BusinessNovember 2014

Power and Water infrastructure takes a battering during the NT’s summer months

Summer in the Northern Territory brings monsoonal downpours, high winds, cyclones, flooding, and temperature extremes. Combine this extreme weather with airborne debris, curious wildlife and thousands of lightning strikes and power interruptions are inevitable.

Power and Water maintains thousands of kilometres of powerlines across 1.3 million square kilometres of the Northern Territory and interruptions to electricity supply can occur at any point along this extensive network. For customers, outages are irritating; for Power and Water power interruptions mean investigating the cause in all weathers, 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

Power interruptions are often the result of something touching a powerline and ‘tripping’ the safety mechanism. Safety regulations require a 15 minute wait before reenergising the line and during this time debris may fall away from the line allowing for easy restoration. However, if the line is damaged or something is trapped or entangled, reenergising the line will take more time. Restoration priority is given to essential services such as hospitals, nursing homes, evacuation centres and emergency services. Residential and commercial customers then follow.

Heavy rain and flooding can also impact on the water and sewer networks. Power and Water maintains more than 2 000 kilometres of water mains and over 1 000 kilometres of sewer mains. Keeping storm water away from the sewer system is critical during the wet season and heavy rainfall periods. If storm water enters the sewer network, pipes can overload potentially causing sewage to backflow into homes and properties. Installing Overflow Relief Gullies (ORGs) correctly and keeping them free from debris is essential in preventing sewage backflow.
For information about ORGs or interruptions to your services this summer season go to powerwater.com.au,
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