Improving erosion and sediment control on building sites

Get the Site Right is a joint taskforce between the Parramatta River Catchment Group, Cooks River Alliance, Georges Riverkeeper, Sydney Coastal Councils Group, Water NSW, NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA), Department of Planning and Environment, and many Sydney councils, including most of Georges Riverkeeper's Member Councils. We are working 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.

Get the Site Right May 2023 Blitz

We’re putting builders and developers on notice! Get your site right or be fined. During May 2023, Council rangers will be conducting targeted inspections looking at erosion and sediment control on building sites. A one-day blitz will be held on Thursday, 18 May when all participating councils, NSW EPA and DPIE go out in force to inspect developments, focusing on ‘repeat offenders’ or those sites that were found to be non-compliant on the first visit earlier in the month.

Why should you care about erosion and sediment control on building sites?

The suburbs around Sydney’s waterways are booming. Our growing population and need for more housing, schools, roads and other amenities has seen a rise in new residential and commercial developments and construction, as well as increased public expectation for a quality, local waterway which we 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.

How sediment spills affect our environment and waterways:

  • Directly pollutes 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.

Follow the rules

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.

Home builders and renovators

If you are building or renovating a home, you must have erosion and sediment control measures in place. Ensure your builders are adhering to the rules. For more information, click here or contact your local council.

Developers and builders

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

YouTube Video

Sediment runoff can be reduced and prevented to give us cleaner, safer, and more scenic creeks, rivers and other waterways. This short webinar, which was prepared for Council staff participating in the campaign, explains the environmental impacts of sediment runoff on our waterways, and why we must ensure building and construction sites have effective erosion and sediment controls in place.


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

YouTube Video

'Get the Site Right' awareness campaign video.

Get The Site Right Campaign Combined Councils Results from Oct 2016 to Oct 2022

Get the site right results tally Oct 2016 to October 2022