Saturday, 7 January 2012

The intolerable noise of surf

This is a guest blog from Richard (Dick) Hill, vacationing in the Turks and Caicos:

While vacationing on the beach at Turks and Caicos today, I carried out a test on the ambient sound levels.  On my iPad I have two sound measuring programs.  The sounds were recorded from our second floor balcony of the ocean surf at a reef which is around one mile away.

The SPL Meter registered an average of 64.7 db with a peak of 82.7 db.

The Volume Tester meter showed an average of 61.8 db with a peak of 96.3.

These sound levels are considered pleasant by the thousands of residents and visitors who live along the shores.

But, when compared to the Ontario wind turbine regulations of 40 db max at 550 metres, the continuous surf sound would appear like a large jet aircraft passing overhead.

Anybody who hears a wind turbine at 550 metres has concerns not related to the turbines.


A reader suggested that I try to find a sound level in the resort as low as 40 db.  I tried and failed.

The sound levels recorded for a one minute were:

SPL Meter in unit living room showed an average of 61.7 db with a max of 70.8 db and min of 50.8 db.

The Volume Meter in the unit living room showed an average of 58.1 db with a max of 91.0 and min of 54.6 db.

SPL Meter unit bath with closed doors showed an average of 57.7 db with a max of 62.1 db and min of 44.8 db.

The Volume Tester unit bath with closed doors showed an average of 48.5 db with a max of 70.5 db and min of 44.8 db

As it is very difficult to find a living location anywhere with sound level as low as 40db, it is inconceivable to understand how some individuals can hear a wind turbine at 500 metres let alone suffer any ill effects.


  1. Check out a major 170-page comprehensive review by Barbara Frey (University of Minnesota) and Peter Hadden, FRICS, released just last week entitled: "Wind Turbines and Proximity to Homes: The Impact of Wind Turbine Noise on Health"

    You can download it at:

  2. Anonymous doesn’t have any conviction of the effect of wind turbine noise otherwise you wouldn’t be hiding.

    I presented some hard facts on noise which anyone can replicate with an iPhone or an IPad.

    The quoted lengthy literature review doesn’t present anything more than opinion of raving radicals and can not be considered a health issue.

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