The most significant risk of injury from a power line is the danger of electrical contact. Unlike the wiring in a home, the wires of overhead power lines are not enclosed by electrical insulating material. Avoid bringing yourself, or any object you are holding, close to an overhead power line. Do not lift, elevate, build or pass under a power line with any object, equipment, facility or vehicle that could come close to the energized wires. Sharyland Utilities transmission lines are energized at 69kV, 138kV and 345kV and have various heights and clearances from ground and other structures in accordance with the National Electric Safety Code and other consensus standards. These lines and structures are constructed differently and look different than distribution lines that are energized at lower voltages such as 12.5 kV,
25 kV etc.

The clearances and safe distances for working near energized transmission lines are therefore greater than those required of distribution lines. In no instance, regardless of voltage should vehicles, cranes, derricks or any other object come closer than 20 feet from an energized transmission line. Work conducted under Sharyland's power lines or on Sharyland's right of ways and easements should be coordinated with a Sharyland Utilities representative. You can reach a Sharyland representative at (866) 354-3335.

 

Cranes, derricks, boom trucks and other specialized equipment that have the ability to get within 20 feet of overhead transmission lines present special hazards and entities such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have published rules regarding safe work practices for these types of equipment when working around or near overhead energized power lines.

As discussed in the general safety section of this page, for your safety, coordinate with Sharyland if you need to work with large equipment under or near Sharyland transmission lines.

 

Use caution when storing, handling, and installing irrigation pipe, and when operating spray irrigation systems near power lines. To avoid electrical contact with power lines, two very important safety practices should be observed at all times:

  1. While moving irrigation pipe under or near power lines, keep the equipment in a horizontal position to keep it away from overhead wires.

  2. Electricity can be conducted through water so never allow the irrigation system to spray a continuous stream onto power lines or towers. In addition, central pivot circular irrigation systems installed near or under power lines can develop hazardous shock potentials during operation and maintenance. To eliminate these hazards:

    • Provide a good electrical ground for the pivot point.
    • Do not touch the sprinkler pipe or its supporting structures when the system is operating under, parallel to, or near a power line.
    • Perform repairs or maintenance on the irrigation system with the sprinkler pipe perpendicular to and a safe distance away from the power line.

 

Sharyland strongly discourages building new fences and gates within the right-of-way as they can cause a potential safety hazard and an access problem (particularly in high-density subdivisions). Barbed wire and woven wire fences and metal gates can assume an induced voltage when located near power lines. If you are having an induced voltage problem, call Sharyland for an investigation at (866) 354-3335.

 

Before a power line is built, Sharyland negotiates with the landowner for the right to cross the land as required for the construction, operation and maintenance of the line. Sharyland acquires right-of-way rights to construct, operate and maintain a power line and the right to keep the right-of-way clear of all structures, fire hazards, vegetation and any other use that may interfere with the operation or maintenance of the line. Most crops, less than 10 feet in height, can be grown safely under power lines. Orchards, Christmas trees and structure-supported crops (i.e., trellises) require special consideration.

Construction and maintenance of any structures are specifically prohibited within a Sharyland right-of-way. Coordinating with Sharyland early in your planning process can keep you safe and avoid wasting time and money.