Irrigating Around Electricity

two irrigation nozzles spray water with a blue sky background. You see a lot of water droplets.

Know the Risks and How to Safe Safe

Spring planting is around the corner. Whether you’re a large producer or backyard gardener, keeping safety in mind as you plant and irrigate can save your life.

Know What’s Below

Do you know where the overhead and underground utilities are on your property? The safest and simplest way to find out is by calling 811. Most people never think about the electric, gas, water and other utility lines buried below the ground, but hitting one while digging is not the reminder you want.

Call 811 at least three business days before you start digging. The affected utilities will be notified and will send someone to mark the buried lines with paint or flags. Even if you’re digging just a few feet down, avoiding contact with utility lines can save you money, a mess and even your life.

Irrigation Materials Conduct and Attract Electricity

Overhead powerlines should be considered when moving metal irrigation equipment. Any material that conducts electricity is dangerous near power lines. Electricity follows the least resistant path to ground. This could be through an irrigation pipe and your body. Look up and live.

Avoid moving irrigation pipes on windy days, and keep them parallel to the ground, rather than vertical, to minimize the risk of contacting power lines.

If an irrigation pipe touches a power line, do not remove it. Stay away and call Benton REA for help.

Water also conducts electricity. Do not allow irrigation water nozzles to spray on power lines. A stream of water hitting a power line could energize the irrigation system and shock anyone nearby or in contact with it.

Be sure the electrical components in your irrigation pumps are properly grounded. A stray wire in a puddle can create an electric current traveling throughout the ground, potentially electrocuting anyone who walks by.

Stay away from piping during lightning storms. You can install lightning arresters to protect your equipment.

Our region relies on irrigation and electricity to produce a bounty of crops. Keep them working in harmony by working safely.

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