April 29, 2019 1:59 pm

SaskPower taking proactive approach to wood power pole maintenance

Over 113,000 wood power poles out of the more than 1.2 million poles across Saskatchewan are slated to be inspected by SaskPower during 2019.

Provided / SaskPower

SaskPower says a wood pole maintenance program has the potential to save the Crown corporation millions of dollars in replacement costs.

Over 113,000 wood power poles out of the more than 1.2 million poles across the province are slated to be inspected.

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“This is the seventh year of this 10-year cycle that will ultimately see all of our 1.2 million wood power poles inspected,” said Tim Eckel, SaskPower’s vice-president of asset management, planning & sustainability.

“This work will help to nearly double the life of the poles, and will also save money – it costs on average 50 times more to replace a pole than to maintain it.”

Crews will be looking for physical damage, along with signs of decay or carpenter ant infestation.

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Poles will be treated, repaired, or reinforced where possible, SaskPower said, or marked for replacement if they can’t be repaired.

The inspections will be carried out between May and October in Moose Jaw, Prince Albert, and the Unity, Kipling, Lumsden, and Nipawin areas.

Crews will be wearing high-visibility clothing and carrying identification, SaskPower said, and will stay within right-of-ways as much as possible, but may have to access private property at times to carry out inspections.

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SaskPower said another 1,500 poles are slated to be replaced in a number of locations, including Saskatoon and Regina, which were identified during inspections in 2018.

No power outages are anticipated during the $10-million project.

Inspections dates are as follows:

  • Unity and area, including Wilkie, Landis and Macklin (May 6 to July 31)
  • Kipling and area, including Whitewood, Grenfell and Broadview (May 6 to July 31)
  • Moose Jaw (August 1 to 31)
  • Lumsden and area, including Regina Beach, Chamberlain and Bethune (August 1 to 31)
  • City of Prince Albert (August 1 to September 15)
  • Nipawin and area, including Cumberland House and Carrot River (September 15 to October 30)

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