Seattle City Light contractors identified five instances of contact voltage of at least 30 volts related to streetlights and associated equipment in its latest round of safety testing Monday night. In each case, City Light crews immediately cut off power and started repairs. No people or pets were injured in any of the incidents.
Inspection teams are close to completing testing on all metal streetlight poles and associated facilities. Completion will depend on weather conditions. The final count of streetlights and associated groundcover facilities will exceed the original 30,000 estimate by about 10 percent. A final count will be available once all testing of our service territory is finished.
The inspections are part of City Light’s ongoing safety testing efforts. City Light initiated testing after the death of a dog that stepped on an energized groundcover plate in Queen Anne in November and two other unrelated reports of energized metal streetlight equipment. Two contractors – Davey Resources Group and Power Survey Co. – are conducting the testing.
City Light’s contractors have identified a total of 38 utility facilities with contact voltage in addition to seven previously recorded by City Light for a total of 45. Contractors also discovered a metal pole for a traffic sign that was energized and several privately owned lights. The previously reported traffic sign is not being counted in City Light’s updated total because it is not the utility’s equipment.
The industry average for contact voltage potential is 0.3 percent. City Light’s finding to date is 0.15 percent.
Locations where the latest contact voltage incidents were found:
A streetlight near 50th Avenue NE and NE 65th Street, 60 volts, bad wiring, power cut off, repairs pending
- A streetlight near Aurora Avenue N and N 59th Street, 62 volts, a bad fuse, wire and lamp fixture were replaced
- A streetlight near 52nd Avenue NE and NE 65th Street, 62 volts, deteriorated wiring, power cut off, repairs pending
- A streetlight near Meridian Avenue N and N 154th Street, 62 volts, power cut off, repairs pending
- A streetlight near Aurora Avenue N and West Green Lake Way N, 91 volts, bad wiring, power cut off, repairs pending
Equipment tested (approximately): 30,100
Voltage incidents more than 30 volts since last report: 5
Total elevated voltage incidents: 45