High Voltage power line - dangerous?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by cc-rider, May 3, 2005.

  1. cc-rider

    cc-rider Baroness of TisaWee Farm Supporter

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    I mean, living near one? I've read stories that it may cause cancer, etc.

    This property that I looked at over the weekend has what I believe to be a high-powered voltage line running through the center of it. It is a 57 acre parcel, so I don't see it too much, but it is there. Way up high.

    Is there ANY danger in living near that?? I'm not sure if the stories meant "near" as in "under" or near a power station, or whatever.

    Thanks again!
    Chris
     
  2. WisJim

    WisJim Well-Known Member Supporter

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    My personal opinion is that they are dangerous to live or spend a lot of time near, due to the electrical fields that they cause. There is lots of information pro and con about this, and I think that much of the info that says there is no harm is promoted by the power companies. Of course, the folks who feel that they have been adversely affected can't afford the dollars to oppose the power companies, so their side is never presented or documented effectively.

    We passed on a nice piece of property 16 years ago because of the power lines running through it.

    Jim
     

  3. pcwerk

    pcwerk Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I have heard of reports that they produce a low ground current that
    can negatively affect livestock, such as reduced milk production from
    cows, etc. Not sure of how scientific the studies were. Who knows
    how it may effect humans? I wouldn't buy the land unless it was dirt
    cheap ;-)
    james in houston
     
  4. electronrider

    electronrider Well-Known Member

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    One of the worst ***** beatings I got as a child was because me and my cousin had flourescent bulbs in hour hands, and were waving them around under a power line cause it made them light up a little bit. We thought it was neat, Mom had a stroke, thus the subsequent beating :haha:

    As to physical proof of good or bad? I wouldnt, regardless of what I read, just because ya know its outside of "normal" for humans to live around. There may or may not be harm, but why risk it? Another thing is that in 20 years when the power company wants to comne through your property with all the heavy equipment to replace those towers, all u can do is stand there and cuss while they tear up your land. no thanks.
     
  5. mtman

    mtman Well-Known Member

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    i wouldnt consider it either
     
  6. mikell

    mikell Well-Known Member

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    You may not own the property under the lines. A friend has some on his he doesn.t pay taxes on it but has written permission to use the property. If the price is right I wouldn't worry about it. Perfect land is getting harder to come by.

    mikell
     
  7. cc-rider

    cc-rider Baroness of TisaWee Farm Supporter

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    I know that you would own this, and the power company has an easement. Supposedly, they check it out with helicopters.... but I noticed that the land under it is cleared. It is WAYYYYYY up there..... hundreds of feet, it looks like.

    I wonder how far away is considered a "safe" distance??
     
  8. antiquestuff

    antiquestuff Well-Known Member

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    There are fields around those wires you don't want to be in...

    I saw something once that electrical fields like that caused some people to imagine their house was haunted--some sort of affect on them somehow...weird stuff it was.
     
  9. deb

    deb Well-Known Member

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    A group of Amish farmers won a court case here in Wisconsin against a power company because they were able to prove that the "stray" ground current was affecting their dairy production.

    I remember it because most Amish will not go to court, but in this case they did because they don't want electricity on their property in the first place and it was hurting thier animals (besides reduced dairy production, their cows were aborting calves at an unusual rate). The power company wouldn't do anything to rectify the problem when they were told of the problem so the Amish found someone to represent them in court.

    A TV camera crew visited one of the affected Amish farms and they were able to get a light bulb to glow using just the stray current in the ground. I will see if I can find something about this case on the web and will post what I find.

    Personally I wouldn't buy land with a high powered electric line going through it. Besides the potention for stray electricity, I also wouldn't want to have a electric transmission company & its employees to have 24/7 access to my land because of the right of way. What happens if gates are left open and animals are lost? If your dog attacks an electric company employee? I would just pass on the land.

    Deb
    in WI
     
  10. VALENT

    VALENT Well-Known Member

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    I agree with mikell. Perfect land is hard to find or even harder to afford. I wouldn't want my house to be exceptionally near(for me a minimum of, say, 100 yards, further if possible). There are people with electric transmission lines through their property all over. It is a necessary evil. If I could buy without the line, I would. BUT owning land and living on it is nice.
     
  11. Helena

    Helena Well-Known Member

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    We have power lines about 200 feet from our house. These are not the HUGE monster lines but the big metal poles 100 feet or so up in the air with the lines. What happened to us is that the fields next to our house is owned by an "old biddie" and the electric company came through and approached the farmers about the lines on their properties. Some of the farmers opposed and some said yes even though they could have sent these lines down the highway with all the other poles etc. But...so...even though I can see them and near me I had no say about it. Now..if you know me at all I am not one to sit and keep her mouth shut..at least I will voice my opinion. My hubby and I went to all of the neighbors it would affect and boy did we learn a lot of sticking together as neighbors..NONE !! One farmer said.."I don't want to cause trouble or they'll be out to get me"..give me a break..we supposedly live in America..but guess that is another question altogether. so....this all went to court so everyone could say what they thought and why about the power lines. Several people didn't want them near their property or on their property. One other fellow and myself were the ONLY ones to get up in front of a room full of people with a Judge and tell our story and be taped doing it !! So...the power line has to be at least 80' from our property line. They do maintain the right of way for this "old biddie" and about once a year I do see trucks going on her hay fields checking things out. At one time last spring there were men with a tank truck coming along spraying "stuff" on the weeds around these 100' poles so the weeds wouldn't be in the way..duh?? So hubby and I stopped them and called the electric company and they stopped. They couldn't tell me what they were spraying but said it was "OK" to use. But why were they spraying on the party line 80' away from the poles ??? But the other problem we now have is with them cutting trees in the back woods to clear cut for the poles you now can hear the traffic at times. It's a state route and not a big interstate but I can now hear it and that bothers me too. Our barn at times gets flooded and we believe it is because they put a drainage ditch up in back of our land..But of course we can't prove that after having people out to look at the situation even the conservation people...but we never had that problem before the poles came. And of course this isn't even our electric co-op that did it but an outside electric company that provided electric for a new plant 20 miles away !! I did speak to a judge at the beginning of all of this and she mentioned that yes I could do something to stop it. But a few days later I was not able to speak with her again (??) and no lawyer wanted to "get involved " with it. So.....that's my sad story of the power lines. I don't really notice them...but they are there. I wonder if we ever sell the homestead if that will cause people to ask questions. Of course, as I told the Judge at the time...The people who own this land don't look at them..but I get to see it all for free !! I wouldn't trust anything they say. Have been told that you can buy a "thing" that will check the stray electric around the area of the poles. Never have done that myself though. But perhaps that is why I "glow' at night like a fire fly. The owner of the land is a real pain and she wanted them to put the lines on the party line and of course they couldn't do that so they are in the middle of her big hay field with no buildings to be put nearer than 80' and that will keep any new comers away from us for at least that distance for now. ( she has a major neighbor problem...won't let us hook up to the gas main because it's on her land...but that is another subject of discussion another day...she's strange )...the other fellow who complained they were going over the top of a seasonal cabin he had built..too bad for him they said move the cabin...and he had over 300 acres of land that was affecting him too. So...I wouldn't buy or bother with the land that actually had the lines on it. It is rented for like a 100 years and who knows what they spray the area with and how or when they arrive. Good Luck !!
     
  12. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The easement the power company has says, basically, you don't own that strip of land, they do..... You can farm or graze the land, but they have access to their poles including through fences, etc, and they can keep trees away. So on & so forth. No buildings on the easement. So, you can pay taxes, but you don't own it really.....

    There are electrical fields around anything electrical. Some believe the high power lines are bad, some don't. That will be up to you to decide. We sit here in front of computer screens, with electrical fields....... ;) Nothing much has been proven against properly constructed hi-lines. They appear to be safe so far as testing can show. You would not & can not build directly below, and the fields tend to be rather tightly around the wire, not out to the side. Sounds like you have enough acrage to use the other areas of the land...

    You will find people on 2 sides on this, and not much room for middle ground. Going to be your call.

    --->Paul
     
  13. deb

    deb Well-Known Member

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    I couldn't find anything about that particular case, but found that there have been a number of court cases in WI about stray electricity/voltage:

    http://www.wisconsinagconnection.com/story-state.cfm?Id=212&yr=2005

    http://www.madison.com/archives/read.php?ref=tct:2005:02:15:403888:FRONT

    http://www.howarth-smith.com/News/news-11.htm

    http://www.madison.com/archives/read.php?ref=wsj:2004:08:23:383465:LOCAL/WISCONSIN

    http://www.madison.com/archives/read.php?ref=wsj:2004:02:28:336648:LOCAL/WISCONSIN

    ---------------------------

    This group has information for farmers about dealing with stray electricity/voltage

    The Midwest Rural Electric Council
    http://www.mrec.org/sv-info.html



    HTH
    Deb
    in WI
     
  14. Mr. Dot

    Mr. Dot Well-Known Member

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    When we were house hunting our first house I passed on the "perfect" place after doing a little research on this subject. The easement matter rambler mentions would make it a no-go for me even if I hadn't come to the conclusion that living in or near that kind of field is not for me and mine. Google it and settle in for lots of reading.
     
  15. frugalville

    frugalville Well-Known Member

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    It depends on what type of lines and the voltage they carry. The link below is a good example of the field and distace for different types of power lines.

    http://www.emfs.info/Source_overhead.asp

    If you look at the bottom of the tower, it will have a number on it. (each tower # is different) Call your power company and give them the tower number and they can tell you the voltage on the tower. You can then determine the field strentgh and fall off distance from that.( the distance the field goes down from directly onder the line. )

    http://www.piercelaw.edu/risk/vol5/winter/abt.htm

    The link above are the stories that started the 'cancer' tale. The cancer is Leukemia, and the chance is 'touted' as a two fold increase. But if the chance of developing childhood leukemia by not living by power lines is .10% a two fold increase is only .20% -- sounds scary though.

    Below are a couple more articles if you are really up for a read.

    http://www.niehs.nih.gov/emfrapid/html/EMF_DIR_RPT/Howhigh.HTM

    http://www.astrosurf.org/lombry/qsl-em-radiation3.htm

    IF you really want to see something with your own eyes and don't like hype.. pick up the phone and call alphalab inc. at 801 487 9492. Order a device called a Tri-field meter. It measures Magnetic Fields, Electric fields and radio microwave exposure.

    There is no industry accepted exposure to magnetic fields, but the consensus is 0-3 milligauss exposure is fine. What may suprise you is most homes, especially ones with poor wiring (like farmhouses) actually put off more EMR due to household wiring than living by a powerline would ever give you. In fact, most people don't know, but where your 200 amp line comes into your house (breaker box) is normally an exposure of 10+milligauss or more.

    What ever you do, I wouldn't put my childs bed, or my own within 10 feet of a breakerbox without a field reading. You are surrounded in your entire house, normally every wall and celing with magnetic fields from internal power lines . The average home gives off 4 milligauss.

    Then we could go into radio/microwave- this is your average cell phone that actually heats up you inner ear and brain (yes that is cooking flesh !!) When that cell phone rings, a field meter will normally peg. (Hence the new stories about little kids and prolonged cell phone use. )

    You are actually exposed to magnetic fields since the day you were born. The earth emits a small magnetic field on every living and non living thing everywhere, all the time. But life goes on.

    In the end you have to make your own decision. The meter is about 75 bucks. But it will tell you a multitude of things about not only power line fields, but how bad yuor household wiring is, how bad your cell phone is and if you have a cheap microwave. (those new Chinese microwaves emit high voltage fields just being plugged in, not even on) (Transformers are the culprit)

    Reading this story with a laptop computer on your legs ? Chances are your are sending about 10 milligauss right into your crotch , which is over 2 1/2 times recommended exposure. Put a pillow between it to get it back to acceptable levels.

    Don't fear wives tales or heresay, you might get a great property with a 68Kv tower which doesn't emit squat after 25 meters from centerline.

    IMHO, I would never live directly under one, but on the property, or next door may be fine. IF you get bored, look up aspartame and formaldehyde on google ... a little magnetic field is probably the least of your worries.

    DO note the info about easements, they are normally 100' on each side of the line. Power co has 100% control and access.

    Oh yea 1 milligauss is .1 microteslas if you are converting.

    Hope this helps.
     
  16. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Frugalville, a most excellent post.

    --->Paul
     
  17. Mr. Dot

    Mr. Dot Well-Known Member

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    What rambler said.
     
  18. comfortablynumb

    comfortablynumb Well-Known Member

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    i wonder if there is any way to harvest that stray curent to productive use.....
     
  19. AngieM2

    AngieM2 Big Front Porch advocate Supporter

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    Use floresent light bulbs and light up whatever with the stray eletricity. Use to be fun...

    Also, some people think that the radio/electric fields tend to cause more female births than male percentage wise over regular population.

    AngieM2
     
  20. Quint

    Quint Well-Known Member

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    Frugalville said it better than I could have.

    A friend of mine has a large line running through the back portion of his farm and I would be simply be bugged from the noise. The hum would drive me to distraction. A good spot to hunt deer from but I wouldn't want my house near it. The easement issues are disturbing too.