The Sediment Task Force

Facilitated by Perth NRM, the Sediment Task Force represents a collaborative approach to the development of solutions to prevent sediment run-off particularly, but not exclusively, from building sites. The Sediment Task Force is funded by the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) and supported by Perth NRM. A multi-partisan group, it has representatives from:

  • Leading housing industry groups

Housing Industry Association (WA), Master Builders Association (WA), Urban Development Institute of Australia (WA)

  • Government Environment Managers and enforcement agencies

Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions, Department of Health, Main Roads WA, Water Corporation, WA Local Government Association and the Cities of Cockburn, Kwinana and Subiaco.

  • Community environmental groups

Perth NRM, South East Regional Centre for Urban Landcare

Our appreciation goes to all Sediment Task Force member organisations and to all former member organisations (City of Gosnells, City of Armadale, Departments of Water and Environmental Regulation and Housing, and WESROC) for their valuable input and their commitment to improving sediment management.

Summary of major achievements since 2014 include:

  1. Coordination
    • Development and implementation of an Action Plan (ongoing)
      Continuation of funding from DBCA 2015-2019
    • Additional funding $5000 from City of Armadale for 2018/2019
    • Additional funding of $27,500 from DBCA for 2018/2019
    • New representation by Department of Health WA, City of Subiaco, Kwinana and
      City of Cockburn
    • Formalisation of a “shared” definition of sediment
    • Development of a Terms of Reference
    • Liaison and information sharing
    • Additional funding of $42,500 from DBCA for 2019/2020
  2. Improvements to organisational policies/procedures/processes to minimise sediment loss
      • Main Roads Guidelines aligned with Stormwater Best Practice guidelines
      • Sediment management included in Main Roads EIA processes
      • Development of MRWA Regional Environmental Management Plan
      • Improved erosion and sediment control during construction works and improved stabilisation of batter and bridge assets
      • Alteration of timing of works to avoid rainy conditions, high water levels, high flows and high tides
      • Improved drainage and foreshore structures to reduce erosion and increase sediment retention prior to entry to sensitive receivers
      • Development of Erosion and Sediment Control Guidelines for controlling erosion and sedimentation at Water Corporation construction sites
      • Sediment management included in the Drainage for Liveability Program
      • Water Corp Rapid Response Processes and Guidelines linked to WC Erosion and Sediment Control Guidelines
      • Sediment management included in role of MBA Waste Reduction Consultant
      • Sediment management information sessions and training slide
      • Sediment management in MBA Smart Waste Guide, website and member kits as part of the Smart Waste Program
      • MBA sediment management training brochure
      • Sediment management included as a criterion for the MBA Building Industry Awards
      • Sediment management information sessions
      • Sedimentation information included in the IPWEA Local Government Subdivision Engineering Guidelines
      • UDIA subdivision sediment and erosion plan reviewed to ensure lag times are not resulting in sedimentation
      • UDIA Civil Tenders Specifications linked to the UWMP and IPWEA Guidelines
  3. Legislation, Regulation and Standards
    • Local Government Act Review submission 2018
  4. Raising Awareness
    • State NRM Newsletter article
    • Sediment presentation PNRM Environment Series
    • WA State NRM and Coastal Conference presentation and STF collaborative action case study
    • Raised awareness of the link between sedimentation and the increased health associated risks of mosquito/midge borne diseases
    • Sediment Task Force website
  5. Development of Resources
    • Taking Action to Control Sediment brochure and poster
    • Publication of the Regulation for Effective Sediment Management Infosheet (for Local Government)
    • Development of an on-site checklist for Local Government Officers to inspect incidences of soil erosion, sediment runoff, sand drift and dust from building, subdivision and construction sites
    • Development of an on-site checklist for builders for inspecting sediment loss
    • Development of a series of Local Government best practice case studies (ongoing)
    • Development of an educational “sediment transport model”
    • Work commenced on developing erosion and sediment control guidelines for builders, developers and Local Government
  6. Research, Knowledge and Monitoring
    • 1.5 years completed of a 2-year Masters sediment research project at Satterley’s Heron Park housing development in Armadale in partnership with UWA/CRCWSC (valued at $112,500)
    • ECU Local Laws survey to determine local government’s response to sediment loss caused by urban development and how effective local laws are as a tool for managing and controlling erosion and sedimentation.

Research into sediment run-off
The Sediment Task Force discovered a lack of research on the issue of sediment control and is helping to launch a study to evaluate and quantify sediment arising from urban development. It will provide insights into the discharge of sediment as water-borne particulates.

The study will be undertaken in conjunction with the University of Western Australia and as part of the Australian Governments’ Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities (Perth).
The findings will inform decision making to manage sediment impact on water quality and drainage infrastructure, and help meet environmental standards on construction sites.

The Cities of Armadale, Gosnells and Kwinana, DBCA, Main Roads Western Australia, the South East Regional Centre of Urban Landcare, the Water Corporation and the West Australian Local Government Association have contributed financial and in-kind support valued at $93,500 towards this two-year project. The Department of Water and Perth NRM have provided in-kind support to the value of $1,500 to help ensure the success of this study.

Updated progress on the study is now available here.