • Turn your key, be idle free
  • Walk-in, avoid the drive-thru
  • Conserve energy
  • Postpone projects that use products that produce fumes - solvents, varnishes, paints, and some cleaners.​​​​​​​​

Monitoring Network

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment - Bureau of Air monitors ambient air for criteria pollutants (carbon monoxide, ozone, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, lead, and particulate matter) in accordance with regulations set forth in the federal Clean Air Act. 

Wichita has been in compliance with all six criteria air pollutants since 1989. The criteria pollutants are the only ones for which National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) have been established by EPA. Based on recent scientific heath effects studies, EPA last revised the ozone standard in 2008 and the particulate matter standard in 1997. These changes effectively lowered allowable concentrations of these two pollutants. Ambient air measurements show that Wichita is closer to exceeding the new ozone standard but we are currently in attainment with both the ozone and particulate matter standards.

The pollutants in urban air come from many sources. The major contributors are:

  • Mobile sources (automobiles, trucks, buses, and trains)
  • Area sources (smaller sources such as boilers, dry cleaners and citizen activities)
  • Stationary (industrial), and natural sources (background) are also contributors.

More information

Get up-to-date local air quality data.


​N​ational Am​​bient Air Quality Standards (AAQS)​​​

View the NAAQS Table

Kansas Department of Health and Environment - Bureau of Air

KDHE Bureau of Air

Indoor Air (Informational Purposes Only)

The City of Wichita does not provide indoor air quality evaluations.

Since the average person spends about 90 percent of their time indoors, indoor air pollution can have significant effects on our health. In an effort to conserve energy, buildings are tightly sealed and ventilation rates are reduced. As a result, indoor air pollutants can become trapped inside and build up to levels that may make some people sick. The people who are most susceptible are children, pregnant women, the elderly, and people who are chronically ill. An important indicator that you may have an indoor quality problem is the onset of symptoms while in a certain room or building, and relief from those symptoms shortly after leaving.

Usually the most effective way to improve indoor air quality is through source control-reduction or eliminating  air pollutant sources. Ventilation improvements, using exhaust fans and bringing in fresh air, can also be beneficial. Filtering the air may reduce some pollutants, but should not be relied on exclusively. We do not recommend the use of certain "air cleaners" such as ionizers or ozone generators for most situations because these devices may do more harm than good.​​

More ​Information​

Contact Environmental Protection Agency

EPA Indoor Air Quality

Inspection Programs

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) reviews applications and issues all permits to sources of air emissions in Sedgwick County. These permits restrict the way a facility is constructed and operated, thus ensuring that emissions from the facility will have minimal impact on the surrounding population and the environment.

Annual facility inspections of air pollution sources in Sedgwick County are conducted by KDHE to determine compliance with air regulations and permit conditions. Appropriate air pollution control equipment, as specified in the permit, must be in place and operating properly. Surveillance observations and routine inspections are also regularly conducted. These routine compliance audits help insure that sources in Wichita and Sedgwick County maintain compliance over time.

Who to Contact​

For more information about air permits and inspections, contact KDHE.

South Central District Office
300 W Douglas Ave, Suite 700
Wichita, KS 67202-2921
(316) 337-6020


Open Burning

Depending on the type and location of the burn, state approval and/or a local burn permit may be required.

State app​roval process

The Kansas Department of Health & Environment -Bureau of Air has authority for implementation of the Kansas Air Quality Regulations in Sedgwick County. All applications for approval to conduct an open burning operation within the boundaries of Sedgwick County that is not otherwise exempt from the prohibition on open burning imposed by Kansas Administrative Regulation (K.A.R.) 28-19-645 should be directed to the KHDE South Central District Office at (316) 337-6020. 

 Kansas Open Burning Regulations Eng/Sp Translation

Local burn per​​mits

Communities served by Fire District 1 should refer to the guidance and application on the Sedgwick County website. Communities not served by Fire District 1 should contact their local fire department for burn permits.​​

Sedgwick County Burn Permit Application

Hazardous Response

Spills, discharges, and emergency releases of a hazardous material can cause serious harm to public health and the environment. Federal and state laws require federal and/or state agencies to be notified in the event of an accidental spillage of any materials that may pollute water, air, or soil. The State of Kansas has created a single hotline for Spill and Hazard reporting. This number is to be used for reporting all spills and hazards. Depending on the nature of the spill or hazard, the call will automatically be forwarded to the appropriate state agency.

Report​ spills

Kansas Department of Health & Environment (KDHE)

P: (785) 291-3333
Email KDHE Spill Hotline Visit Kansas Spill Response Program