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Reducing the risk of oil spill of substations

Actor: Turku Energia Ltd   ●   Year: 2011   ●   Address: Linnankatu 65, Turku, Finland

Turku Energy company examined company’s substations near Turku waters and reduced their oil spill risks.


According to the examination 4-5 substations were chosen. In order to reduce the risk of oil spill in the substations the protection of the catchment pools of transformers was improved. The distribution transformers’ risk of oil spill has been reduced in locations where there are sources of drinking water less than 50 meters away.


Distribution transformers cause an environmental risk because when damaged, they can leak transformer oil to the ground and further to the water systems and contaminate them. Oil can leak to the ground in consequence of a sudden defect or a long-time leakage. The long-time oil leaks of the distribution transformers refer to the kind of leaks that are caused without sudden fault situations. The leaks can be caused by a construction defect or aging of the parts. The sudden defects can be either internal faults or external damages of the transformer. The internal faults of the transformer refer to the failure of the inner insulator and arcs caused by this. The oil leaks are caused when the arcs pierce holes to the container of the transformer or lead to the explosion of the transformer.

Damaged transformers occur rarely but in the terrain there are a lot of pillar transformers without protection, causing the risk of polluting the water systems. When transformer oil gets to the water system it is very difficult to remove. Special attention must be paid to the location of the transformers in areas of waterworks producing household water from surface waters.

Background information

The actions are part of the environmental programme of Turku Energia and the implementation of the programme is reported in the annual report of the company.

Further information

Name: Minna Niemelä   ●  Email: minna.niemela (a)   ●  Web page: