The construction of swimming pools within electricity easements is only permitted in very limited circumstances due to the risk of electric shock. A local council building permit is not sufficient approval. Written approval from Ausgrid is required.
You must provide a continuous, unobstructed area of 4.5 meters wide along the full length of the easement to allow our staff access to powerlines and other equipment at all times. You must not place obstructions in the easement within 5 metres of a power line, equipment or support wire, or within 10 metres of a steel power line structure.
What are the safety risks?
An electrical fault on powerlines may occur if lightning strikes the line, when an insulator breaks, or in rare cases when a conductor drops to the ground. When a fault happens, part of the electric current flows through the ground along the easement and this may cause voltages to appear in the ground for a short period. The closer the pool is to a tower or pole, the greater the risk of electric shock.
Safety advice on pools in easements
In order to minimise the risk of electric shock in these circumstances, owners should ensure that Ausgrid assess any pool plans and can inspect installed pools.
The following is a short list of measures you should adopt to ensure you remain as safe as possible.
- Metal objects are electrical conductors. Avoid using metallic objects around the pool as much as possible - for example portable pool ladders, removable slippery dips. Where possible, use fibreglass or plastic items.
- Have the wiring to your pool pump checked for correct installation.
- Keep any electrical equipment well clear of the pool and out of the easement, including yard lighting (an isolating transformer may be used if supply is required).
- Underwater lighting should only be of the extra low voltage type.
- Where a boundary fence makes up part of the pool enclosure, an isolation section (e.g. timber fence) may be required to be installed - contact Ausgrid for details.
- Use plastic piping to connect any water taps within the pool area to the water supply.
- Have the pool surrounded by timber decking or pavers. These can help to reduce the risk from currents passing through the ground near pools.
- Avoid swimming when storms or bushfires are occurring, since faults arising from lightning strikes, dropped conductors and fire (fire conducts electricity) are more likely to happen than during normal conditions.
- Do not use pool cleaners with long handles where there is a risk of contact with overhead conductors. If you would like to determine the height of conductors, please contact us. Do not attempt to measure the height of conductors yourself
- If your pool is directly below the conductors or within 40m of a transmission tower, please complete an easement enquiry form so that the situation can be assessed. In some cases the pool may need to be relocated clear of the conductors or tower.