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EROSION AND SEDIMENT CONTROL ON BUILDING SITES 
AROUND SYDNEY'S WATERWAYS

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The suburbs around Sydney's waterways are booming. With increasing population and activity comes new construction, developments, home-building, as well as increased public expectation for a quality, local waterway which they can safely use for leisure activities.

Did you know that up to four truckloads of soil from a building site can be washed away in a single storm if not properly contained? If sediment such as soil, sand, dirt and mud are not properly managed on building sites they can directly pollute our river and cause severe environmental problems, making it less safe for people to use.

Get the Site Right is a joint taskforce between the Parramatta River Catchment Group, Cooks River Alliance, Georges River Combined Councils Committee and Sydney Coastal Councils Group, the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA), and Department of Planning and Environment, and more than 20 Sydney councils. We are working together to target developers and enforce best practice on commerical and residential building sites, as well as major infrastructure projects, to protect our waterways and surrounding environments.

How sediment spills affect our environment and waterways:

  • Direct pollution of our creeks, river and harbours by filling them with dirt, soil, sand and mud. This leads to poorer water quality, affecting swimming or leisure activities in and around our waterways.
  • Destroys aquatic habitats and smothers native plants and animals that live our waterways.
  • Blocks stormwater drains leading to flooding and overflows.
  • Erodes creek and river banks.
  • Causes health and safety risks such as slippery roads and tripping hazards.

There are rules that developers need to follow to contain and manage sediment on their work site in a responsible manner. It is against the law to breach these rules. Local councils and the NSW Environment Protection Authority have the power to issue penalties from $8000 to $15,000 for each incident.

WE ALL HAVE A PART TO PLAY IN PROTECTING SYDNEY's WATERWAYS

Report all pollution incidents by calling the NSW Environment Line on 131 555 or contacting your local council.

If you are building or renovating a home, submission of an Erosion and Sediment Control Plan is required before works begin. Ensure your builders are adhering to the rules. For more information, click here or contact your local council or the NSW Environment Protection Authority for further consultation. 

If you are a developer or managing a building site, download a quick summary of the facts or consult the NSW Environment Protection Authority’s ‘Blue Book’ for detailed rules and guidelines.

If you are a home builder or renovator, and would like more information

Read the full media release about the campaign.