Environmental Considerations

Erosion and Sediment Control

What is Erosion? Why does it need to be controlled?

Erosion is the removal soil from a site by wind (dust) or water (runoff).An example of erosion leading to a stormwater drain. Sediment fences are designed to catch soil, unlike sandbags.
This soil then deposits (sedimentation) in drains, creeks or rivers, and can cause blockages, choke water flow, and destroy habitats. If the soil is contaminated, for example from wash-water, sawdust or debris, this contamination is spread much further.

Construction and building activities disturb the soil which increases the risk of erosion. Studies by the NSW EPA show that one building site can lose up to four truckloads of soil in a single storm.

Erosion and sediment control includes:

  1. Prevention of disturbance, for example retaining grass cover, and
  2. Management of erosion, for example through water carts and sediment fences.

Polluting stormwater is an environmental offence that can result in Penalty Infringement Notices of up to $8,000 and/or legal proceedings.

Everyone on site is responsible. Preventing site erosion saves money for the builder and the client and protects all parties from prosecution. Check your builders and subcontractors are aware of the problem and have an Erosion and Sediment Control Plan.

It should include:

  • Stable entry and exit to the site
  • Locations of materials stockpiles
  • Locations of bins
  • Water cart to prevent dust
  • Up-slope management - diverting water from running over the site
  • Down-slope management - maintaining grass filters and installing sediment fencing
  • Timing for early roof downpipe installation
  • Timing for regular maintenance of works
  • Site rehabilitation plan such as restoring grass cover and landscaping.

To assist you in preparing a plan such as this Council's Erosion and Sediment Control guidelines can be downloadedhere...Erosion-and-Sediment-Control-Guidelines-071.pdf(PDF, 468KB)

 Are you a new home owner?

Council has developed a brochure to help new home owners manage soil erosion and to reduce runoff from new front and backyards that don't have turf or lawn established yet. It is short and easy to use.

The guide for home owners can be downloaded here...(PDF, 875KB)

Erosion and Sediment Control

An example of erosion leading to a stormwater drain. Sediment fences are designed to catch soil, unlike sandbags.



BASIX is a NSW Government initiative aimed at introducing sustainable planning measures to residential developments. BASIX aims to improve energy and water efficiency for all residential dwelling types in NSW.

What does BASIX do?

BASIX sets sustainability targets for water and energy as well as minimum performance levels for the thermal comfort of proposed developments.

The targets are calculated based on NSW average benchmarks. The BASIX assessment tool assesses a project based on these benchmarks – taking into account regional variations such as soil type, climate, rainfall and evaporation rates.

Any new residential development including detached dwelling houses, dual occupancy, town houses or multi unit residential development must have a BASIX certificate.

In case of an residential alteration and addition you need to submit a BASIX certificate only if your development has a value of works greater than $50,000 or if your development is for a pool and/or spa of combined capacity more than 40 000L.

Certificates must be submitted to Council as part of the Development Application documentation.