Subsurface Utility Engineering (S.U.E.) is in a nutshell, vacuum utility potholing and private utility locating. S.U.E. tasks essentially involve pre-design investigative processes of vertical and horizontal locations under the ground. These processes allow topside investigation of existing utilities in order to verify whether a proposed new utility or utility pipeline installation in that area would be feasible.

Many consider S.U.E. to be the damage prevention solution to consulting engineers. S.U.E. helps ensure that there are no underground utility conflicts once plans are approved and underground pipeline construction has begun. As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. So goes S.U.E., in preventing underground utility conflicts in the design and preconstruction phase of any new construction project.

Subsurface utility engineering S.U.E. is typically done during the pre-design phase of any proposed new utility construction project and aids civil engineers by giving them the added assurance that pipelines and other planned underground utility routes can in fact be installed as designed. This reduces the possibilities of costly plan changes later that involve discovering an unknown utility later on during the actual construction phase.

While implementing the S.U.E. process, providing good, usable information is vital to relaying the S.U.E. field findings to consulting engineers and other client owner developers. There are several tasks that should be performed to provide good and reliable information: 1) Delineations, 2) Photographs, and 3) Informative and User-Friendly Reports.

Delineations are lines and other markings in the street that are sprayed on, in different colors, and are for the purpose of pointing out which utilities are buried underground. Calling "811" or Underground Service Alert (USA) of Southern California is usually the first step to help locate public underground utilities. However there are other methods we use to help locate private utilities, which are much more difficult to find because they are not public record.

Photographs should be taken from several different angles. Both above-ground photos of street delineations and other street markings and/or landmarks and should be taken prior to conducting locating and potholing activities. Photos should be taken of utilities after they have been marked out, in white.

Reports should be available electronically and be printer-friendly. They should contain photos within them of the areas that were located and/or potholed and should confirm the approximate depths, horizontal locations and type of utility located.

Various studies by several universities on utilization of S.U.E. have shown to make an astounding return on investment (ROI) simply by utilizing it for the very purpose that it serves. Read about our S.U.E. tips which reviews several studies and found significant cost savings on projects using the SUE standard.

Who better to locate pipelines, than a company that has been installing them for nearly 30 years? We thought it was about time. We also offer utility research and coordination to compliment our S.U.E. services. Give our S.U.E. Department a call today to see how we may be of service on your next construction project.


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Published on June 21, 2012 | Comments: 0

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