Sediment and erosion control

Construction disturbs soil and creates dust and debris. Run-off from a building site travels down the gutters and drains to creeks and canals and eventually ends up in a river, lake or sea. Although a single block of land may seem insignificant, if you consider all the building sites within the Blacktown Local Government Area, erosion has a significant effect on water quality. Studies by the NSW Environment Protection Authority show that 1 building can lose up to 4 truckloads of soil in a single storm.

We have addressed this environmental issue with a systematic approach to the control of construction sites within the local government area. Inspections are carried out by our Environmental Health Officers to ensure that stormwater pollution is not occurring as a result of a lack of adequate controls.

Sediment pollution affects our environment and waterways by:

  • Blocking stormwater drains leading to flooding and overflows.
  • Eroding creeks and riverbanks.
  • Destroying aquatic habitats and smothering native plant and animals that live in our waterways.
  • Polluting creeks by filling them with dirt, soil, sand and mud which leads to poor water quality.

Should any site be determined as non-complying, we employ a range of solutions to improve the site including issuing warning letters or either Clean-Up or Prevention Notices in line with the provisions of the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997. Where circumstances warrant more direct intervention a penalty infringement notice may be issued for amounts up to $8000 or legal resolution may be sought for water pollution offences in line with the provisions of the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997.

A suggested guide for information in implementing sediment and erosion controls is 'Managing Urban Stormwater - Soils and Construction' ('The Blue Book' - 4th Edition), which can be found on the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment website.

Get the Site Right

Blacktown City Council participates in the Get the Site Right campaign. The campaign aims to improve the health of local waterways and has a firm target of making Parramatta River swimmable by the year 2025.

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

More information about the campaign and the importance of erosion and sediment control is available at: www.ourlivingriver.com.au/getthesiteright