Sandbag instructions

You will need:

  • empty sandbags
  • sand - not soil
  • a shovel
  • plastic sheeting
  • string - if you are transporting filled sandbags
  • sturdy gloves and shoes


The Queensland SES has developed videos with helpful advice about filling and laying sandbags.

Filling, moving and placing sandbags can be physically demanding work. Take precautions before starting:

  • use sturdy gloves and wear enclosed shoes, a hat and sunscreen. 
  • drink plenty of water
  • bend your knees and be mindful of your safety when filling and carrying sandbags. 


Plastic sheeting 

Lay down a layer of plastic sheeting to act as a water proofing membrane and place sandbags on top.

Offset sandbags

Offset the rows with a staggered placement of bags like brickwork.

Sandbag placement


Lay sandbags as flat as possible and compress rows to fill in gaps.


  • Cover drainage holes, e.g. toilet, shower, bath and floor drains to stop backflow.  
  • Place a small sandbag wall across doorways. The number of layers required will depend on expected flood height, but is generally around two sandbag rows high.
  • Air vents between brick work may also require sandbags. Small vents may be covered with waterproof tape or plastic. 


Sandbags should be stored in a dry location out of the sun.

Stocks of sandbags can rot if left wet or damp. 

Check the bag for damage before using stored sandbags. 


Sandbags exposed to floodwater need to be thrown away;  wet sandbags cannot be reused.

Used sandbags that have not come into contact with oil or other contaminants can be opened and the sand scattered on lawns and gardens as topsoil. Do not allow sand to wash into stormwater drains. 

Empty sandbags can be placed in the general waste bin.  Do not place full sandbags in your waste bins. 

Sandbags that have come into contact with oil or other contaminants can be disposed of at one of Council's major waste facilities: 

  • Bunya, 384 Bunya Road, Bunya (700m west of Jinker Track intersection)
  • Caboolture, 51 McNaught Road, Caboolture (via Pasturage Road, off Bribie Island Road)
  • Dakabin, 336 Old Gympie Road, Dakabin (700m north of Alma Road intersection)
  • Redcliffe, 261 Duffield Road, Clontarf (beside the Peninsula Animal Aid).

Unused sandbags may be reused in the future.