Subsurface Utility Exploration

Gabriel Lawlis


Locating utility assets whether above or below ground has never been more important. The 811 "Call Before you Dig" service is in place for public roads, but does not cover private property. Subsurface Utility Exploration (SUE) is a critical damage prevention service to be completed before digging.

If your project needs to know utility locations during the design phase and/or you're working on private property, you need to arrange for utility locating service. A design can be swiftly revised once buried utilities are known, but change orders are very costly and utility strikes can cause catastrophic damages and pose a severe safety threat to site workers and the public. Rely on the GdB team to locate utilities for your project.

What is 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.

How does it work?

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.

Why is SUE crucial to our project?

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.

Are the results trustworthy?

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.

Why can't I just call 811?

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.


The estimated annual costs of utility strike damages in the United States is $30 billion*

*CGA DIRT Report

What SUE can do:

What SUE cannot do:

GdB employee uses Electromagnetic Locator during a recent utility markout

Tools to locate utilities

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