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Building safely

near powerlines
Office of the Technical Regulator

you need to consider: or higher t the type of powerlines near the proposed building or When building near high voltage transmission powerlines structure e. No building or structure allowed If a fence. sign or notice is lower than 2 metres. Locating a swimming pool under any powerline is not recommended.Before you build near powerlines Transmission powerlines – 132kV Before starting work on a The clearance distance. aerial. When designing a Transmission line voltage Minimum clearance building you should allow for the width of any scaffold you 275 kV 25 metres may need to You may need to install gates to allow trucks to access the powerlines. underground. Image 1 and 2 provide a general identification guide to determine the voltages of powerlines. Image 1: Typical powerlines in built up areas High voltage 11kV Centre-line of transmission powerline Service line Aerial distribution powerlines – Low voltage 66kV or lower Clearance distances are measured from the point of maximum swing or sag of the powerlines. 33 kV. 132kV (single pole lines) 15 metres Safe clearance distances Image 3: Minimum safety clearance distance for transmission lines Minimum safe clearance distances between buildings or structures and powerlines are set out in the Electricity (General) Regulations 2012. the minimum safety clearance distance t the amount of swing or sag of overhead powerlines is measured horizontally from the centre line of the t the location of the building or structure in relation to transmission powerline. 33 kV. transmission powerlines Scaffolding is considered a structure. future structures or scaffolds. Always check with ElectraNet when considering fencing near transmission lines. Further information on powerlines and their sag and swing is available from SA Power Networks. 33 kV or 19 kV 66 kV or 66 kV or 11 kV (SWER) 132 kV 132 kV 2 | Building safely near powerlines . and how it is measured. the associated costs and work should be negotiated with the electricity network operator. To determine the safe clearance distance from aerial distribution lines (66 kV or lower). the Office of the Technical Regulator or by visiting sa. the powerline – allow enough space for a safe work Table 1: Minimum safety clearance distances from the centreline of environment. before starting construction.g. depends on the voltage and type of powerline. high or low voltage (132 kV or higher). refer to Table 2 and Image 4. It must Minimum Minimum safety clearance safety clearance not restrict safe access to powerlines for repair and distance distance maintenance. Image 2: Common powerlines in South Australia If you need to relocate or insulate the powerlines. This is to ensure that the scaffold can be 132kV (except single pole lines) 20 metres positioned in a way that legal clearance distances are met. usually SA Power Networks. Construction work must not proceed inside the minimum safety clearance distance until the powerlines are relocated. it may be exempt from minimum clearance distances. These distances are legal requirements and must be maintained at all times. and trees.

to balconies.1 metre.7 m 2. This may need to be calculated by SA Power Networks. t Radial dimension D applies in relation to structures such as roofs with a slope of 45° or more and light poles. Dimension B – Vertically above those parts of a 0.1 m 1.5 m 4.1 m 0. For more information visit | 3 .1 m 0.Table 2: Minimum safety clearance distances (in metres) from the nearest conductor at maximum swing and sag for distribution powerlines Voltage Up to and Above 1 kV Above 1 kV 66 kV including 1 kV up to and including 33 kV Conductor type Insulated Bare Insulated Insulated Bare or Bare with earthed without earthed covered screen screen Dimension A – Vertically above those parts of a 2. and also swing when t Horizontal dimension C applies to the same structures as A and B. C B Roofs with a slope of less than 45 degrees B A Top of hand rails Balcony Balcony floor Planning approvals and powerlines The council is not obligated to check the clearance distances to powerlines in your plans. or vertical clearance distance from the worst case position of the t Vertical dimension B applies in relation to structures such as roofs with powerline to be compliant.5 m building or structure not normally accessible to persons. a slope of less than 45°.7 m 2. Dimension C – In horizontal direction from those 0. Image 4: Minimum safety clearance distances for buildings from powerlines No buildings or No buildings or structures allowed structures allowed The clearanc clearance distance is measured from the C point of maximum (worst case) swing or sag. signed by the plan complies with the minimum clearance requirements development applicant. acknowledging the development prescribed by the regulations. At mid span. Dimension D – In any direction from those parts of a 0. plans comply with prescribed clearance requirements. Planning and development All development applications submitted to councils must approvals issued by a council do not mean that the building include an Electricity Act Declaration Form. considerably under high temperatures and loads.5 m 1.5 m 3.7 m building or structure normally accessible to persons.5 m parts of a building or structure normally accessible to persons or that is not normally accessible to persons but on which a person can stand. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that the requirements of the Electricity Act 1996 are being met. 33 kV and 66 kV) can sag carports. a powerline will swing and sag much more than in areas near the pole. terraces.5 m 6. pergolas and t Powerlines (particularly 19 kV SWER.1 m 2. parapets wider than 0.7 m 4.7 m 3.5 m building or structure not normally accessible to persons but on which a person can stand. Notes for Table 2 t Vertical dimension A applies. it is windy.6 m 2.1 m m 2. t The clearance distance is measured from the worst case swing and sag point.7 m 5. bridges and scaffolds.7 m 3. SA Power Networks may charge a fee for this service. t Your development must achieve either the appropriate horizontal walkways.6 m 0. for example.5 m 1.7 m 5.

Even if there is no statutory or registered to it. and does not purport to cover all situations. Construction work must not proceed inside the minimum safety clearance distance until the powerlines are There are different kinds of easements on properties relocated containing powerlines. construction. clearance zone you must contact SA Power Networks to find out the exact location and the type of the underground powerline. the electricity network operator may have a If a property is supplied from an electrical service pillar or pit. at any reasonable Email: damage or loss of any kind sustained by any person that arises directly or indirectly from reliance upon any information contained herein or source of information referred to. 66. this means that the the relocation work and costs must be negotiated electricity network provider has legal permission to access and finalised with SA Power Networks before starting and maintain the infrastructure. Easements for powerlines An easement is a legal right of use over the land of another Where it is necessary to relocate an underground powerline. Contact the Office of the Technical Regulator for further information. In limited circumstances where it is safe to do so. to inspect the to the service pit. or to outline a complete list of procedures that must be followed. could present risks to your safety and the surrounding property. or any particular situation.Underground powerlines Permission to build inside the safe Before excavating in areas with underground powerlines. as they may restrict safe access has the authority. and must not be construed to waive or modify any legal obligation. the electricity network operator walls or moss rocks. retaining easement on a property. underground powerlines such as padmounted transformer is a referral service structures within the minimum safety clearance distance. electrical hazard. The Government of South Australia will not be liable for any injury. You may make contact with underground cables or destabilise the pole. as shown in image 5 and table 3. Minimum safety clearance distances must be met when building close to underground powerlines. the Technical Regulator has powers to approve buildings and Dial Before You Dig ( Phone: 08 8226 5500 May 2015 . For more information Online: sa. It is not to be taken as a statement of law or legal advice. This includes structures such as garages. In relation to powerlines. you are legally required to obtain a written Foundation Minimum safety clearance distance permission from the electricity network operator. that can help with obtaining information on the location of underground powerlines and other services. If there is a powerline on your property. causing it to fall over.otr@sa. statutory or registered easement to access and maintain you must not construct or place anything over or too close the powerline. If you intend to dig deeper than 30cm within 3 metres of a stobie pole. This information is provided to offer general guidance only on building safely near powerlines. 132 and 275 kV 3 metres 33 kV or less 2 metres Digging or excavating near stobie poles Image 5: Minimum safety clearance distance for electricity supplier’s Digging near stobie poles and other electrical infrastructure. Contact SA Power Networks for more powerline and take action to prevent or minimise an information. Table 3: Minimum safety clearance distances for underground powerlines Building near or on any easement should be discussed with Underground powerline voltage Minimum clearance the network operator (usually SA Power Networks). It is also prohibited to alter the ground level directly under Underground powerlines if it reduces the ground clearance to less than powerline prescribed by the regulations.