Subsurface Utility Engineering

Subsurface Utility Engineering (SUE) is performed by Subsurface Utility Engineers who manage a specific set of risks to provide utility mapping at appropriate quality levels. These engineers are engaged to provide utility coordination, utility relocation design and coordination, utility condition assessment, communication of utility data to concerned parties, utility relocation, cost estimates and utility design.

PULS Inc.’s Subsurface Utility Engineers begin every SUE process with a work plan that outlines the scope of work, project schedule, levels of service vs. risk allocation and the proposed delivery method. Our engineers utilize non-destructive surface geophysical methods to determine the presence of subsurface utilities and to mark their horizontal position on the ground surface. Vacuum excavation techniques are employed to expose and record the precise horizontal and vertical position of the assets.

This information is presented in either CAD format or a GIS-compatible map. Among its benefits, the SUE process mitigates costs associated with project redesign and construction delays. Additionally, the process allows project managers to minimize risk and liability that could result from damaged underground utilities.

Hire PULS’ Qualified Subsurface Utility Engineers

PULS Inc.’s experienced Subsurface Utility Engineers are highly qualified and adhere to the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) published Standard 38-02 titled Standard Guideline for the Collection and Depiction of Existing Subsurface Utility Data. This standard defines SUE and set guidelines for the acquisition of subsurface utility information. The ASCE standard has determined four quality levels for SUE. These are:

  • QL-D: Based on existing utility records or oral histories
  • QL-C: Involves visual survey of above ground utilities and correlating this intel with existing records
  • QL-B: Involves application of surface geophysical methods, including ground penetrating radar, to determine the existence of utilities and their location
  • QL-A: Daylighting: provides highest level of accuracy to create precise profile mapping of underground utilities.

Access to accurate underground utility information is crucial to the success of most capital works, asset management, and construction projects. Therefore, PULS’ Subsurface Utility Engineers will provide SUE services primarily at the design stage of a capital works project and when information is being collected for asset management purposes. In both situations, a similar process is followed but the scope of the work and presentation of the information differ. However, the purpose of SUE to collect accurate utility information within every project area proves invaluable to avoid conflict and additional expense at later stages of the project. For more information about SUE, please click here to fill out our form, click here to email us, or call PULS, Inc. at 1-800-883-6855.