Sediment & erosion control

Preventing erosion and sediment on building sites

Sediment on building sites causes problems not only for the environment but also for builders. A dirty or unstable site causes difficulties in wet weather, increases costs from having to replace stockpiles that are washed away, increases clean up costs, penalties and potential damage to the builders reputation if fined for polluting.

Avoiding environmental damage

The environmental impact of sediment such as mud, sand and dirt is significant. It can affect aquatic plants and animals and impact upon our beaches. The sediment can also block our stormwater drainage systems.

Even though mud, dirt and sand are natural they are still serious pollutants that must be prevented from entering our waterways, including the stormwater drainage systems, which discharge to our creeks, waterways and beaches.

Site supervisors are responsible

Everyone has a responsibility to protect the environment. The site supervisor is required to make sure that all site workers, including subcontractors, are doing the right thing and that they are implementing appropriate strategies and measures to prevent erosion and sediment from building sites.

Your legal obligations

It is illegal for any substance other than rainwater to enter the stormwater system. If you do have an accident and pollution occurs you are required by law to notify the Council so that they can advise you what to do and how to minimise any harm to the environment.

Penalties for pollution incidents

Council officers can also issue a Clean Up Notice or a Prevention Notice in relation to any pollution incidents or likelihood to cause a pollution incident. Council officers may also issue a Penalty Notice (on the spot-fine), ranging from $4,000 to $8,000 under the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997.

Court proceedings may be commenced for serious breaches and pollution incidents, which renders the person responsible to a fine up to $1 million and seven years in gaol.

More information

For further information, please liaise with the site/project manager or the appointed Principal Certifying Authority (Accredited Certifier) for the project or contact Council's Health, Building & Regulatory Services department.

Last Updated: 24 October 2022
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