Thursday, November 11, 2021

Construction industry return to work and forecast wet weather highlights need for builders to Get the Site Right

flooding on building site shows how water can wash sediment from building sites off the site if there are no controls in place

As work on NSW construction sites returns to normal following the easing of COVID restrictions, builders and developers are urged to get their sites right to prevent sediment runoff from polluting local waterways.

The closure of the construction industry during the recent COVID lockdown meant that erosion and sediment controls on many sites may not have been properly maintained.

Recent heavy rains and the forecast from the Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology of wetter than average conditions across much of eastern Australia, particularly from November to January, may also impact site stability and the amount of runoff that can result if adequate controls are not in place.1

To advise builders and developers on best practice erosion and sediment controls, local councils across Sydney and the Hunter Coast will be conducting an inspection ‘Blitz Week’ from 15-19 November.

Developments of all sizes will be inspected in an effort to build on the 67 per cent compliance rate achieved in the May 2021 campaign. The blitz also aims to educate builders and developers on the important role they play in protecting our waterways, foreshore recreational areas and marine life.

Georges Riverkeeper Program Manager Beth Salt said: “Getting the site right is more important than ever in the coming months as Australia enters a La Nina climate phase, which means that we’re in for a wet spring, summer and autumn. Ensuring appropriate erosion and sediment controls are in place and functioning correctly allows sediment to stay put and not enter our waterways. This way everyone can enjoy our local waterways as they will be free from sediment causing pollution.”

Now in its sixth year, Get the Site Right is a joint program between the Cooks River Alliance, DPIE, Georges Riverkeeper, the EPA, Parramatta River Catchment Group, Sydney Coastal Councils Group, local Sydney councils and Lake Macquarie Council.

Members of the public are encouraged to report pollution incidents, including poor sediment control, to their local council or the EPA’s 24/7 Environment Line on 131 555.