Technicians get to root of problem

Friday September 08, 2017 Written by Published in Local
Te Aponga Uira, Senior Field Officer Makara Murare in the trench yesterday holding a piece of the tree root after extracting it from between the HV cable. 17090722 Te Aponga Uira, Senior Field Officer Makara Murare in the trench yesterday holding a piece of the tree root after extracting it from between the HV cable. 17090722

Nearly 30 metres of thick, hardened tree root growing between the threads of High Voltage (HV) cable appear to be the contributing factor in the power outage around the north-western side of Rarotonga, last Saturday night.  

Te Aponga Uira media liaison officer, Trevor Pitt  said network technicians conducted tests throughout the week following last weekend’s power outage.

The power outage which affected the Avatiu area through to the Ruaau meeting house in Arorangi, left nightclubs, takeaway shops and numerous residential houses in the dark for almost an hour. 

“Te Aponga Uira Network technicians conducted tests, narrowing the fault area down to Inave, in Arorangi,” Pitt said.  

“The diagnostics work pinpointed the location of the earth fault and the cable area was exposed yesterday morning. 

“Strong root growth indicates a significant presence of water below ground, which combined with movement and downward pressures from traffic, can be problematic for HV cables over a period of time.  

“The cable in this area is about 16 years old.  

“The troublesome root in this case is likely to have grown from a nearby flamboyant tree.  

“While growing between the cable the root has forced pressure onto the cable skin causing it to thin and become exposed to moisture, thereby resulting in the power outage,” Pitt said 

Remedial work is expected to be completed by today. 

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