SUE surveying, or Subsurface Utility Engineering, is a process that involves the mapping of underground utilities. This is done through the use of various surveying and scanning techniques in order to create a 3D model of the area. The importance of SUE surveying cannot be overstated. It is critical for businesses and municipalities alike to have an accurate map of underground utilities so that any construction or excavation projects can be carried out safely and without incident.
In this article, we will discuss the importance of SUE surveying and underground mapping, as well as the challenges that come with it. We will also highlight why it is so important to have a provider that can do it well.
When Would You Need to Use SUE Surveying?
There are many occasions when SUE surveying would be necessary. Some of the most common use cases include:
- Construction projects. Any time there is construction taking place, it is critical to have an accurate map of underground utilities. This will help prevent damage to any existing infrastructure and ensure that the construction project goes smoothly (such as, without flooding, or electrical damage).
- Excavation. Whenever there is excavation taking place, it is important to know what lies beneath the surface. This will help avoid hitting any underground utilities and causing damage. Excavation could occur, for instance, if the ground is settling and has to be re-filled, or if a basement or a pool is being installed during major construction operations.
- Land development. When planning for new development, it is necessary to understand the existing infrastructure. This includes both aboveground and underground utilities.
- Emergency response. While rarer, this is something that can happen. In the event of a natural disaster or another emergency, it is important to be able to quickly assess the damage and locate any underground utilities that may have been damaged.
Essentially, whenever you are going to be disrupting the ground, you need SUE surveying. Underground mapping is criticalfor avoiding major underground utilities, in addition to general utility mapping.
Why Is SUE Surveying So Important?
There are several reasons why SUE surveying is so important. SUE surveying is essentially risk management. Without it, you can’t know what situation you’re digging into. The benefits of thorough, accurate surveying include:
- Safety. The number one priority when it comes to any construction or excavation project is safety. By having an accurate map of the underground utilities, workers can avoid potential hazards and work safely.
- Efficiency. When everyone involved in a project has access to the same information, it leads to more efficient and coordinated work. This can save time and money on projects large and small.
- Accuracy. SUE surveying provides an incredibly accurate map of the underground utilities. This allows for better planning and execution of projects, as well as fewer surprises down the road.
As you can see, SUE surveying is a critical process that should not be overlooked. By having a provider that can do it well, businesses and municipalities can avoid many of the challenges and dangers that come with underground utilities.
What Are the Major Challenges of SUE Surveying?
And, like any other process, SUE surveying has its own set of challenges. Some of the most common challenges include:
- Coordination. In order for SUE surveying to be effective, it is necessary to have coordination between all the different parties involved. This includes the owner of the utilities, the contractor, and the surveyor.
- Technology. The best technology is needed to conduct proper surveys. An inaccurate survey is, in many ways, worse than not having a survey at all. If you’re digging with confidence in the wrong spot, it’s worse than digging without confidence in the wrong spot.
- Time. A SUE survey has to be completed in the initial surveying process, which means any delays with the SUE survey can delay the entirety of the project, a costly issue. You need a provider you can trust.
These are just a few of the challenges that come with SUE surveying. By understanding them, businesses and municipalities can be better prepared for what to expect.
What Should You Look for in a SUE Surveying Provider or Underground Mapping Company?
When looking for a provider of SUE surveying, there are several things you should keep in mind. Some of the most important factors include:
- Experience. The provider should have experience in both subsurface utility engineering and 3D laser scanning. This will ensure that they are capable of performing accurate surveys and mapping.
- Accuracy. The provider should be able to provide accurate maps of the underground utilities. This will help avoid any costly mistakes down the road.
- Flexibility. Your SUE surveying provider should have the technology necessary to complete the job. A wide breadth of technology (such as different types of UAVs or scanning utilities) might be necessary to get all the data you need.
- End-to-end data management. A SUE surveying company that manages all the data itself is always preferable. This reduces the chances for error and ensures that you will get your data back on time.
- Technology. Advanced GIS technologies, drone technologies, and software systems are necessary for best-in-class underground mapping.
Do you need SUE surveying or underground mapping completed for your next project? It’s absolutely essential that you get an accurate, complete survey before you ever break ground.
The right surveying can be used to simulate the most effective, efficient builds for your project—and be used to avoid disaster. Contact Landpoint today for more information about our SUE surveying, underground mapping, and 3D laser scanning services.