Seattle City Light contractors identified six instances of contact voltage of at least 30 volts related to streetlights and associated equipment in its latest round of safety testing Thursday night. City Light crews immediately cut off power and started repairs. No people or pets were injured in any of the incidents.
The final count of streetlights and associated groundcover facilities will exceed the original 30,000 estimate possibly by as much as 20 percent. A final count will be available once all testing of our service territory is finished. It’s anticipated that testing will conclude before the end of January.
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 49 utility facilities with contact voltage in addition to seven previously recorded by City Light for a total of 56. Contractors also discovered a metal pole for a traffic sign that was energized and several privately owned lights.
The industry average for contact voltage potential is 0.3 percent. City Light’s finding to date is 0.16 percent.
Locations where the latest contact voltage incidents were found:
- A streetlight near Montavista Place W and Eyre Place W, 113 volts, bad wiring, repairs pending
- A streetlight near 38th Avenue W and Montavista Place W, 98 volts, faulty lamp head was removed, repairs pending
- A streetlight near Morley Place W and Westmont Way W, 121 volts, bad wiring, repairs pending
- A streetlight near 30th Avenue W and W Hayes Street, 91 volts, faulty lamp head, repairs pending
- A streetlight near 30th Avenue W and W Garfield Street, 86 volts, faulty lamp head, repairs pending
- A streetlight near 26th Avenue W and W Dravus Street, 120 volts, pinched wire on lamp head and pole, repaired
Equipment tested (approximately): 34,000
Voltage incidents more than 30 volts since last report: 6
Total elevated voltage incidents: 56