Nelson Hydro owns and operates approximately 24 km of transmission lines and 300 km of distribution lines throughout the mountainous terrain of the West Kootenays. This provides electrical service to over 11,000 metered customers within its Service Territory.
The lakes, mountains and trees are part of the beauty of the Kootenay’s and it is hard to imagine our community without trees. When trees or branches come into contact with power lines, it can cause problems. Tree contact or trees growing too close to powerlines can create a public safety hazard, may cause interruption of electric service, and can pose a safety threat to Power Line Technicians as they operate and maintain electrical equipment.
Vegetation Management along Nelson Hydro rights-of-way ensures the safety of employees, the public, and reduces the risk of outages and fires. Nelson Hydro has a 5-Year Vegetation Management Plan to manage the vegetation within its utility corridors to industry standards. The creation of the Vegetation Management Best Practices provides efficient and effective procedures in order to protect the public, infrastructure and values relative to Nelson Hydro transmission and distribution lines while at the same time respecting the environment we all appreciate.
Nelson Hydro is responsible for and will clear vegetation growth around all primary high-voltage power lines. This work can only be safely done by qualified professional electrical workers or arborists certified to work in close proximity to high voltage power lines and should not be attempted by others. When danger trees are located on privately owned and crown land, Nelson Hydro contacts the owners and seeks consent using the Vegetation Management Consent Record Form. This consultation practice follows the Public Engagement Framework.
Nelson Hydro does not clear tree growth around customers' electrical wires that supply service to customer buildings or poles unless there is a serious electrical hazard. Nelson Hydro recommends that customers hire a qualified arborist to do this work. If homeowners wish to prune or remove their own trees, Nelson Hydro can lower and de-energize the electric service wires to allow the work to be done safely, and then reconnect the line when the work is finished. In most cases, there is no charge for this service by Nelson Hydro.
Power lines that are broken or knocked down by trees or branches can often still be energized, and these energized or ‘live’ wires can kill. Never approach downed power lines or attempt to remove trees touching a power line. Stay at least 10 meters away. Call Nelson Hydro immediately at 1-877-324-9376 and qualified electrical workers will respond.