With wildfires as an increasing concern, a public utility in California prioritized proactive risk mitigation measures to help build wildfire resilience. Public utilities are tasked with maintaining critical infrastructure and hardening that infrastructure against wildfire impacts is no small task.
Utilities with overhead powerlines can be especially vulnerable to wildfire risk, as a wildfire can sweep over the infrastructure and damage poles and lines. To safeguard its critical infrastructure and help prevent wildfires caused by equipment, the public utility embarked on a large-scale system hardening project to underground thousands of miles of powerline.
Undergrounding powerlines involves trenching, which disturbs soil. Trihydro was brought into the project to support the water quality considerations related to undergrounding, including pre-construction planning, stormwater pollution prevention plan (SWPPP) development, site-specific erosion and sediment control plan (S-ESCP) development, best management practices (BMP) implementation, stormwater project management, compliance inspections, and site/permit final closure.
Trihydro’s pre-construction planning advice resulted in eliminating the need to permit several individual project phases and reduced overall stormwater compliance costs. Further, Trihydro helped reduce the public utility’s stormwater compliance liability exposure.