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High efficiency sediment basins

High efficiency sediment basins — Planning and design

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The HES basin needs to be large enough to allow for a 1 hour residence time. The dimensions of the recycle pit will need to be tailored to the site[1].

Conversion of rainfall figures to run-off volumes may require expert input and/or hydrological modelling to ensure the HES basin is sized appropriately[2]

Footprint 2-3% of contributing catchment

Site selection

HES basins need to be located in a suitable part of the farm, connected to the drainage network so that it can receive runoff from an appropriate area of the farm.

  • Off-line from major flow paths.
  • Immediately upstream of drainage/irrigation water discharge points from property (farm).
  • Existing irrigation tailwater ‘recycle pits’ or sediment basins
  • At drainage and irrigation collection points immediately downslope of land in fallow.

Design requirements

  • HES basins should be located off-line from major stream/river flows.
  • The size of the basin should be designed relative to the local climatic conditions and irrigation/ drainage regime to treat the design stormwater event flows and irrigation water generated from the local connected catchment (catchments typically up to a maximum of 100ha)[1][2].
  • Bypass excess flows with minimal mixing.
  • Automated coagulant dosing requires a power source
  • Regular removal of accumulated sediment


In addition to the standard disclaimer located at the bottom of the page, please note the content presented is based on published knowledge of treatment systems. Many of the treatment systems described have not been trialled in different regions or land uses in Queensland. The information will be updated as new trials are conducted and monitored. If you have any additional information on treatment systems or suggestions for additional technologies please contact us using the feedback link at the bottom of this page.


  1. ^ a b Eadie, M (June 2016), 'High Efficiency Sediment Basins for Reef Catchment Applications', Treatment Systems in Coastal Catchments Forum. [online] Available at:
  2. ^ a b Robson, K (2015), An assessment of the performance of current best practice sediment basins vs. high efficiency sediment basins based on modelling and field studies, Stormwater Queensland, Toowoomba.

Last updated: 10 June 2022

This page should be cited as:

Department of Environment, Science and Innovation, Queensland (2022) High efficiency sediment basins — Planning and design, WetlandInfo website, accessed 18 March 2024. Available at:

Queensland Government
WetlandInfo   —   Department of Environment, Science and Innovation