Example of managing sediment in construction projects
This example of a construction business shows how a you can apply the four-step risk management process. Use it as a guide only. Managing hazards and risks in your own business may require considerably more detail.
How Ahmed deals with sediment in his construction projects
The construction company Ahmed works for does work in populated areas with heavy vehicle and foot traffic. His role involves site planning, so he knows it’s important to understand how construction activities can harm people and the environment.
Ahmed understands how water flowing across disturbed ground on a site can move sediment and be a common hazard. He knows that sediment can enter stormwater drains and waterways. He knows it can impact the health of people downstream, as well as plant and aquatic life. Especially if it contains contaminants.
Before any job starts, Ahmed assesses the site drainage across the site. He considers the amount of rainfall, proximity to local waterways and stormwater drains, and likelihood of flooding. He also assesses the nature of the site surface including:
- soil types
- potentially contaminated soils
- surface slopes
- vegetation cover
- depth to groundwater.
He then identifies suitable controls to prevent erosion and transport of sediment. He considers options such as using swales or lined channels to divert rainwater away from exposed soil onsite.
For more complex site conditions, Ahmed calls on the expertise of an environmental consultant for advice. He found some good tips on how to work with an environmental consultant.
Ahmed regularly checks each control is working as intended. He reassesses the hazards he has identified and the controls he has put in place as conditions on the site change.
Example of managing sediment on a quarry site
This example of a quarry business shows how a you can apply the four-step risk management process. Use it as a guide only. Managing hazards and risks in your own business may require considerably more detail.
How Leah deals with sediment on her quarry site
Leah is an environmental officer with a quarrying company. Leah knows rainwater, water from dewatering, and other sources can cause erosion and runoff offsite., It can collect sediment, nutrients and other contaminants as it travels across a site. This can enter their site’s drainage system and waterways. From there it can impact the health of people downstream, as well as plant and aquatic life.
When planning their site layout, the company locates stockpiles away from waterways and floodplains They also incorporate erosion and sediment controls based on rainfall and water flows. They have bunded wash down facilities to capture wastewater. They designed their water management requirements to separate dirty water from non-dirty water. This will minimise water coming into contact with mining activities.
The company minimises the surface area of land exposed through staging vegetation clearing and earthworks. Other controls include:
- replanting of disturbed areas
- seeding or mulching soil stockpiles
- road drainage
- contouring and minimising the length and steepness of stockpile slopes.
The company implements controls that respond to seasonal rainfall patterns and before and after high-rainfall events. They routinely inspect and de-silt their drainage system and erosion and sediment control structures, so they are ready for use.
Before a high-rainfall event, they increase inspections and monitor against EPA licence water discharge requirements. This helps them understand whether their controls are effective or if they need to modify them.
Leah is confident they’re removing or reducing risk well because they follow all relevant EPA guidance and other regulatory requirements.
EPA is the primary regulator for water discharges. So, if there is a discharge not meeting licence, permitting or compliance requirements, their environmental management plan includes a trigger to notify:
- Earth Resources Regulation.
Read more about erosion and sediment
Managing soil disturbance (publication 1894)
Erosion, sediment and dust treatment train (publication 1893)
Managing stockpiles (publication 1895)
Managing truck and other vehicle movement (publication 1897)
Managing how you work within or adjacent to waterways (publication 1896)
Reviewed 1 October 2020