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Building safely

near powerlines
Office of the Technical Regulator

sa.gov.au/energysafe

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

Notes for Table 2 t Vertical dimension A applies. 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. 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. bridges and scaffolds. for example. t Radial dimension D applies in relation to structures such as roofs with a slope of 45° or more and light poles.gov. pergolas and t Powerlines (particularly 19 kV SWER.5 m building or structure not normally accessible to persons.6 m 0. it is windy.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.7 m 4. At mid span.1 metre. considerably under high temperatures and loads. signed by the plan complies with the minimum clearance requirements development applicant.5 m building or structure not normally accessible to persons but on which a person can stand.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. SA Power Networks may charge a fee for this service.5 m 3.1 m 0. plans comply with prescribed clearance requirements. parapets wider than 0. Dimension D – In any direction from those parts of a 0.7 m 3.1 m 2.6 m 2.5 m 4.1 m 5. a slope of less than 45°.1 m 1.7 m 2. terraces. to balconies. 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. Dimension B – Vertically above those parts of a 0.5 m 1. Dimension C – In horizontal direction from those 0.5 m 6. 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. t The clearance distance is measured from the worst case swing and sag point.7 m 3.5 m 1. acknowledging the development prescribed by the regulations. 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. t Your development must achieve either the appropriate horizontal walkways.1 m 0. a powerline will swing and sag much more than in areas near the pole.7 m 2. For more information visit sa.7 m 5. This may need to be calculated by SA Power Networks.7 m 2.7 m building or structure normally accessible to persons.au/energysafe | 3 .

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