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Electrolysis mitigation

ESV is responsible (in the State of Victoria) for the protection of underground and underwater structures from the corrosive effects of stray electrical currents – electrolysis.

Electrolysis is the effect of stray electrical currents on buried metallic structures.

Stray current corrosion is the damage that occurs when a direct current leaves a structure, such as a railway track and returns to the current source through another structure. It differs from natural corrosion in that the damage is caused by an electric current from external sources leaving the grounded metal and is independent of the oxygen concentration of the environment.

An electrolysis mitigation system is designed to reduce the effects on metallic structures of the leakage of stray electrical currents. It comprises the feeder cables, the substation equipment and drainage bonds connected to the feeders – installed to minimise the effects of stray currents – and the electrolysis box and panel at the structure connection point.

In discharging our responsibility to oversee the management of electrolysis mitigation, ESV is advised by the Victorian Electrolysis Committee (VEC).

Read more about stray current corrosion and mitigation systems in the VEC Resource Manual.