Vegetation and trees generally are living organisms whose growth and movements are confined to a particular location in space. The benefits derived from these colleagues of life are numerous, one of which is our surest lifeline out of the threat of global warming – resulting from industrialization and depletion of ozone layer, they also act as sources of food, wind-breaks, erosion control, shelter belts amongst others. These living organisms also possess several economic importance as they could be a source of revenue to those who deliberately cultivate and carter for them. Their importance cannot be over-emphasized.
Consequently, trees are good conductor of electricity and pose serious danger and threat to life when they are significantly close to power lines, they also increases the occurrence of power outages. In power systems worldwide, ensuring trees and shrubs are kept at a safe distance from power lines is an important part of maintaining a safe, reliable electrical system and should be taken with utmost seriousness.
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If you have a power line on or near your landed property, doesn’t mean you can’t plant trees on it or call the exterminators on the preexisting ones. The safest bet is to plan ahead so trees won’t interfere with power lines no matter how tall they grow. Just like these structures have right-of –way distances from lives and buildings, they also have for trees.
- Tall trees (spruce, birch, pine, maple, etc.) should be planted at least 15 meters away from power lines.
- Trees planted closer than 7.5 meters should be low-growing varieties.
- Nothing should be planted closer than 5 meters from the base of a power pole.
- Don’t use trees as a station for connecting service lines to your home.
- If you have a secondary line connecting your home to a power line, avoid planting trees that will grow into the line. If you don’t see a secondary line connected to your house, your secondary line is underground.
- Regardless of where you’re planting, before digging, you must contact your utility to have the utility lines marked. Once they’re marked, remember to carefully dig around utility lines with hand tools.
In the same vain, the utilities must also stick to the prescription when constructing power facilities, they must ensure energized equipment is located safely away from other infrastructure and trees while also providing service staff with clear access for maintenance activities.
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An ideal line route is safe and has the least impact on customers and the environment. But sometimes factors out of our control, like road construction, require us to move a power line. In these cases, ensuring the lines have the appropriate safety clearance is critical. And sometimes that means removal of trees with respect to the specified distances.
When it comes to ELECTRICITY, SAFETY COMES FIRST.