Elec­tric cur­rent shock to ir­ri­ga­tors

Tasmanian Country - - NEWS - KATH SUL­LI­VAN ROGER HAN­SON

MORE than 30 ir­ri­ga­tors in the North-East are af­fected by an elec­tric cur­rent run­ning through an ir­ri­ga­tion pipe­line.

How­ever, Tas­ma­nian Ir­ri­ga­tion says farm­ers in the Win­naleah scheme could ac­cess their wa­ter al­lo­ca­tions but must work cau­tiously.

TI chief ex­ec­u­tive Ni­cola Mor­ris said farm­ers needed to adopt safe work prac­tices and TI was check­ing each out­let to en­sure they are safe.

TI was in­formed last week a low-volt­age power cur­rent, be­lieved to be trans­mit­ted from a nearby wind farm, had been de­tected in the pipe­line.

“The elec­tric cur­rent has been a long-term is­sue with mas­sive in­ter­ven­tion since it was built, it was again re­solved late De­cem­ber but then last week we were ad­vised it had reap­peared,” she said.

“We are work­ing on find­ing out why that has hap­pened.”

Dairy farmer Alan Dav­en­port said a meet­ing on Mon­day dis­cussed how ir­ri­ga­tors could safely ac­cess the wa­ter.

“We haven’t said they can’t ac­cess the wa­ter, we’ve just said don’t touch the pipe­line to do it,” Mr Dav­en­port said.

“It’s a con­tin­u­ous AC volt­age and that’s what makes it risky. The volt­ages are in the vicin­ity of 15 volts.”

“We need to make sure any­body com­ing into con­tact with the scheme is trained to man­age the volt­age risk.”

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