A visual guide to acceptable and unacceptable landscaping techniques around utility equipment.
Landscape design plans and plant recommendations
Retaining Walls: Retaining walls and exposed basements cause potential safety, access and reliability issues. Utility vehicle access is often impossible, which increases manual work, safety concerns and outage time — especially during harsh weather. Negotiating steep grades also poses a safety hazard to utility employees. Underground lines may be buried either too shallow or deep, which is another safety issue and also can lengthen outages because repairs may take longer to expose deep cable or bury shallow cable deeper.
Drainage Easements: Equipment near drainage easements or adjacent to conservation easements near rivers can prove difficult. Erosion from moving water in a drainage easement can undermine equipment, tilt it and can cause trenches to collapse. In addition, drainage grates with filter fabric during and after construction can become blocked, causing equipment to become submerged. Wetlands and conservation areas can flood, submerging equipment.
Grade Changes: Grade changes after utility equipment installation can cause equipment to be buried too deep or too shallow. These grade changes can affect safety, operation, reliability and accessibility of We Energies facilities. Often, facilities and equipment affected by grade changes after installation require costly equipment relocations at customer expense.