What is Subsurface Utility Engineering (SUE)?

Subsurface utility engineering or SUE has significantly evolved over the past couple of years. But what exactly SUE is? Would you like you to know the answer? If yes, then keep on reading.


Subsurface Utility Engineering

SUE stands for subsurface utility engineering, which is a branch of engineering that primarily focuses on managing specific risks associated with the utility planning at the right quality levels, utility relocation coordination and design, utility coordination, utility relocation price estimates, utility design, and implementation of various utility accommodation rules.

The process of subsurface utility engineering will start with a work plan that will outline the levels of services versus risk allocation, project schedules, and the scope of the work.

It is worth mentioning that the concept of subsurface utility engineering is becoming more and more popular all over the world as one basis to mitigate the cost associated with construction delays and project redesign. This will also prevent liability and risks that may result from a damaged underground utility.


Different Levels of SUE

  1. Quality Level A

This level will involve physically locating the real utility. As soon as the utility is holed it is vertically and horizontally located by survey measurements. Usually, this location is on top of the pipe that should be distinguished from the drawing.

  1. Quality Level B

In this level, designating the underground utility, for example by the marking given by contacting a utility company is involved. The data will be then added to the collected data from Quality levels C and D that we will be discussing later.

The assigned utilities will be surveyed and at the same time added to the drawing that can be determined as representing the outcomes of the level B investigation.

  1. Quality Level C

This SUE level will involve the process of surveying the noticeable utility features. The information will be compiled with the Quality level D data and they are labeled consequently.

Most of the time this level will conflict with the data that will be collected in the Quality level D. This may also raise some questions as to the places of some underground utility lines.

  1. Quality Level D

This is the process of collecting record data. The data could be internet research, paper records, digital records, or by simply talking to people who are used to the site. However, if the source of data is questionable or unknown the accuracy and completeness of the investigation may be compromised.