Soil and water quality

Soils and water quality have to be managed during road construction and in the operation of the state road network to prevent environmental pollution.

Roads and Maritime must identify and manage acid sulfate soil and rock during construction to prevent potential pollution events and to make sure that structural damage does not occur due to the presence of acidic runoff. We also must consider the environmental condition of land, and identify potentially contaminated sites in the purchase, use and sale of land.

Water quality management

Water quality management for road construction and the operation of the state road network is an environmental responsibility for Roads and Maritime. Managing erosion and sediment during construction works prevents of waterway pollution. Design and construction of appropriate water quality treatment methods ensures the long-term preservation of sensitive aquatic environments that receive runoff from operating roads. Assessment and management of water quality is incorporated in the planning, design, construction and maintenance of the road network.

Alternative Flocculants and Coagulants - Template to propose use

Roads and Maritime require the completion of the Alternative Flocculants and Coagulants – Template to propose use for all projects that propose the use of flocculants and coagulants other than gypsum in both construction sediment basins and construction water treatment plants. All sections of the template must be addressed according to site-specific conditions.

Erosion and Sedimentation Control - Managing Construction Stormwater

Many road development projects expose large areas of soil or create substantial earthworks. These are prone to erosion and the environment can be impacted by the release of sediment in stormwater. Managing and avoiding erosion and sedimentation is a major focus for Roads and Maritime and our contractors during project construction. For more information read our Erosion and Sedimentation Management Procedure.

Managing Urban Stormwater - Soils and Construction, Volume 2D: Main road construction

The construction of main roads and highways commonly involves extensive earthworks with significant potential for erosion and sedimentation of surrounding waterways and the landscape. "Managing Urban Stormwater – Soils and Construction" Volume 2D: Main road construction (Blue Book 2) provides guidelines, principles and recommended minimum design standards for the good management practice in erosion and sediment control during the construction of main roads. This publication provides additional industry specific guidelines and recommendations to the principles and practices described in volume 1. This publication should be read in conjunction with volume 1.

Specialist Soil Conservation & Stormwater Management Services panel

A specialist Soil Conservation & Stormwater Management Services category has been included in the Roads and Maritime Services Registration Scheme for Construction Industry Contractors. Suitably qualified organisations and individuals have been registered as pre-qualified to provide specialist consultancy services to Roads and Maritime and its contractors. Registered soil conservation consultants are contracted to assist in the design and implementation of appropriate controls for identified high-risk projects.

Applications for registration remain open. See below for registration and application forms.

Enquiries may be referred to the Senior Environmental Specialist (Land Management) on (02) 8858 5738.

Contaminated land management

The Roads and Maritime Guideline for the Management of Contamination forms the basis for how Roads and Maritime assesses, investigates and manages contamination risks in the purchase, use and sale of all land. It ensures that Roads and Maritime manages contaminated land in accordance with relevant contaminated land legislation and industry standard best management practices.

As part of this commitment, contaminated land management is incorporated into the planning, design and operation of the NSW State Road network. The guideline also provides contact details for the Roads and Maritime consultant Panel for contaminated land management and information for the use of the panel.

Acid Sulfate Material management

Acid Sulfate Materials are naturally occurring acidic soils, sediments and rock. They contain sulfides which, if exposed to air, can form sulfuric acid. Although Acid Sulfate Soils are concentrated in coastal environments, there is potential for acid sulfate rock to have widespread distribution in the landscape. If disturbed, all forms of Acid Sulfate Materials can cause unacceptable environmental impacts including fish kills, habitat destruction, loss of agricultural productivity, geotechnical instability and corrosion of concrete and steel structures.

Roads and Maritime Services Guidelines for the Management of Acid Sulfate Materials provides procedures for the environmental impact assessment, identification, investigation and management of Acid Sulfate Materials. This Guideline is for use by Roads and Maritime Services personnel, project consultants and contractors.

Guideline for Batter Surface Stabilisation using vegetation

Road construction and maintenance activities can expose batters, putting them at risk of erosion. This can have undesirable aesthetic and environmental impacts, and in extreme cases can compromise the stability of the road formation.

Batters can be stabilised using two broad methods – geotechnical / engineering methods and surface stabilisation using vegetation. Environment Branch and the Centre for Urban Design have developed the Guideline for Batter Surface Stabilisation using vegetation.

The Guideline includes practical information to apply to site specific conditions, decision support tools, and a series of fact sheets to assist construction and maintenance projects to achieve good batter stabilisation outcomes using vegetation.

For further information contact Scott Machar on 02 8588 5761.

Construction industry contractors

View the Registration Scheme web page for information on:

  • Application for Registration for Construction Industry Contractors and
  • Registration Scheme for Construction Industry Contractors.

Documents and forms


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