Subsurface Utility Engineering or SUE is being adopted more and more as engineers realize that the benefits greatly outweigh the cost. So many of the areas in which we are developing have such complex underground infrastructures (public and private utilities), that by knowing there exact location while designing is saving countless hours and producing a higher quality set of construction documents. Even more than those benefits are the lack of surprise utilities found at the time of construction that can bring a project to a standstill.
Subsurface Utility Engineering is simply research and investigations on utilities, marking their locations on the ground and locating them to the horizontal tolerances required by the project to be included in the construction drawings.
The American Society of Civil Engineers has went into further detail with their accepted guidelines for the collection and depiction of existing subsurface utility data (ASCE 38.02.)
At Subsurface Utility Investigations, LLC we do a full investigation on the public and private utilities on site by contacting the utility owners and obtaining the necessary records on the public utilities. We the exhaust efforts in contact building owners and maintenance staff for any records of privately installed utilities. With access to the site we go into mechanical rooms and different access points of where utilities are exposed to connect directly to them.
We then begin piecing the underground puzzle together until the entire site is complete. In most cases we are comfortable providing depths from the surface on the utilities.
We typically start out with quality levels D, C and B working with your land surveyor who is providing the boundary/topographic survey (It is their profession to determine the property lines and vertical/horizontal datum, therefore We feel it best that they also depict where our markings are in relationship to their survey to produce optimal results), although there are exceptions to this. Then if there are areas that the design team needs investigated further we will deploy quality level A (complete exposure and exact horizontal and vertical location)
Subsurface Utility Investigations, LLC then provides a full report on our research and a detailed sketch of the findings. The report will includes sizes, material types, pressure levels and depths from the surface when these items are obtainable.