Category Archives: Stray Voltage

County urged to study EMF levels along Dufferin Wind transmission line

While Dufferin Wind Power Inc. (DWPI) “unequivocally” states its transmission line meets all regulations, Melancthon Mayor Darren White wants the county to conduct its own electromagnetic field (EMF) tests.

At county council’s meeting this Thursday (Jan. 8), White plans to urge politicians hire an electrical engineering consultant to determine whether the amount of stray energy being emitted from Dufferin Wind’s 230 kV transmission line is safe or not.

“It’s in the best interest of us to at least know what the levels are that we’re dealing with,” White said. “To have somebody, who is professional in the field, explain to us that this is safe, this is not safe, or under which conditions it is safe.”

Since Health Canada doesn’t consider EMF a hazard, there are no precautionary measures required when it relates to daily exposure. As such, Dufferin Wind spokesperson Connie Roberts noted the company has no testing guidelines to follow.

“We state unequivocally that all protocol has been followed in the construction of this line,” Roberts explained in an email, claiming opponents to her company’s project are requesting EMF measurements that aren’t mandated in Canada.

“DWPI has installed a safe power line,” Roberts added. “It has been built to the latest industry standards; and it is consistently operating at well under capacity.”

Continue reading County urged to study EMF levels along Dufferin Wind transmission line

Diagnostic criteria for adverse health effects in the environs of wind turbines


In an effort to address climate change, governments have pursued policies that seek to reduce greenhouse gases.  alternative energy including wind power, has been proposed by some as the preferred approach.  Few would debate the need to reduce air pollution, but the reduction is important not only for efficiency but also for health protection.  The topic of adverse health effects is the environs of Industrial Wind Turbines (AHE/IWT) has proven to be controversial and can present physicians with challenges regarding the management of an exposure to IWT.  Rural physicians in particular must be aware of the possibility of people presenting to their practices with a variety of sometimes confusing complainants.  An earlier version of the diagnostic criteria for AHE/IWT was published in Aug 2011.  A revised case definition and a model for a study to establish a confirmed diagnosis is proposed. 

[The healthcare practitioner applying the criteria must be licensed to take a medical or health history and to make a diagnosis.  Physicians should consider that children are also affected but in ways sufficiently different from adults}

Read the entire report here:

Diagnostic criteria for adverse health effects in the everons of wind turbines..

Vacated Due to Stray Voltage

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canwea FACT Sheet:  



Stray – or ‘tingle’ voltage – is a low-level electrical current or shock (typically under 10 volts) that results primarily from an improperly grounded or, in some cases an ungrounded, electrical distribution system.

Stray voltage can be found in any electrical system and is strictly a power distribution issue – improper grounding causes low voltage current to travel along a neutral wire.  An electrical wiring system is
grounded in order to keep voltage potential differences between the neutral wire and the ground, below levels that could be considered harmful.

While potential exists for stray voltage in residential areas, it is most commonly found at agricultural operations and is often attributed to poor grounding of the neutral wiring system in an environment where the presence of water increases conductivity between points of contact.

Stray voltage is unwanted electricity that in some cases can pose a safety risk to animals – and to lesser degree, humans – that come in contact with it

. Farming operations are especially susceptible to incidences of stray voltage for two key reasons:

  1.  Many working farms have electrical systems and wiring that have not been fully updated to current electrical codes and standards
  2.  Farms have a higher number of potential contact points (e.g., metal), water and wet conditions,  i.e. feed bowls and wet concrete floors


The term ‘stray voltage’ is often misused due to poor understanding of its cause.

Stray voltage has incorrectly been called ‘dirty electricity’, implying that some forms of electricity are better or cleaner than others. Electricity from all sources is equally ‘clean’. Stray voltage has also been confused with electricomagnetic fields (EMF), grounding systems or even naturally-occurring currentfound in the earth.


Stray voltage may affect farm animals through nerve stimulation, causing a ‘tingling’ effect. This so-called ‘tingle’ can occur when the animal comes in contact with two points that have a voltage
potential – such as a metal dish filled with water and a wet concrete floor – creating a path for current (electricity) to flow through the animal.
This nerve stimulation may have an effect on an animal’s behaviour directly – in the form of involuntary muscle contractions and/or pain; or indirectly in the form of behavioral responses such as reduced food
and water intake, or proving difficult to handle.

All electrical current must be respected as potentially harmful and stray voltage, although present in low amounts, is no different. Based on research, levels below 1 V are considered to be inconsequential, and generally not believed to cause behavioral changes in farm animals.


In most cases the source of stray voltage can be identified, allowing it to be either mitigated or eliminated.

Suspected cases of stray voltage should be investigated by an inspector from a local utility operator such as Hydro One, Toronto Hydro, etc., as it is a common distribution issue for farm operators as a result of inconsistent wiring quality. A utility inspector will investigate the farm’s existing wiring system to ensure
proper installation, wire condition and code compliance. An inspector will seek to isolate the source of neutral-to-earth (ground) voltage through measurement of voltage at various points within the electrical system. This helps to determine whether the issue is related to on-farm wiring and distribution or whether the issue is related to the electrical distribution system off the farm.


In 2007, the province of Ontario began an extensive research and consultation process into the phenomenon of stray voltage and its effects on the farm sector. In 2009, the Ontario Energy Board
(OEB) enacted code amendments detailing procedures and methodology for dealing with incidences of  stray voltage

As part of its two-year research and consultation process, the OEB employed Dr. Douglas J. Reinemann, a Professor of Biological Systems Engineering and a leading authority on stray voltage to review studies and literature on the subject.

Recognizing stray voltage’s connection to farming operations, Dr. Reinemann sought to further clarify the term ‘stray voltage’ by further defining it as “…a low-level electrical shock that can produce
sensation or annoyance in farm animals”. He also further specifies the term as “a special case of voltage developed on the grounded neutral system of a farm”.


There has been much confusion on the topic of stray voltage, and wind turbines have at times been inappropriately linked as direct sources of stray voltage.

Stray voltage is a potential symptom in any system of electrical distribution, regardless of source and is especially prevalent on working farms. Wind turbines are often located in agricultural areas, connecting to the provincial electricity grid with farm operators leasing the land on which the turbines sit. Through improved regulation and electrical code enforcement, incidences of stray voltage will be increasingly detected and eliminated.

Uncontrolled electricity awareness on farms (2014)

By Brent Royce, Director, Ontario Federation of Agriculture

Experiencing production challenges or caring for livestock with health problems is never easy on the farm. It’s even more difficult when farmers and veterinarians struggle to identify the source of the problem.

800px-Gladys_christmas_2006Now, more Ontario farmers are becoming aware of an environmental challenge that has a significant impact on animal health – the issue of  Also called “ground current” or “stray voltage,”Uncontrolled Electricity  occurs when there is a constant underground electrical current flowing in the ground or barn. Animals can be exposed to shocks transmitted through barn floors, milking equipment and water bowls. Livestock exposed to uncontrolled electricity may have lower production, stop eating or drinking, or exhibit other odd behavior. Some cases even result in death.

It’s important that Ontario farmers educate themselves on how to recognize the signs of ground current challenges on the farm. That’s why the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) is helping to raise awareness about uncontrolled electricity. We belong to a working group of agricultural organizations in Ontario that is looking to identify the severity of the problem, and work with utility companies to address the issue.

The OFA has also launched a series of online videos to help raise awareness about issues such as uncontrolled electricity. OFA’s most recent video, Understanding Uncontrolled Electricity on the Farm, provides background information on the issue, and explains important steps farmers need to take to identify and fix the on-farm problem and where to find help.

For farmers who suspect uncontrolled electricity is at play on their farm, their first phone call needs to be to a licensed electrician. The electrician should visit the farm to test for ground current, and work with the farmer to fix any problems that are within the farm’s electrical system.

Uncontrolled electricity can also come from off–farm sources beyond a farmer’s control, such as the farm’s electricity carrier. If the licensed electrician discovers the problem is from an off-farm source, he or she will work with the farmer to contact the local utility to file a report. A utility representative needs to visit the farm to test for ground current. It is important that farmers document all reports of uncontrolled electricity, so that all parties are aware of the extent of the problem.

The OFA is working with other agricultural organizations and Hydro One to address ground current challenges on Ontario farms. Gaining more control over this and other issues will go a long way in helping to enabling prosperous and sustainable farms.

For more information check out our video on uncontrolled electricity – on our You tube Channel, OntarioFarms, or visit to learn more about this serious concern.

For more information, contact:
Brent Royce
Ontario Federation of Agriculture
Neil Currie
General Manager
Ontario Federation of Agriculture

Wind Turbines Make Waves: Why Some Residents Near Wind Turbines Become Ill

Magda Havas and David Colling


People who live near wind turbines complain of symptoms that include some combination of the following: difficulty sleeping, fatigue, depression, irritability, aggressiveness, cognitive dysfunction, chest pain/pressure, headaches, joint pain, skin irritations, nausea, dizziness, tinnitus, and stress. These symptoms have been attributed to the pressure (sound) waves that wind turbines generate in the form of noise and infrasound. However, wind turbines also generate electromagnetic waves in the form of poor power quality (dirty electricity) and ground current, and these can adversely affect those who are electrically hypersensitive. Indeed, the symptoms mentioned above are consistent  with electrohypersensitivity.  Sensitivity to both sound and electromagnetic waves differs among individuals and may explain why not everyone in the same home experiences similar effects. Ways to mitigate the adverse health effects of wind turbines are presented.


With growing concern about climate change, the carbon budget, depletion of fossil fuels, air pollution from dirty coal, radiation from nuclear power plants, and the need for a secure energy supply, more attention and funding are being diverted to renewable energy. Among the various types of renewable energy, wind has received a lot of attention due, in part, to opposition from communities earmarked for wind turbines and from communities that have experienced wind turbines firsthand.

Some people who live near wind turbines report difficulty sleeping and various symptoms of ill health and attribute these problems to noise and shadow flicker—two elements they can perceive. Indeed the U.S. National Research Council (Risser et al., 2007) identify noise and shadow flicker as the two key impacts of wind turbines on human health and well-being.

Not all health agencies, however, recognize that sound waves from wind turbines may cause adverse health effects. Following a review of the literature, the Chief Medical Officer of Health for Ontario (2010), concluded

that while some people living near wind turbines report symptoms such as dizziness, headaches, and sleep disturbance, the scientific evidence available to date does not demonstrate a direct causal link between wind turbine noise and adverse health effects.  the sound level sound level from wind turbines at common residential setbacks is not sufficient to cause hearing impairment or other direct health effects, although some people may find it annoying.

Low frequency sound and infrasound from current  generation upwind model turbines are well below the pressure sound levels at which known health effects occur. Further, there is no scientific evidence to date that vibration from low frequency wind turbine noise causes adverse health effects.

follow link to read full report:   Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society

MPAC study on property values and wind turbines self-serving


The year-late report from the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) on the effect of wind turbines on Ontario property values is nothing more than a self-serving exercise by bureaucrats to serve their government masters, says Wind Concerns Ontario.

President Jane Wilson, who consulted with real estate appraisers and finance professionals, commented that “the reality is, as anyone knows, no one wants to live near a wind turbine.  But the government doesn’t want the voting public to know more about the negative effects of what they’ve done with their wind power program. So, the bureaucrat assessors at MPAC took their time, and came up with the answer the government wants—no impact on value.”

Instead of using comparison to actual sales as real estate appraisers do, the assessment staff at MPAC used a mathematical methodology called multiple regression analysis. “Unlike actual comparisons to sales, this type of analysis can be manipulated to get the ‘right’ answer,” Wilson explains. “They left out sales before 2008, they only studied turbines of a certain size, and they completely excluded homes that have been abandoned and purchased by the wind power developers.”

The MPAC study also does not include properties that are listed for sale but never sell. “You can’t measure what didn’t happen,” Wilson adds.

The purpose of the study was to justify MPAC’s refusal to add wind power developments as a factor in assessing property value, although the corporation does factor in other less desirable features such as quarries, garbage dumps and other industrial facilities.

“Taxpayers paid for this study which will now doubtless be used by their own government against them, as they seek re-assessment of their properties, or even go to court for lost property value,” Wilson said.

Read more from WCO.