The results are in from the New South Wales Environment Protection Authority’s (EPA) construction site run-off blitz.
The blitz, called Get the Site Right, saw council and EPA officers inspect more than 1110 building sites along the Parramatta River, Central Coast, Cooks River and Georges River in May.
It found that 748 (63 per cent) of the sites were compliant, a 13 percent improvement on the previous year’s figures.
A total of $290,700 in fines was issued for sites that failed to follow the rules.
“Sediment is not a small problem – up to four truckloads of soil from a building site can be washed away in a single storm if the proper containment measures are not in place,” EPA Regional Metropolitan Director, Giselle Howard, said.
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“When that sediment hits the waterways, it can destroy aquatic habitats and smother native plants and animals.
“Get the Site Right is working to stop sediment runoff to improve water quality. A great side-effect of this work is that more waterways can potentially become safe for swimming.”
The campaign was a joint program between the Parramatta River Catchment Group (PRGC), Cooks River Alliance, Georges River Combined Councils Committee, Sydney Coastal Councils Group, Lake Macquarie Council, NSW EPA, the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, and local councils.
PRCG Chair, Mark Drury, said the growth in the campaign meant that construction companies were more aware of the rules and the environment was benefiting as a result.
“More councils are signing on every year and more sites are being inspected – this means more companies are aware of the rules and we can stop sediment runoff and pollution before it becomes a problem,” Drury said.
“Ideally we want to see 100 per cent compliance but the improvement from year to year means the message is getting through and our waterways are getting cleaner.”