Campaign to stop sediment runoff as building and home renovations increase

Get The Site Right campaign promotion

The Get the Site Right campaign in June will increase awareness of the dangers of runoff from building sites impacting the environment and encourage developers, builders and home renovators to implement appropriate erosion and sediment controls.

The campaign is kicking off in response to an increase in home renovation and DIY projects during the COVID-19 isolation period as well as several large construction projects that are expected to commence in coming months.

Developments of all sizes will be monitored by councils and the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) as part of the month-long campaign.

Get the Site Right is a joint program between Georges Riverkeeper, the Parramatta River Catchment Group (PRCG), Cooks River Alliance, Sydney Coastal Councils Group, Lake Macquarie Council, NSW EPA, Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, and local councils. It is in its fifth year.

Environment Minister Matt Kean said that regardless of the project size, implementing proper erosion and sediment controls is key to protecting our waterways.

“Whether you’re a home renovator who’s laying new paving or a developer building a 20-storey apartment block, it’s important that you prevent runoff from leaving your site,” Mr Kean said.

“When sediments such as sand or soil and other building materials are washed down stormwater drains and into our waterways, it not only degrades water quality it can destroy aquatic habitats by smothering native plants and animals that live there. 

“It also can block stormwater drains leading to flooding and overflows.”

Peter Ryan, Georges Riverkeeper Program Manager said, “Developers, builders and home renovators have the opportunity to contribute to the health of local waterways by managing sediment on site to prevent run-off entering drains and waterways.”

“Every building site, regardless of size, must ensure they have controls in place to help improve river health for the entire community and to the benefit of the environment.”

Sediment discharges affect our environment and waterways by:

  • Destroying aquatic habitats and smothering native plants and animals that live in our waterway
  • Directly polluting creeks and rivers by filling them with dirt, soil, sand and mud. This leads to poor water quality, affecting swimming or leisure activities in waterways.
  • Blocking stormwater drains leading to flooding and overflows.
  • Eroding creek and riverbanks.

Members of the public can report poor sediment control on building sites to their local council, and other pollution incidents to the EPA's 24/7 Environment Line on 131 555.

More information about the campaign and the importance of erosion and sediment control is available at: https://georgesriver.org.au/get-the-site-right

Other stories