Get the Site Right

Get the Site Right

‘Get the Site Right’ is a joint taskforce of local councils, catchment groups, NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) and Department of Planning and Environment DPE), which targets erosion and sediment control on commercial and residential building sites across NSW.

We work with developers, builders and the community to raise awareness about the harmful effects of sediment runoff on our creeks, rivers, harbours and beaches, and highlight the important role they play in helping to improve water quality and protect our natural environment and wildlife.

We hold a month-long education and compliance campaign in May with a one-day inspection blitz when councils, the EPA and DPE go out in force to inspect developments of all sizes and take regulatory action as required. This week’s Blitz Day will be held on Thursday, 19 May. A follow-up blitz week is held in October.

What is erosion and sediment control?

Erosion and sediment control is used on building and construction sites to prevent soil, sand and other sediment from being washed off the site and into gutters, stormwater drains and waterways.

Good erosion and sediment control involves careful management of the site before, during and after construction, using a combination of control measures. These controls help to minimise site disturbance and trap sediment before it can wash away. They can also prevent the loss of stockpiles and improve building site conditions generally.

How does sediment runoff affect our environment?

Sediment runoff can impact our environment and waterways in many ways:

  • Directly pollutes creeks, rivers, beaches and harbours, which affects swimming and other recreational activities in and around our waterways.
  • Smothers aquatic plants and animals and destroys their habitat.
  • Blocks stormwater drains and causes overflows and flooding.
  • Erodes creek and river banks.
  • Causes health and safety risks such as slippery roads and tripping hazards.

Why do I need an erosion and sediment control plan?

  • You are legally obliged to install erosion and control measures on your site.
  • Many councils require you to submit an erosion and sediment control plan before work begins.
  • If activity on your site causes a pollution incident, you could receive fines of $8,000 to $15,000 for each incident.
  • Save money and downtime by having an organised site and preventing costly building supplies from being washed away during wet weather.
  • Reduce hazards and improve the health and safety for your workers and the community.
  • We all have a role to play in making our waterways clean and safe for everyone to enjoy.

How to get your site right

If you’re building or renovating, here are a few ways you can help prevent sediment runoff from leaving your site and polluting our waterways:

  • Leave as much vegetation on the site and street verge as possible during construction.
  • Establish a single, stabilised entry and exit point to prevent tracking sediment off the site.
  • Install sediment fencing correctly along the low side of the site, using geotextile material.
  • Divert stormwater around the work site.
  • Connect downpipes from the guttering to the stormwater drain as soon as the roof is installed.
  • Cover stockpiles from rain and wind.
  • Sweep the footpath and road every day and never hose sediment into the gutter or stormwater drain.

More information

To learn more about erosion and sediment controls for your site:

  1. Download the Get the Site Right Erosion and Sediment Control leaflet or Erosion and Sediment Control flyer
  2. Contact your local Council
  3. Refer to the ‘Blue Book’, Managing Urban Stormwater: Soils and Construction, Landcom (2004) 4th Ed.
  4. Read the media release on the latest Get the Site Right campaign.

Media enquiries: contact Nadia Young, PRCG Communications Officer, at:

See a site that’s not right?

Report pollution incidents, including poor erosion and sediment control, to your local council or the EPA’s 24/7 Environment Line on 131 555.


Watch the latest Get the Site Right campaign video.