An objective of ESV is to protect 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 from a source such as a railway or Cathodic Protection system returns to the source via an unintended path such as a metallic pipeline.
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.
In discharging our responsibility to oversee the management of electrolysis mitigation, ESV is advised by the Victorian Electrolysis Committee (VEC).
ESV’s role in electrolysis mitigation
ESV’s Electrolysis and Cathodic Protection Regulation team is responsible for ensuring compliance with legislative requirements through its performance of the following activities:
- coordinating Area Tests to determine the extent of stray current issues within a traction substation area and ensure the effects of stray current corrosion have been minimised
- compliance testing of electrolysis mitigation equipment
- using its enforcement powers under the Act to enforce non compliances and direct their remediation
- approval, registration and auditing of cathodic protection systems
- investigating reported corrosion issues to determine causes, mitigation, and regulatory breaches.
- Electrolysis Area Test – Industry Guide:
- VEC Resource Manual:
- ESV policy: regulation of stray current minimisation:
- VEC Guideline – Electrical Hazards on Metallic Pipelines:
Date: 06/12/2023 13:18
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Reviewed 30 January 2023