BC Hydro is advising Smithers residents that crews will be replacing power poles in Smithers over the next several months. The work is part of BC Hydro’s maintenance program that will see the replacement of more than 12,000 wooden utility poles this year throughout the province to improve the safety and reliability of the electrical system. BC Hydro maintains 900,000 wooden poles as part of its 56,000 kilometre electricity distribution system that delivers power to homes and businesses. More than 20 per cent of BC Hydro’s wooden poles have been in service for more than 40 years.
Over time, wooden poles weaken due to adverse weather, insects and wildlife. BC Hydro regularly inspects the old poles to determine their strength and will install new poles once they reach end-of-life. The lifespan of a power pole is 40 to 50 years on average.
Pole replacements may require BC Hydro or its contractors to disconnect power. Crews take special care to avoid any unnecessary impacts to customers. However, if these maintenance outages need to be scheduled for safety reasons, BC Hydro or its contractors will let customers know in-person, or by mail or phone.