Utility Designating Color Codes:

Temporary Survey Marking

Electric Power Lines, Cables,
Conduit and Lighting

Gas, Oil, Stream, Petroleum or
Gaseous Materials

Communications, Alarm or Signal Lines,
Cable TV or Conduit

Water irrigation and Slurry Lines

Sewers and Drain Lines

Proposed Excavation

Subsurface utility engineering services by Accumark About Subsurface Utility Engineering

Subsurface Utility Engineering, (SUE), is a relatively new discipline that has grown exponentially in the past few decades. Engineers have long recognized the inaccuracies of most utility records, making cost estimating for relocation difficult or nearly impossible.

Even more costly are change orders and design adjustments during construction due to unexpected utility lines in the project area. Subsurface Utility Engineering was born of a desire to alleviate these costs and make construction projects safer, quicker and more easily managed.

The practice of subsurface utility engineering relies mainly on locating and designating underground utilities and structures. When conducted early in the design process, subsurface utility engineering provides critical, reliable data on the exact location of existing utilities in the project area. Through the 1980's and 1990's subsurface utility engineering was embraced by state and federal agencies and private developers alike as a necessary tool for controlling project costs. As subsurface utility engineering became readily accepted, and technologies were refined and improved, subsurface utility engineering firms were able to offer engineers as much or as little utility data as they required for the particular type of project or phase of construction.

Subsurface Utility Engineering Quality Levels of Service

To better match subsurface utility engineering services to the needs of a particular project, the American Society of Civil Engineers produced accepted guidelines for the collection and depiction of existing subsurface utility data (ASCE 38-02). In this report, the ASCE set forth four levels of quality pertaining to the methods, interpretation and precision of subsurface utility data collected. These Quality Levels serve as a guide for engineers to determine the level of detail they require to reap the most benefit from subsurface utility engineering services. Accumark, Inc. offers services at all four quality levels. Our services can be tailored to you project needs, budget and schedule based on these guidelines.

Quality Level A: Designating & Locating
This service is recommended during the design and construction phases.
Precise horizontal and vertical location of utilities obtained by precise measurements of exposed structures at given points. The results surveyed and can be mapped onto plan documents. This is the most precise level of service, offering the most complete, reliable data available.
Quality Level B: Designating Only
This service is recommended during early design stages and in areas where utility records are generally unreliable.
Subsurface utility data is obtained through geophysical methods to identify the existence and approximate horizontal position of the structures.
Quality Level C: Visible Features
This service is recommended during project planning stages to aid site layout decisions.
Approximate utility locations are estimated using surveys and plots of visible above ground utility features. These observations are correlated to existing utility records.
Quality Level D: Records Review
This service is recommended for feasibility studies during the pre-design stage to help identify potential costly utility relocations. Information on subsurface utility structures is based solely on a thorough records research and review.

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