Utility Designating Color Codes:
Temporary Survey Marking
Power Lines, Cables,
Conduit and Lighting
Oil, Stream, Petroleum
Alarm or Signal Lines,
Cable TV or Conduit
irrigation and Slurry Lines
and Drain Lines
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
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
can be tailored to you project needs, budget and schedule based
on these guidelines.
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.
Level C: Visible Features
This service is recommended during project planning stages to aid site
Approximate utility locations are estimated using surveys and plots of
visible above ground utility features. These observations are correlated
to existing utility records.
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.