Frost fighting and the electricity network
Electricity around irrigation can be dangerous if the irrigation system is not set up correctly with consideration for the electrical infrastructure – it can cause harm to those working close to the power lines and can also cause power outages.
If you are using frost protection with water and the water is freezing on power lines, the extra weight of the ice will cause the lines to sag and this can result in the reduction of safety clearance distances under the lines.
In some cases, the weight of the ice can cause the lines to break, resulting in unplanned power outages for you and your neighbours and causing electrical safety hazards in your orchards.
Keeping safe when working around the electricity network
- Direct water spray away: Ensure any water spray from irrigators are directed away from power lines at all times
- Get in touch with us: Speak to us if you’re installing new frost fighting equipment to help prevent problems down the track
- Consider your neighbours: Be a good neighbour and be aware of activities on your property that could cause a power outage to surrounding properties
- Maintain safe distances: Stay at least 4 metres away from overhead power lines at all times and particularly when operating any machinery, such as cherry pickers, diggers or cranes, unless a ‘Close Approach’ request is completed via our website
- Inform helicopter pilots: If you are flying helicopters low over the orchard, please advise your pilots of any powerlines in the vicinity
More safety information about working near overhead lines and buried cables can be found here.
It's important to be prepared for unplanned power outages. Weather events, emergency situations, equipment failure and other events beyond our control can impact on our ability to supply electricity. This means we can’t guarantee uninterrupted power.
If your business relies on a guaranteed electricity supply, please consider the following:
- Plan for generation: We recommend you arrange generation as part of your business continuity planning
- Insurance coverage: Ensure you have adequate insurance in place
- Temporary generation: If you are looking to connect temporary generation, we recommend you use a qualitied electrician. If you have arranged to use a temporary generator during a planned outage, please give us a call on 0800 22 00 05 to let us know. This will help us to keep our team safe while they are working.
Do you have any questions?