The FAQs on Subsurface Utility Exploration (SUE)
Subsurface Utility Exploration (SUE) is a service that GdB provides utilizing Electromagnetic Induction and Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) according to ASCE/CI 38-02, Standard Guideline for the Collection and Depiction of Existing Subsurface Utility Data. This standard was developed and published in 2002 by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).
GdB experts find and “markout” underground utility lines, tanks, and pipes prior to the start of your project, which helps avoid the risk of striking utilities. This can provide significant cost and time savings for clients and project owners. GdB can locate oil, water, stream, power, gas, cable, communication, sanitary and sewer storm lines, underground storage tanks, and underground pipes.
"You have to make things make sense. You take every single visual you have on the job site, plus all the records, plus what the equipment is telling you and it really is a puzzle, piecing it all together to make sense.”
Gabriel Lawlis - SUE Project Manager
There are many benefits to SUE. Accidentally hitting utilities can cause project delays, high repair costs, fines, legal action, and more. SUE mitigates risk and helps reduce the financial and safety threat of a digging error. Failing to locate utilities puts workers in significant danger and can also effect people in surrounding areas. Subsurface utility exploration services increase on-site safety. Knowing exactly where to cut or drill prior to beginning a project helps avoid any accidents and delays allowing for a faster turnaround time on projects.
GdB incorporates utility locating into our suite of Land Surveying and Geospatial options which include GIS deliverables, drone imagery, traditional surveying, and more. The tricky part of SUE is that we are showing our clients where things are located without ever seeing it by eye. By utilizing GPR, we put trust in our equipment, while also having extensive knowledge of underground utilities. Not only does GdB mark out utilities on the ground with paint, we also have the ability to provide survey grade deliverables and mapping, leveraging our GPS and Total Stations.
Calling 811 prior to beginning your project may still put you at risk of hitting utilities. 811 typically locates public utilities, but private and customer-owned utilities account for almost 65% of all buried utilities in the United States. GdB marks out utilities, but can also provide other services to help reduce risk.