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Building safely

near powerlines
Office of the Technical Regulator

sa.gov.au/energysafe

underground. 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. 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. transmission powerlines Scaffolding is considered a structure. future structures or scaffolds. and how it is measured. These distances are legal requirements and must be maintained at all times. It must Minimum Minimum safety clearance safety clearance not restrict safe access to powerlines for repair and distance distance maintenance. high or low voltage (132 kV or higher). 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. To determine the safe clearance distance from aerial distribution lines (66 kV or lower). the powerline – allow enough space for a safe work Table 1: Minimum safety clearance distances from the centreline of environment. 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 erect. Always check with ElectraNet when considering fencing near transmission lines. usually SA Power Networks. Image 1 and 2 provide a general identification guide to determine the voltages of powerlines. refer to Table 2 and Image 4. sign or notice is lower than 2 metres. aerial. Image 2: Common powerlines in South Australia If you need to relocate or insulate the powerlines. 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. the Office of the Technical Regulator or by visiting sa. No building or structure allowed If a fence. the associated costs and work should be negotiated with the electricity network operator. Further information on powerlines and their sag and swing is available from SA Power Networks. it may be exempt from minimum clearance distances. 33 kV or 19 kV 66 kV or 66 kV or 11 kV (SWER) 132 kV 132 kV 2 | Building safely near 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. and trees. Construction work must not proceed inside the minimum safety clearance distance until the powerlines are relocated. You may need to install gates to allow trucks to access the powerlines. Locating a swimming pool under any powerline is not recommended. 33 kV.g.gov.au/energysafe. The clearance distance. before starting construction. depends on the voltage and type of powerline.Before you build near powerlines Transmission powerlines – 132kV Before starting work on a building.

7 m 3. pergolas and t Powerlines (particularly 19 kV SWER. terraces. For more information visit sa.1 m 0.5 m 6.6 m 0. a slope of less than 45°.1 m 1.5 m 4. Dimension B – Vertically above those parts of a 0. it is windy.7 m 4. t Radial dimension D applies in relation to structures such as roofs with a slope of 45° or more and light poles. for example. t The clearance distance is measured from the worst case swing and sag point. This may need to be calculated by SA Power Networks. At mid span.7 m 2.5 m 1.1 m 2. and also swing when t Horizontal dimension C applies to the same structures as A and B. SA Power Networks may charge a fee for this service.7 m 5. 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.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.gov.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.7 m 3.au/energysafe | 3 . a powerline will swing and sag much more than in areas near the pole.1 metre.1 m 5. parapets wider than 0. signed by the plan complies with the minimum clearance requirements development applicant. plans comply with prescribed clearance requirements. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that the requirements of the Electricity Act 1996 are being met. t Your development must achieve either the appropriate horizontal walkways.5 m 1.7 m 2.5 m 3. Dimension D – In any direction from those parts of a 0.5 m building or structure not normally accessible to persons but on which a person can stand. 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.7 m 2. to balconies.1 m 0.6 m 2. 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. Notes for Table 2 t Vertical dimension A applies. bridges and scaffolds. 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.7 m 5. Dimension C – In horizontal direction from those 0.5 m building or structure not normally accessible to persons. acknowledging the development prescribed by the regulations. considerably under high temperatures and loads.7 m building or structure normally accessible to persons. 33 kV and 66 kV) can sag carports.

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.gov.1100. Contact SA Power Networks for more powerline and take action to prevent or minimise an information.Underground powerlines Permission to build inside the safe Before excavating in areas with underground powerlines. This information is provided to offer general guidance only on building safely near powerlines. 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. or to outline a complete list of procedures that must be followed. electrical hazard. If there is a powerline on your property. underground powerlines such as padmounted transformer boxes. Even if there is no statutory or registered to it. to inspect the to the service pit. you are legally required to obtain a written Foundation Minimum safety clearance distance permission from the electricity network operator. In limited circumstances where it is safe to do so. 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. causing it to fall over. the Technical Regulator has powers to approve buildings and Dial Before You Dig (www. Contact the Office of the Technical Regulator for further information. could present risks to your safety and the surrounding property. 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. the electricity network operator may have a If a property is supplied from an electrical service pillar or pit. 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). If you intend to dig deeper than 30cm within 3 metres of a stobie pole. In relation to powerlines. or any particular situation. as they may restrict safe access has the authority.gov.otr@sa. person. construction. retaining easement on a property. clearance zone you must contact SA Power Networks to find out the exact location and the type of the underground powerline. The Government of South Australia will not be liable for any injury. at any reasonable time.au/energysafe Email: dsd. statutory or registered easement to access and maintain you must not construct or place anything over or too close the powerline. 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.com.au) is a referral service structures within the minimum safety clearance distance. Minimum safety clearance distances must be met when building close to underground powerlines. This includes structures such as garages.au Phone: 08 8226 5500 May 2015 . 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. You may make contact with underground cables or destabilise the pole. and must not be construed to waive or modify any legal obligation. as shown in image 5 and table 3. For more information Online: sa. and does not purport to cover all situations. 66. the electricity network operator walls or moss rocks. It is not to be taken as a statement of law or legal advice. that can help with obtaining information on the location of underground powerlines and other services.