Western Power plans to be treat 2000 insulators on the long power line providing power to Dongara, Springfield, Milo and Greenough to improve power reliability. The siliconing and washing of the live insulators via helicopter will begin around the middle of the year, and is expected to be finished towards the end of 2023. It comes after the provider carried out trials where 400 insulators in the region were treated using helicopters. The previous practice of using land-based crews was stopped in 2020 because of safety issues. Acting executive manager asset operations Zane Christmas said washing and siliconing helped prevent pollution such as dust or sea salt from building up on power poles, which could lead to the insulators catching fire and burning in wet conditions, which in turn caused faults and power outages. “Through our network maintenance programs we’re constantly improving the way we manage assets including the 860,000 poles in the network,” Mr Christmas said. “We have a comprehensive program in place to mitigate risks on our poles and wires including insulator replacements, managing trees and vegetation near wires, as well as high-pressure washing of insulators, and siliconing.” Dongara and its surrounding towns have been facing issues with blackouts for several years, include several over the recent summer. Mr Christmas said Western Power would be communicating with landowners prior to any works to keep them updated. He also said Western Power would be looking to carry out the program in other parts of WA.