BAKER CITY — Oregon Trail Electric Cooperative in a Thursday, June 16, press release announced it is beginning its annual pole-testing program throughout the cooperative’s service territory in Baker, Grant, Harney and Union counties.

National Wood Treating, a contracted service with the cooperative, will be inspecting and testing utility poles for strength and potential rot, determining and treating ailing poles. Testing — which is mandated by the Public Utility Commission — was set to begin in Baker and Union counties, then will move to Grant and Harney counties over the next few months.

“Testing requires digging around our power poles and this means that in some instances National Wood Treating employees will be working in OTEC member-owners’ yards and maybe even driving 4-wheelers across open fields testing each power pole,” said Joe Hathaway, OTEC’s communications manager. “OTEC and our contractor will both be doing their very best to make contact with each property owner. 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% 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.

These inspection helps to safely maintain reliability and helps keep costs down for OTEC's members.

Sign up for our Daily Headlines newsletter

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.