Safety around powerlines

Power and Water manages both overhead and underground powerlines - and you need to be aware of both if you are in construction or working with machinery. 

Look up and live

If you are working near power lines, you need to plan ahead.

You or your equipment could hit the line, risking your safety and the safety of others. Someone could be electrocuted, and you could damage the power network.

Potentially dangerous situations can include painting the house, moving a boat with a mast, trimming trees or pruning mango orchards, operating mobile cranes or machinery near power lines or using scaffolding. 

What are the rules?

You are not allowed to work within three metres of power lines up to 33,000 volts. For lines 33,000 to 132,000 volts the distance is five metres.

The only exception to these clearances is if you have Power and Water's written permission to do the work. If you are in any doubt at all contact Power and Water

Stay safe

When you are working near power lines, make a habit of looking up. Stay aware of where the power lines are and how close you or your equipment is to them. 

Contacting a live power line can result in injury or death. It can result in criminal charges or damage claims, interrupt power supply to others and delay the completion of your project. 

If something gets caught in overhead wires, contact Power and Water. Seek advice from us before removing vegetation around power lines and keep all structures and vehicles clear of lines at or over your property.

If you find fallen powerlines, keep yourself and others well clear and call 000 or Power and Water's emergency number 1800 245 090.

Dial before you dig 

If you are digging, for whatever reason, you want to know what's underneath you. You could hit an electrical cable or a water main, risking your safety or someone else's.

You could interrupt power or water services to other people and be financially liable for the damage caused.

You can avoid problems with a single phone call to the national Dial Before You Dig program. Phone 1100 during business hours to get information about what may be underground outside properties (or on easements).

Dial Before You Dig covers Power and Water's electricity, water and sewerage networks. You can have the information within two working days.

For more information on how the program works visit Dial Before You Dig.

For information on Power and Water requirements around development activity contact us on 1800 245 092. 

Trees and powerlines 

A significant portion of power outages across the Territory are attributed to trees and palms interfering with powerlines.

Trees, including palms, can be blown onto powerlines when they grow too close to them. If this happens, they can conduct electricity and become serious safety hazards, so the power has to be disconnected.

To combat this Power and Water has regular a tree trimming program. Trimming trees and palms helps reduce the chances of a tree or palm causing an outage in your suburb.

Power and Water contractors clear vegetation around powerlines on the road reserve and remove the debris from the site. This includes trees that may come from private property and intrude on the safe clearance distance of the powerline on the road reserve.

Property owners are responsible for keeping trees clear of the electricity service line. The service line is the line running from the power pole on the road reserve to the house. However, if trees are close to powerlines it is critical that you do not attempt to clear them yourself. Phone us on 1800 245 092 for information on having them safely removed.

Some trees and palms are not suitable for growing under or near powerlines. In some cases, pruning may not address the safety issue or may impact on the aesthetics and the plant/s may need to be removed.

If our contractors identify unsafe vegetation on your private property, they will contact you to discuss removing it permanently.

Before any trimming begins, our contractor will send notification flyers to appropriate properties. If notification is not possible, Tree Trimming locations are updated weekly on our Planned Works page.