Oregon Trail Electric Cooperative (OTEC) is gearing up to begin its annual pole-testing program throughout the cooperative’s service territory in Baker, Grant, Harney, and Union counties.
Osmose Utility Services, a contracted service with OTEC, will begin inspecting and testing utility poles for strength and potential rot, determining and treating ailing poles. Testing – which is mandated by the Public Utility Commission - will begin the week of June 21 in Grant and Harney counties, then will move to Baker and Union counties over the next few months.
“Testing requires digging around our power poles and this means that in some instances Osmose employees will be working in OTEC member-owners’ yards and maybe even driving 4-wheelers across open fields testing each power pole.” said Jay Tanzey, Baker District Superintendent.
“OTEC and Osmose will both be doing their very best to make contact with each property owner,” added Tanzey. “But if a rancher is out in the fields or a family isn’t home for one reason or another, we are just wanting to give a heads up that they will be working in the area.”
OTEC’s power pole-testing program calls for each pole to be inspected and treated on a 10-year cycle. Approximately 10 percent of the system is inspected each year to identify any poles that need to be replaced and to extend the lives of those poles that remain in service. OTEC maintains more than 44,000 poles, so around 4,400 poles will be tested this summer.
“This inspection helps to safely maintain reliability and keeps costs down for our members,” Tanzey said.
If members have any questions or concerns, please contact OTEC at 541-523-3616.