Kissimmee Utility Authority’s annual utility pole inspection program kicked off January 5 and continues for several months for those customers living in north Kissimmee, Florida. The inspections are designed to ensure the stability of the utility’s wood transmission and distribution poles, which is critical during high wind producing storms.
KUA has contracted with Buffalo, New York-based Osmose Utilities Services, Inc. to assist with its inspection of the poles. The inspections will include a visual from the groundline, sound and bore, and strength analysis for each pole. Based on the outcome of the inspection, poles may be treated, reinforced or replaced as needed.
During the inspection period, pole inspectors will be entering yards and excavating soil at the base of the poles to conduct their inspections and to treat the buried pole material. Contractors will repack the soil around the pole once they have completed their tasks. These individuals are working under the supervision of KUA and carry identification cards.
KUA currently maintains 14,405 wood distribution poles and 122 wood transmission poles throughout its 85-square mile service area in Osceola County. All new transmission construction involves the use of concrete or steel poles for increased stability.
In 2006, the Florida Public Service Commission mandated regular pole inspections for investor-owned utilities and telephone companies, but made the inspections optional for municipal utilities and rural electric cooperatives. In an effort to ensure the highest level of reliability and customer confidence, KUA voluntarily adopted the inspection standards.