Upper Valley Search & Rescue

Yakima County Washington

Pacific Power and Light Company (PP&L) Power Pole Tagging System

Prepared by Darrell Monroe for the Yakima County Search and Rescue Council Academy.

A bit of navigational advice that I give and follow is: take advantage of any opportunity presented that helps to confirm or assists plotting your ground location on a map.

One of the most common field indicators in Yakima County are the PP&L power pole tags. Yes, those yellow metal tags with ten numbers that are attached to most power poles. These tags provide us with a Section Township and Range (STR) location. This land survey system is shown on many of the type maps we use for Search and Rescue.

The PP&L system identifies TOWNSHIP and RANGE on the top row of the yellow pole plates. The bottom row has six numbers. The first two numbers are the Section (will give a number from 01 to 36). The third and fourth numbers describe the pole location by its distance in tenths of a mile from the Southwest corner of the identified Section. The fifth and sixth numbers are numbers for a specific pole within the defined area.

Lets get back to and study the third and fourth position numbers in more detail. The third is the distance East from the SW corner in tenths of a mile (decimal points are not shown). The number shown means that the pole is equal to or greater than that distance. The fourth is the distance north from the same corner.

EXAMPLE: PPL 1418 PPL 344901

Interpretation: Township: 14 (North). Range: 18 (East of the Willamette Meridian here in Yakima County). Section: 34. The pole is located between 0.4 to 0.499 mile east and 0.9 to 0.999 miles north from the southwest corner of Section 34. The 01 is a pole number of the poles within the 10th of a mile square area described by the 3rd and 4th position numbers.

This is the same level of position accuracy as the Uniform Map System.

Pretty straight forward system. I hope you find it helpful staying oriented in the more civilized portions of our County.