Erosion and sediment control
  • Last updated:
  • 27 Jun 2019

During rainfall, large amounts of sediment are washed into local waterways. The sediment comes from the exposed soil of land cleared for housing, industry, roads and and other infrastructure work. 

This runoff can:

  • Reduce water quality in creeks and rivers
  • Smother in-stream habitats
  • Damage fish health
  • Cause sediment plumes off recreational beaches
  • Affect all aquatic life, including important seagrass communities at the bottom of the food web.

It can also block stormwater systems and create road hazards and flooding.

This form of waterways pollution is preventable. It can be managed by using the appropriate erosion and sediment controls.

What you can do

Council would like those who cause land disturbance to:

  • Understand the issues of concern
  • Plan their activities with erosion and sediment control in mind
  • Manage their sites to protect the Coast’s waterways.

So whether you are a land developer, farmer or home builder you can:

  • Prevent erosion
  • Control drainage
  • Capture sediment.

Often only small changes are required to prevent environmental damage and avoid being issued a fine. 

Fines apply

Under local laws, council can fine those who do not use the correct erosion and sediment control measures.

For example, council can issue an on-the-spot fine of $2000. Fines may reach over $1 million in court proceedings for major offences causing environmental harm.


The technical information below will help your land developments become erosion and sediment control compliant. 

  • Erosion and Sediment Control Manual(Version 1.2) - this manual focuses on land clearing, civil works and allotment building. Fines apply for non-compliance.

  • Erosion and Sediment Control Design Certificate[15KB] - this design certificate is to be duly completed and signed by a suitably qualified and experienced Professional responsible for preparation of erosion and sediment control (E&SC) documentation. Where E&SC involves engineered structures (such as sediment basin spillways), this design certificate must either be signed or counter-signed by a Registered Professional Engineer of Queensland.

  • Erosion and Sediment Inspection Certificate[13KB] - this inspection certificate is to be duly completed and signed by a suitably qualified and experienced Professional. Where the controls inspected involve engineered structures (such as sediment embankments and catch drains) this certificate is required to either be signed or counter-signed by a Registered Professional Engineer of Queensland.

  • Advanced Design Flocculation and Sediment Basin Report 2009[4070KB] - this report is the result of a cooperative technology development project between council and Blacklaw Civil Contractors.

Staging civil works 

The schedule of works and example diagrams below provide a model for:

  • Coordinating land clearing and earthworks
  • Road construction
  • Installation of underground services
  • Final site rehabilitation.

Schedule of Works (Phase 1 and 2)[187KB] - Phase 1 covers site access and road construction works. Phase 2 covers site establishment, earthworks (filling of depression) and service installation.

Schedule of Works (Phase 3 and 4)[207KB] - Phase 3 covers internal road construction works. Phase 4 covers final site rehabilitation works.

Soil testing

  • How to interpret your soil test[include7] - this NSW website is aimed at agricultural activities but many of the principles are valid in relation to site re-vegetation. For interpreting soil tests in relation to erosion hazard, refer to the Erosion and Sediment Control Manual Chapter 4 and Appendices 3 and 6.

For more information, please contact council.