Sediment Management

The Sediment Task Force brings together the knowledge of government, builders, land developers and the community to create resources to tackle some of the environmental impacts of building development

The Sediment Taskforce has brought the private and public sectors to look at the problem of sediment loss from subdivision, building sites and roadworks entering our storm drains and waterways.

WA Local Government Sediment Forum 2024

Local examples and learnings from across the country will help improve sediment management practices and outcomes in WA.

Download presentations from the forum:

‘Sediment Snapshot’ Pilot Trial – Summary Report

A pilot trial in the Perth South West region in 2023 brought together stakeholders interested in maintaining drainage assets and water quality to undertake a ‘Sediment Snapshot’. This involved developing new tools and undertaking multiple site inspections over one week in early winter to gauge the scale of sediment pollution occurring in the region. Results demonstrated significant movement of sand and sediment across urban development areas, and little compliance with legislative requirements for sediment control. The findings point to a need for changed and improved practices, greater awareness, clearer and more consistent regulations, and increased compliance inspections. Improving three key industry practices, namely, effectively covering soil and sand stockpiles, minimising vehicular tracking of sand from site to road and improving poor sand delivery practices, will provide the most rapid change with the least effort.

Local Governments are invited to consider using or adapting the ‘Sediment Snapshot’ tool to help understand the magnitude of poor sediment management practices in their jurisdiction and to identify potential solutions.

Download the summary report here

Sediment Control at Cygnia Cove, Waterford – Stakeholder Summary Report

This report outlines observations of a housing developments’ sediment control during 2020-2023 at Cygnia Cove in Waterford (Perth). Free erosion and sediment control products were offered to prevent sediment pollution, however, concerns about additional building delays, taking on new or changing building practices, and potential increased labour costs resulted in nil uptake.

Project redirection included installing silt sausages at stormwater inlets to quantify sediment prior to entering the drainage network, quantifying sand drift from allotments, developing on-site signage and awareness raising initiatives. This study confirmed that frequent ‘minor non-compliance’ of legislative requirements for sediment control can result in considerable cumulative sediment pollution and subsequent sedimentation.

Download the Stakeholder Summary Report

Perth NRM and DBCA’s Keep Soil and Sand on Site signs

For builders and building companies

To make it easier for builders and building companies to prevent sediment pollution, click here to access free artwork for Perth NRM and DBCA’s Keep Soil and Sand on Site signs, ready to print.

Further info at:

For land developers (at large, medium, and small scale)

To make it easier for land developers and their contractors to prevent sediment pollution, click here to access free artwork for Perth NRM and DBCA’s Keep Soil and Sand on Site signs, ready to print.

Further info at:

For Local Government

To make it easier for land developers, building companies and builders to get onboard to prevent sediment pollution and sedimentation, let them know they can access free artwork for Perth NRM and DBCA’s Keep Soil and Sand on Site signs, ready to print.

Also consider making displaying signage of this nature a condition of building approval.

Further info at:

Erosion and Sediment Control Information Sheets published

A new series of information sheets has been developed by the Sediment Task Force to help Western Australian builders, land developers, Local Government Officers, homeowners and residents prevent water pollution by keeping soil on site.

All Audiences
Local Government

The economic cost of erosion and sediment loss from construction sites.

A summary of current data and case studies illustrating the economic costs of unmitigated erosion and sediment loss during subdivision, residential and commercial building construction and roadworks.

Download this STF report here

Download the Summary of Key Findings from the STF Report

UWA/CRCWSC Heron Park Sediment Research Report

This report summarises findings from a research project commissioned by the Sediment Task Force, which is a partnership between Perth Natural Resource Management (NRM), the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation, and Attractions (DBCA) and other government environmental managers and enforcement agencies, leading housing industry groups, local government authorities, and community groups. The Sediment Task Force represents a collaborative approach to develop solutions that prevent sediment run-off, particularly, but not exclusively, from building sites.

This project was established to provide field data that identifies activities producing water-borne sediment, and the conditions under which that sediment is discharged from an urban development site, where land is being subdivided, landscaped, and roads and houses constructed. This project specifically aimed to:

  • Explore approaches and test methodologies for quantifying sediment export in urban drains;
  • Quantify sediment export from an exemplar urban development site, across both storm event and baseflow (non-storm) conditions; and
  • Recommend appropriate measures for reducing sediment export in future development activities.

Download the report here

Local Government Tool for Sediment Management

Soil erosion from building, subdivision and construction sites is a major source of stormwater pollution in urban areas of WA. When it enters our waterways or wetlands, sediment (soil, sand, silt and mud) washed from urban areas can cause short and long-term environmental problems.

Sediment can block drains, leading to localised flooding, and obstruct and/or damage stormwater drainage infrastructure and Water Sensitive Urban Design technologies; often resulting in Local Governments having to pay to fix the damage.

Local Government Officers (LGOs) are often charged with the task of monitoring for compliance with State legislation and their own local laws, policies, plans and/or guidelines for erosion and sediment control.

To help LGOs in this important work, the Sediment Task Force has developed an On-Site Checklist for Inspecting Soil Erosion and Sediment Loss from Building, Subdivision and Construction Sites which aims to assist LGOs to quickly identify and inspect incidences of soil erosion, sediment runoff, sand drift and dust from building, subdivision and construction sites; record and follow up on actions to resolve a breach; provide best practice recommendations; and offer useful tips to facilitate a positive and timely solution.

This checklist has been endorsed by WALGA as a necessary tool in the drive for delivering a Waterwise community and to reduce the environmental impact of urban development.

Local Governments are encouraged to use this checklist as their own “in-house” publication. The Checklist could be included in a manual or as part of your internal reporting processes. It’s simple to do: choose the web-based version of the checklist and add your own logo.

An interactive pdf version of the checklist can be downloaded for use in the field; simply ‘save as’ with the name of the site visit to maintain your records. Download the interactive pdf checklist.

A complementary on-site checklist has also been developed for West Australian builders in partnership with the Housing Industry Association of WA.

On-Site Builders Checklist for Preventing Sediment

Free On-Site Builders Checklist for Preventing Sediment Loss now available – a handy new tool for your toolbox!

All builders (including sub-contractors, tradespersons & suppliers) must take responsibility for controlling sediment loss from building sites.

The Sediment Task Force’s Builders Checklist can be used as a guide to prevent soil erosion, sediment runoff, sand drift and dust from building sites. This is good news for builders as it will result in:

  • A reduction in the cost of supplying sand and stockpile losses.
  • A reduction in clean-up costs and reduction in the risk of fines/loss of bond.
  • A better public image and fewer public complaints.
  • More marketable sites and earlier sales.
  • Earlier completion and reduced downtime; and
  • All weather site access and improved wet weather conditions.

Builders can use the checklist when arriving at and leaving site, for regular checks of sites and vacant blocks, and before and after a rain, wind or storm event.

The checklist can help builders identify tasks to do immediately to avoid an infringement and/or possible prosecution.

The checklist also contains information on why covering soil and soil stockpiles is the best way to stop erosion and save money and time, and erosion and soil control tips and recommendations.

Building companies can add their own logo to the checklist for inclusion in a work schedule, guideline, manual and/or for reporting purposes. Download docx version here.

There’s also an editable pdf format so builders can fill out the checklist in the field. Download interactive version here using ‘Save As’.

Local Government Case Studies

Preventing and controlling soil erosion, sediment runoff and sand drift from building, subdivision and construction sites is a significant issue for Local Governments (LGs). The environmental and financial impacts are considerable, and these are managed by Local Governments across Western Australia in diverse ways to varying levels of success.

In order to raise awareness, educate and inspire LGs to trial and/or embrace new tools and mechanisms to more effectively manage soil erosion, sediment runoff and sand drift, the Sediment Task Force has compiled this case study series Examples of Local Government’s response to erosion resulting from urban development in Perth, WA.

Click the links below to access PDFs of each case study.

Other Resources

For builders and developers
Building an environmentally sustainable home?

What you need to know about mitigating building sediment loss from your site:

For local government
Manuals and reports

Video Resources

For builders

Water by Design (South East Queensland): Erosion and Sediment Control Measures for Building Sites

For Developers

Water by Design (South East Queensland):

Erosion and Sediment Control Measures for Building Sites; Erosion and Sediment Control Plot Trials and Field Days; How to build a High Efficiency Sediment Basin

For Local Government

Water by Design (South East Queensland): Erosion and Sediment Control Decision Support Tools for Local Government; Erosion and Sediment Control Measures for Building Sites; Erosion and Sediment Control Plot Trials and Field Days


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