Marlay Park map

The Client

Marlay Park is a large public park located 10km from the city centre, in a residential suburb. Each year there is a summer concert series held in the park, with a number of large scale music shows held over successive weeks. The Environmental Health team from Fingal County Council are responsible for monitoring sound levels at the park boundaries to make sure that concert noise levels are below licensing limits. The team must check sound levels continuously to try and minimise any disturbance to local residents. The boundary noise levels are checked against permitted levels every 15 minutes, at multiple locations, presenting a demanding task for a small team with a large area to cover.

Challenges and Requirements

  • Large boundary area, multiple measurement points and continuous monitoring
  • Multiple concerts, across consecutive days and even full weekends
  • Limit breach checks every 15 minutes
  • SMS facility to contact environmental team and event organisers
  • Live online readings to monitor levels and anticipate problems
  • Automated measurement system with no requirement for manual input

Our Solution

We helped the Environmental Health team to refine the use of our online sound level monitoring platform to give them exactly the functionality they needed. The team had previously deployed an EM2010 sound level monitor for a long term environmental noise complaint investigation, but had not used the more advanced features of the online analysis tools, such as flexible limit checks and SMS alerts.

The Council chose the EM2010 for its automation and ease of use. They deployed the sound level monitoring equipment at the boundary of the park in advance of the first concert of the summer series. Measurement and upload began automatically, so the team were able to set up and manage their monitoring project online before the concerts, instead of on site. The concerts ran across multiple days and weekends, but the licensing conditions were the same for each one. This made the limit checks and alerting requirements quite specific - compare the sound level for every 15 minute period between 6pm and 11pm to the planning conditions and send an SMS alert to the designated staff on duty at each concert.

Flexible Monitoring and Alert System

The EM2010 was set to record sound levels every 5 minutes, uploading all readings to our online database. The Council team set their contact numbers and email addresses for alerts through their secure account login and also specified sound level limit values and start and end times for checks.

But our advanced features were able to offer them a little bit more. We adjusted our standard hourly and daily limit checks to analyse each 15 minute segment, giving the Council up to the minute checks on potential sound level breaches. Any problems were automatically highlighted to the staff on duty at that monitoring location so they could liaise with the event organiser.

Once the limit checks and alerts were set up, they were set to only run on days when the concerts were happening, meaning as soon as the EM2010 was powered on, the entire measurement and analysis system started automatically. This allowed the Council staff to measure multiple boundary points with a team of just 2 people on site.

With just 3 limit alerts triggered over the summer series, the Council were able to actively manage the noise emissions, with the minimum of resources. The fully automated sound level measurement system even gave them a few minutes to enjoy the music.

Customer Benefits

  • Fully automatic boundary noise monitoring and compliance checks
  • Flexible alert system set up online with no on-site configuration
  • Remote reporting with web based data access, from the desk or on site
  • Up to the minute information for actively managing entertainment noise emissions
  • Reduced number of staff needed on site for out-of-hours work
  • Lower cost of equipment - 30% cheaper than the team's previous system