About Us

Experienced People Protecting Your Resources

The Soil Conservation Service (SCS) is a division of Local Land Services (LLS), NSW Department of Industry.

Soil Conservation Service:

  • Provides commercial environmental consultancy specialising in land rehabilitation, environmental audit, advice and project management.
  • Operates NATA accredited soil testing laboratory.
  • Provides erosion and sediment control industry training.
  • Provides conservation earthmoving plant service to rural NSW and government agencies, special expertise in access tracks/fire trail construction and maintenance.
  • Operates an externally accredited integrated management system (Quality, OHS and Environment) to provide innovative and cost effective client solutions.
  • Work with other agencies involved in overseas consultancy.
  • 130 employees operating from 30 centres across NSW.

For over 70 years, SCS has built a strong reputation as providers of reliable, practical solutions to environmental management issues.

Knowledge of soil and water is essential to horticulture, effluent use, grazing, cropping, and the rehabilitation of degraded sites. Our NATA (National Association of Testing Authorities) registered laboratory provides a wide range of soil and water analysis, result interpretation and management recommendations. These are typically used for:

  • soil ameliorant recommendation
  • suburban and rural water quality
  • environmental monitoring
  • seed and fertiliser recommendation
  • suitability for earthworks construction and
  • identifying acid sulphate soils.

We have the science behind the solution to ensure the complete and comprehensive analysis that you require.

Our Mission

To provide natural resource owners and managers with innovative and cost effective services in environmental consulting, resource assessment and planning, project management and conservation earthmoving which produce sustainable, cost effective and practical solutions to land degradation issues.

Landholder Services

The Soil conservation Service has a proud history of working with landholders to establish stable and productive landscapes. Our expertise in conservation earthworks and soil capability is second to none and our property management plans for soil and water conservation will enhance your property. Typically we provide a skilled local plant operator and specialist supervision to ensure the earthworks we establish will be highly effective and long lasting.

Established in 1938, we operate across the state with 35 items of earthmoving plant, we understand the capability of your soil so please contact us for a free quote. Our expertise will conserve your soil and water to enhance your property.

Soil fertility

Soil Conservation Service officers can determine plant nutrient levels in the soil and provide fertiliser recommendations, including lime and gypsum rates for:

  • Pasture production
  • Agricultural/horticultural crops
  • Rehabilitating mine sites
  • Rehabilitating degraded areas

Potential acid sulphate soils

Soils containing pyrite (iron sulphate) are referred to as acid sulphate soils. On exposure to air following drainage, oxidation of the pyrite takes place and significant acid can be produced. This acid has a marked effect on the environment as well as buildings and other infrastructure. Testing is undertaken to identify both acid sulphate and potential acid sulphate soils. Management recommendations can also be provided.

Water quality

Testing can be undertaken to determine water suitability for irrigation, as well as stock and domestic supply. Tests can be conducted on water to measure its hardness, salinity and sodium adsorption ratio. The concentration of iron, chloride, carbonates and bicarbonates can also be tested.


The percentage of clay, silt and sand present in soil is crucial to the construction of earthworks such as dams. The dispersion/aggregation and shrink/swell properties must be considered in determining the soil's suitability for earthworks. The hydraulic conductivity should also be assessed if the pond is to be used for effluent storage.

Rehabilitating degraded sites

Overgrazing or other forms of intensive land use can result in areas being stripped of vegetation resulting in the risk of severe erosion. Often, the topsoil has been lost or compacted to a point where specialised techniques are needed to establish suitable vegetation on the site. Soil Conservation Service officers use a combination of proven measures to re-vegetate large areas and difficult sites, including:

  • sighting, surveying and constructing a diversion bank above the area to protect it from runoff
  • deep ripping to break up rills and increase water infiltration
  • shaping and filling to achieve stable slopes
  • fertilising and sowing the area with suitable species and
  • fencing to exclude all stock and feral animals.

Our proven track record in successful rehabilitation projects includes rural properties, road batters, gravel quarries, salt scalded areas, derelict mines, garbage tips and beach dunes.

For more information please contact your local Soil Conservation Service representative, or email scs.enquiries@scs.nsw.gov.au.

Page last updated/reviewed: 22 Feb 2018