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Spring has sprung in Idaho Falls – which usually means the planting season can begin.
But, before you dig in, Idaho Falls Power (IFP) reminds you to take into consideration underground electrical service equipment before you start planting, especially if you’re planting trees.
To ensure reliable electric service for the future, special care must be taken in the selection and placement of newly planted trees near power lines. Limbs and trees blown down during storms can bring down electrical wires. In addition, trees in contact with power lines can conduct electricity, creating the potential for electrocution or shock to children at play or homeowners doing yard work.
Wise tree planting also protects street and sidewalk visibility and clearance, and prevents damage to pavement, sewers and buildings.
City ordinance prohibits the planting of trees under or within 20 lateral feet of any overhead utility wire, or over or within five lateral feet of any underground water line, sewer line, electric transmission or distribution line or other utility with the exception of certain species of trees. The list of exempt trees can be found at www.ifpower.org.
Property owners are responsible for trimming any trees contacting power lines running from the transformer to their home or building. Idaho Falls Power will disconnect and reconnect these lines at no charge while any trimming work is completed to ensure safety.
Idaho Falls Power will trim trees, branches and other obstructions interfering with the operations or maintenance of primary electric lines or equipment. Primary electric lines are those that run from pole to pole.
Residents planting shrubbery in their yard should keep in mind that the electric transformer must be accessible for service at all times. So, don’t plant anything in front of the transformer and select plants that are easily maintained and won’t overgrow the transformer.
Residents should also locate all underground utilities before they dig to prevent damage that can result in injury or death, financial penalties and/or service disruption. To locate underground utilities call Digline at 811 at least two working days in advance of your project.
If you have additional questions regarding planting or trees around electrical service equipment, contact IFP at 208-612-8430.
Media Note: For more information or to schedule an interview with city staff, contact Idaho Falls Public Information Officer, Bud Cranor at 208-612-8306.
About Idaho Falls Power: Idaho Falls Power is a municipal electric utility serving the corporate city limits of Idaho Falls, Idaho. The City has operated the utility continuously since its establishment in 1900. Learn more on our website.