Erosion and Sediment

All builders and developers are required to prepare an Erosion and Sediment Control Plan showing how they will minimise soil erosion and trap sediment that may be eroded from the site during construction.

City of Newcastle has developed an information pack to assist you in developing the Plan.

New compulsory signage for construction sites

It is compulsory to display “PREVENT POLLUTION” signage. The signage must be displayed on the development and be clearly visible to the public. It explains the legal responsibilities of the builders and sub-contractors to prevent water pollution and increases community awareness of this growing problem.

Builders and Contractors must erect and maintain erosion silt fences and ensure that none of their materials or waste enters the stormwater system.

The penalties for pollution

It is against the law to pollute water or place pollution in a position where it could be blown, fall or leak into a drain, gutter or waterway. Polluting stormwater can result in on-the-spot fines or legal proceedings.

Under the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997, owner-builders, builders and landscapers are directly responsible for preventing sediment and construction wastewater leaving a building site.

It is everyone's responsibility on-site to prevent pollution and all employees and contractors have a legal duty under the Protection of the Environment Operations Act to notify their employer of a pollution incident or the potential for pollution to occur.

Good erosion practices benefit everyone

There are also many benefits that will result from effective on-site erosion prevention. Rewards for your efforts are many and varied including:

  • Reduced on-site clean up costs
  • Improved drainage on-site and reduced mud problems
  • Cleaner site providing improved working conditions, especially in wet weather
  • Better presentation to the public
  • Reduction in the number of complaints by the community
  • Improved water quality and amenity in our waterways
  • Reduced impact on aquatic ecosystems and improved stream health
  • Less sedimentation in our waterways and a reduction in the cost of removing this sediment
  • Improved waterways for surfing, fishing, boating and other recreational activities.

A business pollution prevention plan can help…

Developing a Business Pollution Prevention Plan for your business can support you in your day-to-day operations, identifying resources that can be used more efficiently and practices that can save you time and money. It will also help you outline potential pollution sources from your business activities and assist you to develop strategies to prevent and respond to pollution incidents and avoid costly fines.

Further information

The EPA has produced more detailed environmental information for builders and other industries in a series of information sheets for small industries and businesses called Solutions to Pollution.

  • City of Newcastle (02) 4974 2000
  • EPA pollution line on 131 555