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Living and Working Around High Voltage Power Lines 11-07

Living and Working Around High Voltage Power Lines 11-07

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09/28/2013

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L
IVING
S
AFELY
and
 
W
ORKING
A
ROUND
H
IGH
-
VOLTAGE
 P
OWER
L
INES
 
1
H
igh-voltage power linescan be just as safe asthe electrical wiring inour homes — or just as danger-ous. The key is learning to actsafely around them.
This booklet is a basic safety guide for those wholive and work around power lines. It deals primarilywith nuisance shocks caused by induced voltagesand with possible electric shock hazards fromcontact with high-voltage lines.In preparing this booklet, the Bonneville PowerAdministration has drawn on more than 70 yearsof experience with high-voltage power lines. BPAoperates one of the world’s largest networks of long-distance, high-voltage lines, ranging from69,000 volts to 500,000 volts. This system hasmore than 200 substations and more than15,000 miles of power lines.BPAs lines make up the main electrical grid forthe Pacifi c Northwest. The grid delivers largeblocks of power to substations located near loadcenters. Public and investor-owned utilities andrural cooperatives take delivery of the power atthese points and deliver it to the ultimate customers.BPAs lines cross all types of property: residential,agricultural, industrial, commercial and recreational.
If you have questions aboutsafe practices nearpower lines, call BPA.
Due to safety considerations many of the practicessuggested in this booklet are restrictive. This isbecause they attempt to cover all possible situa-tions, and the worst conditions are assumed.In certain circumstances, the restrictions canbe re-evaluated. To determine what practicesare applicable to your case, contact BPA at1-800-836-6619 or fi nd the contact informationfor the local BPA offi ce at
www.transmission.bpa.gov/LanCom/Real_Property.cfm
.
 
2
U
SING
 
THE
 R
IGHT
-
OF
-W
AY
Before a power line is built, BPA negotiates withthe landowner for the right to cross the land asrequired for the construction, operation andmaintenance of the line. Usually, BPA acquiresright-of-way rights to construct, operate andmaintain a power line and the right to keep theright-of-way clear of all structures, re hazards,vegetation and any other use that may interferewith the operation or maintenance of the line.Most crops, less than 10 feet in height, can begrown safely under power lines. Orchards,Christmas trees and structure-supported crops(i.e., trellises) require special consideration.Call BPA if you plan to use the right-of-way forany use.BPA’s “Landowner’s Guide for Compatible Useof BPA Rights-of-Way” explains how to apply forpermission to use a portion of a BPA right-of-wayfor approved purposes. This document can befound online at
www.transmission.bpa.gov/ LanCom/Real_ Property.cfm
or by contactingBPA at 1-800-836-6619.Construction and maintenance of any structuresare specically prohibited within a BPA right-of-way. Coordinating with BPA early in your planningprocess can keep you safe and avoid wastingtime and money.
G
ENERAL
S
AFE
 P
RACTICES
BPA designs and maintains its facilities to meet orexceed the rules set forth in the National ElectricalSafety Code. BPA provides information on safepractices because serious accidents involvingpower lines can be avoided if simple precautionsare taken. Every kind of electrical installation —from the 110-volt wiring in your home to a500,000-volt power line — must be treated withrespect.The most signifi cant risk of injury from a power lineis the danger of electrical contact. Electricalcontact between an object on the ground and anenergized wire can occur even though the two donot actually touch. In the case of high-voltagelines, electricity can arc across an air gap. The gapdistance varies with the voltage at which the line is
Most crops, less than 10 feet in height, can be grownsafely under power lines.

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