Not letting runoff get away from you
  • Saturday 11 June 2011

Damned if you do; smart if you don't

Environmental management prior to, during and beyond the construction of a subdivision is no longer an option - it's an absolute must.

And if it's going to be located next to a national park, you just have to get it right.

Sunshine Coast Council has not only studied this -- in its bid to become the most sustainable region in the nation, it has pioneered water and soil erosion management processes which are now regarded as best practice by a growing number of regions.

One perfect example of this is the outcome of a small subdivision surrounded by the pristine Mount Ngungun National Park, nestled among the iconic Glasshouse Mountains.

Neil Penny of Perren and Penny Civil contractors said the first mission in the making of the 19-lot Parklands estate was to construct large drains to the perimeter of the job.

Barrett Earthmoving was then able to shape and stabilise the future house allotments more easily, as the control of water flow from the national park was in place.

"A combination of recycled mulch and seeding was used to achieve an almost instant effect," spokesman Todd Barrett said.

"The use of mulch to stabilise completed areas made the job easier to manage during the extended wet period."

The project's final steps were to complete a new road and install power and water reticulation - also made easier.

"The construction team completed work during a very wet summer relatively uninhibited by rain," Mr Barrett said.

"Diverting water around the site helped our construction areas dry out more quickly, ultimately getting us back on the job quicker."

Mr Penny said it had been a satisfying experience to work closely with the council environmental officers and technical advisers Covey and Associates "to achieve a positive end result that we can all be proud of".

Strike one for the environment -- and the much-loved Glasshouse Mountains.

Council environmental spokesman Leon Rowlands said its innovative erosion and sediment control program had a positive effect upon controlling water pollution on development sites "with a growing number of contractors performing to a high standard environmentally".

"Overall construction at Glasshouse Parklands estate was managed with a high level of consideration for the surrounding sensitive environment," Mr Rowlands said.

Visit council's website which will supply more information about water management and its Erosion and Sediment Control Program.