Construction Sites

Hours of work in Mosman for the building industry are 7am – 6pm Monday to Friday and 8am – 1pm Saturday. Work on Sundays and public holidays is prohibited.

Planning for Construction Sites

Key points to consider in the site design include:

  • Direct stormwater flow around the building and disturbed areas rather than through the site. Diverted stormwater should be discharged onto stable areas of land and not onto adjoining properties. Avoid directing stormwater to the site’s exit and entry point.
  • Minimise the area to be cleared, leave as much vegetation as possible on the site, and only clear vegetation when work is about to commence. If required, plant temporary vegetation on site, fence off areas of the site that don’t need to be disturbed and stabilise earth banks.
  • Install sediment control fences on the low side of the site before work commences. During the construction phase, ensure you regularly inspect fences for tears and breaks and repair any faults immediately. Grass filter strips are also suitable on sites with a low gradient. Leave or lay a kerbside turf strip (nature strip) to slow water flows and trap sediment.
  • Hay bales are not an acceptable substitute for sediment fencing. Hay bales are not particularly efficient at removing sediment from water, and can easily break down, themselves becoming a source of stormwater pollution. Hay bales placed in gutters can cause localised flooding, as well as obstructing pedestrians and traffic.
  • As an additional means to prevent pollutants getting into the stormwater drain, surround drain entry pits with a sausage made of gravel or sand fully enclosed by geotextile fabric. When soil and sand builds up around gravel sausage, it should be disposed on-site. Do not hose it down the drain.
  • Ensure that stockpiles are stored within the boundaries of the sediment fence, and limit the amount of material stockpiled on site to what is needed at any one time. Locate stockpiles on highest part of the site and away from drainage lies and street gutters. Cover stockpiles to protect them from erosion.
  • Don’t excavate if rain is forecast.
  • Install a waste bin on site. Dispose solid materials in land fill or send them to a building recycler where possible.
  • Sweep the road and footpath every day and put soil behind the sediment controls. Do not hose down roads and footpaths. Signs of escaped sediment may alert you to any deficiencies in your sediment controls.
  • Excess materials such as cement, water from tool cleaning, paint brushes and brick and concrete slurry must not be washed into the stormwater system. All water pumped from the site must look clear and be free of any visible suspended sediment and oil and grease. If possible, clear water discharged from site should be pumped onto grassed areas.
  • Where possible, construct a depression or earth dam below brick, concrete or tile cutting. If this is not possible, pass water through a filter.
  • Limit vehicle access to the site using a single entry point, stabilised to prevent the tracking of sediment onto roads and footpaths. Avoid long, steep and unstable driveways. Access points must be constructed of aggregate of either recycled concrete or blue metal gravel.
  • Educate site workers of legal responsibilities for preventing on-site erosion. Ensure that delivery drivers are made aware of your entry/exit points.
  • Upon completion of work, remove all excess material from the site as soon as possible.
  • Connect downpipes to the stormwater drain as soon as possible. Fill in and compact all trenches immediately after services (such as electricity and gas) have been laid.
  • Revegetate the site as soon as possible. All sediment and erosion control devices must be kept in place until at least 70% of the site has been revegetated.

For more information on the environmental effects of stormwater pollution, refer to the Stormwater page on this website.

Construction Waste

It is estimated that each year Construction and Demolition (C&D) industry waste contributes about one million tonnes – one quarter of the total waste stream – to landfill in the Sydney region. Much of this waste has the potential to be reused or recycled.

Construction and demolition waste includes:

  • by-products from demolition, construction, repair, or refurbishment of buildings;
  • soil or naturally occurring material (clean fill) excavated in construction activities; and
  • materials like concrete, soil, rubble, bricks, asphalt, wood, wall panelling, metals.

Mosman Council has waste management requirements for construction and demolition projects to reduce the amount of C&D waste disposed of to landfill and ensure effective waste management. These waste management requirements support the principles of the Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Act 2001 and are contained in Council’s Development Control Plans.

Waste Management

Council requires the following form to be submitted with all construction certificate applications.

SWMMPs enable builders and developers to consider waste management throughout the entire life cycle of the development. Information to be provided in the SWMMP includes:

  • type and quantity of excess materials to be generated during the demolition, construction and on-going use stages of the proposed development;
  • how excess materials are to be stored and used (through either reuse and recycling) either on or off-site during the demolition, construction and on-going use of the development;
  • how and where residual waste will be disposed;
  • how waste generated by the use of the development will be managed.

Fibro and Asbestos for Renovators and Homeowners

The NSW Government has developed some practical information specifically for renovators and homeowners working with fibro and asbestos.

For more info on asbestos.

Waste Reduction

Waste reduction can be achieved through:

  1. avoidance of unnecessary resource consumption
  2. resource recovery – reuse, reprocessing, recycling and energy recovery
  3. disposal

Waste production can be avoided by considering the resources that will be used in other stages of development, during the planning phase of development. If there is an existing structure on site, determine what components, such as fittings and materials could be incorporated into the new development. Using standard sizing, and designing for deconstruction rather than demolition can also avoid waste.

Building materials that cannot be reused on site can often be sold to recyclers. Materials that are commonly accepted for recycling or reprocessing include concrete, bricks, roof tiles, metals, soil, wood, vegetation, and cardboard. To effectively reuse and recycle materials from a development on-site separation is required and arrangements will need to be made with waste and recycling collectors. Disposal of mixed waste usually costs significantly more than recycling.

Erosion and Sedimentation

Building and development in urban areas can negatively affect the environment because soil disturbed by these activities can be washed or blown as sediment into the stormwater system and waterways. Sedimentation can:

  • block stormwater drains and gully pits, reducing stream capacity and potentially increasing flooding;
  • cause turbidity in waterways, reducing the amount of light penetration; and
  • smother aquatic life.

The Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 has given local government regulatory powers in relation to local environmental management. The Act has strict provisions which require builders, owner-builders, landscapers and individuals working on building sites to assume responsibility for preventing erosion of soil on the site and any consequent sedimentation off site.

Individuals and corporations are now liable for fines for engaging in activities which have the potential to pollute waterways. Local government can also issue Clean Up Notices, which require pollution incidents to be cleaned up, and Prevention Notices to address systemic pollution problems. Each of these Notices require the recipient to pay an administration fee.

An erosion and sediment control plan is required for all new building work, alterations or additions that involve changes to stormwater drainage within Mosman. The plan should be prepared by a qualified engineer and include information on:

  • the extent of earthworks, stockpiles, access roads, impervious surfaces, construction entrances and drainage lines;
  • proposed run-off diversion measures and sediment trapping devices; and
  • proposed re-vegetation and stabilisation measures.

It is imperative that appropriate soil and water sediment and erosion control devices are implemented and maintained during construction and until the site is fully established. On-going monitoring is particularly important on steep sites, where landforms may change as the site develops.

Construction Site Safety

WorkCover NSW is the statutory authority responsible for workplace safety.

If you are concerned with unsafe construction practices and/or site safety please call the Workcover Assistance Service on 13 10 50.

Dial Before You Dig

Dial Before You Dig is a free referral service for information on underground pipes and cables anywhere in Australia. Using Dial Before You Dig can prevent damage, disruption, injury and even death.

Dial Before You Dig or call 1100 during business hours.