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Osmose Announces 2017 Wood Pole Program Award Winners

by Lauren Glass
Thu, Apr 19th 2018 09:00 am

Each year, Osmose recognizes pole owners with outstanding pole inspection and treatment programs and practices with its Wood Pole Management Awards.  A panel of judges considers several program characteristics when evaluating programs.  These include, but are not limited to the type of inspection program, the use of remedial preservatives to arrest decay and extend pole life, additional services performed to maximize the visit to the pole, restoration methods being used to rehabilitate or upgrade poles rather than replace them, and the use of strength and loading evaluations to more accurately determine remaining strength and reject status.

"The Wood Pole Management Awards recognize pole owners who have successfully implemented wood pole inspection and treatment programs that contribute to positive financial, structural reliability, and operational outcomes, including effective risk management and enhanced safety," said Nelson Bingel, NESC Chairman.  "These utilities have model programs that not only meet, but exceed regulatory mandates while providing benchmarks for the industry as a whole."

The two award-winning companies for 2017 represent the cooperative and investor-owned utility markets.  The winners are: Dixie Electric Cooperative (Mississippi) in the cooperative category and Southern Company (Alabama Power, Georgia Power, Gulf Power, Mississippi Power) in the IOU category.

Dixie Electric Cooperative (Mississippi) has been inspecting poles since 1972.  Its inspection program includes full excavation to 18 inches below groundline and application of both internal and external remedial preservatives on an 11-year cycle.  As a result of their consistent and robust program, Dixie's reject rate is approximately 1%.  Dixie leverages its visit to the pole by having technicians address other maintenance items including guy marker installation.

Southern Company (Alabama Power, Georgia Power, Gulf Power, Mississippi Power) has a comprehensive program that includes inspection of all wood poles on a 10-year cycle.  Poles are excavated to a depth of 18 inches so technicians can carefully examine each pole's condition at groundline.  Remedial preservatives are applied to extend pole life.  Poles identified as rejects during inspection are evaluated for restoration.  Those that can be rehabilitated are restored to code-mandated strength for substantially less than the cost of pole replacement.  Non-restorable rejects go into a que for replacement.   Because the preservative treatments and restoration processes provide a considerable life extension of the pole, Southern Company can consider capitalizing inspections that include treatment and all restoration, as well as pole replacement projects.

Best-in-class wood pole programs typically result in lower-than-average reject rates over multiple treatment cycles, reduced costs to mitigate at-risk poles, lower replacement volumes, and improved structural reliability and safety of the pole plant.

For questions regarding best-in-class pole management practices, please contact your local Osmose representative or email poleinfo@osmose.com