Keeping our power lines and meters clear of obstacles provides safe and dependable electricity for our members.
A clear right-of-way improves power quality, reliability and safety. If a meter is inaccessible due to clutter (i.e. car parts, storage sheds, fencing, etc.) service is compromised. Covers should never be built to hide, enclose or in any other way conceal – or hinder access – to the meter.
Clear rights-of-way give OTEC line crews the ability to respond to storm damage with minimal disruption of electricity and provides crews with safe access to the power lines.
With a clear right-of-way, OTEC linemen don’t have to cut their way in to reach repair areas and are able to restore power more quickly for you, our members.
Why is a clear right-of-way important?
A clear right-of-way improves power quality, reliability and safety. If a meter is inaccessible due to clutter, i.e. car parts, storage sheds, etc. service is compromised. Covers should never be built to hide, enclose or in any other way conceal – or hinder access – to the meter.
Additionally, while we all enjoy trees, when they grow too large that they begin to interfere with power lines reliability and safety are at risk. That’s why it’s important to keep access to your meters clear by removing any obstructions whether it be tree branches, car parts, fencing, storage units, brush, etc. from the right-of-way.
How is the right-of way cleared?
The right-of-way is cleared by cutting, trimming, mowing and where permissible, applying herbicides. Oregon Trail Electric Cooperative treats all members equally when removing vegetation.
In most cases, all shrubs, brush and trees are removed under primary (main), high-voltage overhead power lines. They are also removed, as necessary, underneath and around secondary, low-voltage power lines that bring power from the transformer to your meter.
Cutting and trimming is done by trained, professional utility tree trimmers using International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) best management practices for utility trimming. The electric system is regularly inspected for dead, dying and leaning danger trees. When found, they are marked and then trimmed or removed to eliminate threat to power lines.
What happens to the cut wood and chips?
Logs are the property of the landowner. Branches and small debris are left to decompose where they are cut. In maintained yard areas, branches and small debris are chipped and removed unless otherwise requested by the member.
If you would like your name added to a waiting list for wood chips, we may be able to bring a load to your property on a first-come, first serve basis when we’re cutting in your area. Chips are mixed wood, leaves and pine needles.
For chips or wood information, contact your local OTEC office.
What happens if I plant in the right-of-way?
In the best interest of all of our members, and when preparing new plantings, please refer to the planting guidelines above.
Can power lines be buried?
In certain situations, upon landowner request, overhead power lines may be reconstructed underground. Contact your local OTEC office about necessary costs, easements and other requirements.