1144 S. Seneca
Wichita, KS 67213
Contact Environmental Resources
The environmental concerns plaguing Sedgwick County aren't so different from
those affecting the rest of the country and world - people outnumbering
resources, pollution, etc. Sedgwick County urges residents to pay specific
attention to the following issues and take action to limit their contribution to
View Kansas Department of Health and
Environmental air quality data for Sedgwick County.
Ozone occurs naturally in the upper atmosphere where it is beneficial since it
protects us from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays. Ozone that forms at
ground-level is not helpful; in fact, it's harmful.
Ground-level ozone is a man-made pollutant that forms when volatile organic
compounds (VOCs) mix with nitrogen oxides (NOx) in the presence of heat and
sunlight. More than half of these ozone-forming pollutants are caused by
everyday actions, such as driving, painting, refueling and using gas-powered
lawn and garden equipment.
Prolonged exposure to ground-level ozone can cause irritation to the eyes, nose
and lungs leading to inflammation, chest pains, and difficulty breathing.
Ground-level ozone damages vegetation and reduces crop production. In Sedgwick
County, the highest levels of ozone typically occur from April to September.
Watch a short video about ozone and the small changes you can make to help
Get tips to reduce
ozone in Sedgwick County - printable flier.
Particulate matter (PM) is the term for a mixture of solid particles and
liquid droplets found in the air. Some particles, such as dust, dirt, soot, or
smoke are large or dark enough to be seen with the naked eye. Others are so
small; they can only be detected using an electron microscope.
EPA groups particle pollution into two categories:
1) Inhalable coarse particles, such as those found near roadways and dusty
2) Fine particles, such as those found in smoke and haze, are 2.5 micrometers
in diameter and smaller. These particles can be directly emitted from fires, or
they can form when gases emitted from power plants, industries and automobiles
react in the air. Fine particles are easily inhaled deep into the lungs.
Fine particles can remain suspended in the air and travel long distances.
They have been linked to environmental and physical damage. As particles settle,
the nutrient and chemical balance of soil and water is changed. Particle
pollution, unlike ozone, can occur year-round.
Sedgwick County is in attainment of the current particulate matter standards
recommended by the EPA.
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless gas that is
formed when carbon in fuel is not burned completely. Seventy-five percent of
carbon monoxide comes from motor vehicles. Other sources of CO emissions include
industrial processes, residential wood burning, and fires. High levels of carbon
monoxide are poisonous to people. The level of CO in Sedgwick County is below
the EPA standard.
Nitrogen oxides (NOx) is a term for gases that contain nitrogen
and oxygen in varying amounts. NOx is one of the main ingredients involved in
the formation of ground-level ozone. The primary manmade sources of NOx are
motor vehicles, electric utilities, and other industrial, commercial, and
residential sources that burn fuels. NOx contribute to the formation of acid
rain that can deteriorate cars and buildings. They cause lakes and streams to
become acidic and unsuitable for many fish. NOx can be transported over long
distances with wind and can cause respiratory problems. NO2 is the most abundant
of the nitrogen oxide gases. The level of NO2 in Sedgwick County is below the
E-waste is electronic equipment you no longer have use for, including computer
components, TVs, pagers, cell phones, stereos, video game consoles, etc. Some
stoves and refrigerators have electronic components, but those usually are not
accepted as e-waste.
Electronic components contain hazardous elements such as mercury, lead, lithium,
cadmium, and brominated flame retardants, which are toxic and can leak into the
environment when left in landfills. This causes problems for plants, animals and
humans, and can even cause cancer.
It is always better to reuse, then recycle. So, if you are able to sell or give
away an old working electronic item, do so! If not, or if it no longer works,
click here for a list of businesses that accept
e-waste (listed by item type).
Obey messages that are posted and never take fish from one body of water to
another. Fish from the majority of Sedgwick County waters are safe to eat. Fish
consumption advisories can be found on the KDWP website at
Get a License! Anyone 16 years of age and older must obtain a Kansas
fishing license available through the
Sedgwick County Clerk's Office.
It is now illegal to possess live white perch! White perch are
an invasive species that were accidentally introduced to area lakes. They out
compete native fish for food and space and have been associated with the decline
of walleye and white bass. If you catch a white perch, do not release it back
into the water. Eat or dispose of it on dry ground or in the trash. Check park
rules for specific directions.
Zebra mussels are invading the waters of Kansas. Adult zebra mussels are usually
the size of a fingernail and commonly have alternating dark and light stripes.
They reproduce rapidly and form thick mats that encrust on anything in the
water. They damage boats, ruin engines, clog pipes and screens, and are
Zebra mussels are spread by boat hulls, in water, and on aquatic plants. Please
check your boat and all equipment before entering and after exiting the water.
Remove all aquatic plants. Drain water from all equipment including bait buckets
and coolers. Wash equipment with 140-degree water (your local car wash hot water
rinse), or a 10 percent chlorine bleach and water solution. A hot saltwater
solution will also work. Dry everything for at least five days. Dispose of
unwanted live bait on dry shore or in the trash.
The Mission of
Sedgwick County is to provide quality public services to our community
so everyone can pursue freedom and prosperity in a safe, secure, and
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