What is Erosion? Why does it need to be controlled?
Erosion is the removal soil from a site by wind (dust) or water (runoff).
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:
- Prevention of disturbance, for example retaining grass cover, and
- 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 downloaded here.
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.