Underground installations near ROW

We have power lines both above ground and underground. It's vital to position anything you build underground (e.g.: sewers, water lines, other utilities, or other conduits) to avoid the safety risk of fault transfer when electricity arcs from a power line/cable into the ground and/or surrounding equipment.

Any underground infrastructure proposals within our ROW must be reviewed and approved by us. The proposed works should be designed:

  • To be a minimum 10 metres (33 feet) from power lines or infrastructure, both overhead and underground, with the exception of metal/ductile iron pipe or gas installations, which require a 30-metre separation.
  • With non-conductive materials.
  • When buried, to withstand use by a BCL-625 truck, per specifications set out in the BC Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure Supplement to the Canadian Highway Bridge Design Code S6-06. Where duct banks are already installed, further restrictions on weight and/or equipment over the top of duct banks may be identified.
  • To be identified, either by permanent above-ground markers, or by non-conductive underground electronic ID markers.
  • To not be located between a BC Hydro guy wire anchor and one of our poles or tower structures.

You’ll need our written approval for all proposed installations within a ROW or within the required minimum separation distances, and one of our inspectors may be required to be on site.

If you want to seek an exception to our allowable minimum distances, your proposal will require specific review and we may require an induction and/or soil resistivity study be completed.

Call before you dig

Call BCOneCall 1 800 474 6886 or *6886 (cell), or click  for information about underground utility infrastructure before any digging work begins. Buried power lines, regardless of voltage, present a different kind of hazard to people than overhead power lines.

The ultimate responsibility for any damaged underground infrastructure rests with the person performing the work. Hand-digging may be required to ensure safety.

BCOneCall drawings designate high voltage transmission lines in orange and distribution lines in pink and blue colors.