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Protecting waterways from sediment discharges - erosion and sediment control

The construction and maintenance of roads can result in the erosion of soil and sediment generation. This can have significant impacts on waterways resulting in a deterioration and destruction of flora, fauna, aesthetic features, structures and water quality.

We have developed guidelines to assist those involved in roading construction with selection and design of erosion and sediment control practices and have collated some useful resources relating to best practice sediment control practices during maintenance activities.

Erosion and sediment control


Erosion and sediment control is a range of techniques that can be used to prevent sediment entering natural waterways. These techniques may include:

  • managing the quantity of water entering the site
  • controlling how water flows through a site
  • stabilising the soil
  • removing sediment from water before it leaves the site

Our commitment to erosion and sediment control

We have developed a draft erosion and sediment control standard for our state highways to help us:

  • ensure construction and maintenance activities avoid, remedy or mitigate effects of soil erosion, sediment run-off and sediment deposition
  • identify areas susceptible to erosion and sediment deposition and implement measures appropriate to each situation with particular emphasis on high-risk areas
  • use bio-engineering and low-impact design practices where we can.

Erosion and sediment control guidelines for state highway infrastructure

Our Erosion and sediment control guidelines were developed to assist roading practitioners with the selection and design of erosion and sediment control practices during construction.

The accompanying inspection sheets are designed to provide guidance on how to implement erosion and sediment control practices on the ground.

Erosion and sediment control guideline and inspection sheets

Research into sediment control

Value-for-money assessments

value-for-money assessment was undertaken to compare the existing stormwater treatment requirements (phase one) with what would be required had our standard been in place (phase two) for six capital projects.

Guidelines for erosion & sediment management during roadworks

In 1999 a research report was released which focused on how the effects from road construction would meet the legal requirements of the Resource Management Act 1991 in regards to erosion and sediment control

Research report 131: Environmental management for roading contractors II: provisional guidelines for erosion and sediment management during road works

For further information contact