Subsurface Utility Engineering

SUE is a diverse practice of utility engineering utilizing various and new technologies that is widely used on highway projects, industrial sites, large campuses, urban areas, environmental sites, and others. SUE services provide a high standard of data collection and information needed in design projects with impact on existing utilities. 

Subsurface Utility Engineering is not confined to highways. It can be used with good results on airport, railroad, transit, building construction, military, sanitation, nuclear, and any other public works project where underground utilities may be encountered. It can also be used for environmental purposes, such as detecting and mapping underground storage tanks, septic fields, and even contaminants. SUE adds value, quality, and accountability to any project.

 
 

ASCE

The ASCE defines four quality standards of SUE data collection: Quality Levels A, B, C, and D.

QUALITY LEVEL D

 “As-Built”

SUE Quality Level D is a preliminary utility records research and collection of utility owner records, normally accomplished by obtaining and reviewing available as-built and utility records of a site.

QUALITY LEVEL C

 “Information”

SUE Quality Level C is information obtained by surveying and plotting visible above-ground utility features and by using professional judgment in correlating this information to Quality Level D

QUALITY LEVEL B

“Designating”

Information obtained through the application of appropriate surface geophysical methods (such as ground penetrating radar or EMT devices) to determine the existence and approximate horizontal position of subsurface utilities.

QUALITY LEVEL A

“Locating”

The precise horizontal and vertical location of utilities obtained by the actual exposure and subsequent measurement of subsurface utilities, usually at a specific point. Minimally intrusive excavation equipment (such as hydro excavating) is typically used to minimize the potential for utility damage.