Dust and dirt from construction

Dust from construction work or other activities can be a nuisance to neighbours. Dust could damage property and make people ill.

If you are planning to excavate, build or landscape, you should let your neighbours know.

Investigating reports of dust nuisance

We investigate reports of dust causing a nuisance under our Local Law No. 10 (Public Health) 1999. We investigate:

  • the amount of dust
  • how long the dust has been occurring
  • the type of dust
  • the sensitivity of the environment
  • the effect the dust is having or may have
  • the opinions of any other neighbours.

If we find the dust is causing a nuisance, we will issue a compliance notice to the person causing the dust. The notice will give details about the problem and a timeframe for it to be fixed. We may issue a fine if the person creating a dust nuisance does not comply with the notice.

How you can help reduce dust problems

To help reduce dust nuisance, you can:

  • keep existing plants and grass on building sites as much as possible – grass and plants can act as dust barrier, lower wind speed and cut the amount of dust
  • plan to do work in stages so you can leave some vegetation as barriers
  • use on-site waste as a dust barrier – for example, unused sheeting or roofing can be used as a dust barrier; mulched green waste spread on the ground is also a good barrier
  • use physical barriers like fences – fences made of shade cloth or a similar material can become a dust barrier around work areas; make sure you think about the location, height and width of barrier fences before construction
  • spray water on topsoil to reduce dust – make sure you use enough water to keep the topsoil damp and that you don't spray in strong wind
  • consider using products like hydromulch, which are best for large areas – hydromulch is made from pulped newspaper and water, and forms a protective layer when sprayed on the ground.