Subsurface Utility Engineering (SUE)

We have extensive experience providing Subsurface Utility Engineering (SUE). We utilize a number of techniques depending on the client’s accuracy requirements. Most projects with specific SUE requirements are performed at Quality Level A or B as defined in the CI/ASCE 38-02 standard. The standard also defines Quality Levels C and D which are limited to research and above-ground feature location as are typically provided as part of a topographic survey. Quality Level B SUE surveys require the use of surface geophysical methods. We utilize a combination of pipe and cable locators along with ground penetrating radar (GPR) to accurately determine both the horizontal and vertical location of the target utilities. GPR can be used to locate and mark on the ground for subsequent field survey ties.

Ground Penetrating Radar

Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) systems are extremely accurate when it comes to locating metallic and non-metallic objects. GPR systems work by sending a tiny pulse of energy into the ground from an antenna. An integrated computer records the strength and time required for the return of reflected signals. Any subsurface variations, metallic or non-metallic, will cause signals to bounce back. These reflections are produced by a variety of material such as geological structure differences and man-made objects like pipes and wires.

example applications
  • Utility Locations
  • Geological Analysis of Construction or Mine Sites