Court dismisses family’s stray voltage claim

© AgMedia Inc.

A northern Ontario family claims it lost its dairy business because of stray voltage and is now considering appealing the court decision


This issue has been going on for over 25 years we remember that

Unsigned comment modified by editor.

It is a dammed shame when people know that this issue has been worked on but never solved and a failure on the part of One Farm Organization, Why the modification, record of facts are there as proof. or is it all about the money incoming modification.Is there any standards or rules of proven information ethics? What is the point of all these stories if verified past printed info is ignored? In Canada this happens but not in USA, no license to print money

Cowan v Hydro One Networks Inc. was released by the Ontario Appeals Court today (January 7, 2014) and the farmers (the Cowan Family) lost again and were assessed a further $45K in costs. Hydro One accepted no responsibility and in fact it looks like "the system" continues to protect the corporations at the expense of the farmer. In 1996 my brother lost his farm over the stray voltage issue as well. Fact: Hydro Corporations/Contractors will not admit the problems or fix the problems because then they would be admitting liability...Fortunately today most of the older farmers in Ontario are now multimillionaires and one of these days one or many of these good honest farmers will team up with an appropriate legal team and help a poor son or daughter win a multi-million dollar settlement. In my opinion we can either fight these greedy monopolistic corporations whenever our rights are violated or become SELF sufficient and then disconnect from them or they will continue to greedily suck the life out of us without even as much as thanking us for their success.

We are not multimillionaires, (we are not in SM. At a great expense to ourselves we and with the help of the Leeds Stewardship council we put in 7 solar powered watering systems.
Hydro put a monitor on our hydro line at our barn , it showed them we had very high fluctuations in voltage. They put more ground rods up and down our road last year. Not sure they have helped, put the linesmen and the local office have been very helpful. Now the 800 number you call when you have issues is a whole different story.
Kim Sytsma

We keep talking about the voltage when we should be really looking at the current, it is the current that does the damage not the voltage. A continuous flow of current at a very low level can cause biological damage to the body over time. The Utilities are using our farms and homes as ground rods to take their Primary Neutral current to Earth, this helps them to reduce the Primary Neutral voltage to Earth. Testing shows that an individual farm can have as much as .5 - 2 Amps of Primary Neutral current flowing into their operation. These levels of current into a farm can reduce the primary Neutral voltage by 2-3 times. So as the current levels go up the voltage level goes down, so if we only look at voltage, you really do not know what is going on till you get a clear picture of the current flow. The Utilities will hide be hind voltage levels to defend them selves in court and claim that there is no harm being done to the animals, at the same time if any levels of current were reviled it would show that the farm is flooded with Primary Neutral current. In the rural areas of Ontario with single phase lines it can be found that 75% of the Primary Neutral current is returning in the Earth. It is high time that the Utilities take a real close look at what their Muti-Grounded Primary Neutral system is doing to the Livestock industry and human kind. The Primary Neutral wire must carry 100% of the current back to its source and only be grounded once at the Sub-station, This way they can have whatever voltage level on their Primary Neutral line that is created by normal current flow on that line. Farms and homes would be isolated from the distribution system, giving us next to zero current readings coming from the Primary system and in Earth. More work has to be done in identifying biological damage done by the low level of AC current in the body, along with an open dialog with the Utilities to correct this Uncontrolled flow of electricity from the Primary Neutral.

Lorne Lantz

Wellesley Ontario

So you put in the solar panels . Are these the cause of your problem ?
Or is the fact of others who put some in your area or down your road ?

No solar panels hooked to hydro here, our stray voltage problems are caused because we have shallow ground, and are at the end of the line. We have had issues with stray voltage for 35 years here on the farm.
our solar systems are just for pumping water for cattle, from dugouts, out of the creek (the panels for the creek are on a cart we pull with the 4 wheeler)for rotational grazing,

I would have to say you can count yourself lucky that you don't have solar panels and turbines causing more problems in your area YET !
Your problem is the same one that has been a fight for many years with yet no Ont. Farm Ag rep group willing to take on . And if some one does raise the issue it gets put off as having a system in place to deal with by the lead person . Shameful if you ask me . It then leaves it up to small fraction groups trying to do the right thing with no support from their provincial Ont. Farm Ag rep voice .

Good luck with your problem .

we in Minnesota are just starting to see Solar Arrays permits asked for. What are the main problems with controlling stray voltage. Why can't it be done? Are there no ways to eliminate it from leaving the site.

Steve -minden

Post new comment

To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.
We welcome thoughtful comments and ideas. Comments must be on topic. Cheap shots, unsubstantiated allegations, anonymous attacks or negativity directed against people and organizations will not be published. Comments are modified or deleted at the discretion of the editors. If you wish to be identified by name, which will give your opinion far more weight and provide a far greater chance of being published, leave a telephone number so that identity can be confirmed. The number will not be published.