It has been the experience of the PULS staff that on a typical SUI project, the accuracy of the utility records varies greatly and that changes have probably taken place since the utility maps were recorded. It can also be time consuming to hunt for that one, hard to find contact, who can put his hands on an as-built drawing or has the utility information stored in his or her head.
Knowledge of the area, a comparison of records to field conditions and a thorough top side survey will determine the quality level needed. Pilot projects can be an excellent process in which to get a better feel for record accuracy in an area and utility congestion.
The cumulative result of these problems during design and construction are damages to utilities, unexpected utility conflicts and construction delays. These problems also lead to compromised safety; increases in construction costs and potential environmental issues become a greater risk.
SUI is a utility information management system that can bring all utility data together to lessen and/or greatly reduce these problems. The strategic use of SUI has many benefits. Application of the proper quality level of SUI in the design phase will result in overall project cost savings, conflict avoidance and damage reduction. Risk management is controlled and service outages are eliminated or reduced.
With accurate utility data compiled and in an organized format, it can be easily distributed. Contractors can be provided with a utility map pertaining to their site and have it attached to a work order or specific area of a site. Designers will have the same luxury of scanning throughout a project and have the ability to identify conflicts prior to construction and to design accordingly. This data can also be used to fill in holes where utility mapping does not exist or is not easily accessible. SUI providers can be used to supplement markings from the one-call system. This data will greatly assist the maintenance department when looking for previously buried and not found structures as well as lines not shown on existing mapping.
SUI will benefit your project, be it as a basis for design or as a roadmap for construction.