News & Events

SAM SUE Expert Speaking at ACEC Training May 22

Andrew Sylvest, a founding member of the Subsurface Utility Engineering Association (SUEA), works with board members to promote knowledge, best practices, and the exchange of information regarding the value and benefits of Subsurface Utility Engineering (SUE) services. Mr. Sylvest has provided numerous training programs on the ASCE Standard 38-02.

ASCE Standard 38-02 is the "Standard Guideline for the Collection and Depiction of Existing Subsurface Utility Data" as produced by the American Society of Civil Engineers in 2002. This standard categorizes utility data into four quality levels: "A", "B", "C", and "D" with "A" being the most certain and "D" being the least certain.

  • Quality Level "D" data is based on records, oral recollection, historical data, or one-call marks and involves no field investigation using geophysics or survey equipment.
  • Quality Level "C" data is based on the survey of surface utility appurtenances tied to project survey control that is correlated with Quality Level "D" information on the utility segment.
  • Quality Level "B" data involves the use of a suite of surface geophysical equipment including but not limited to: electromagnetics, ground penetrating radar, elastic wave, and magnetic gradiometers to designate the approximate horizontal position of the utility which is then surveyed using project control and correlated with Quality Level "C" and "D" data to resolve any discrepancies.
  • Quality Level "A" data is provided by performing non-destructive vacuum excavation to expose a utility at a precise point. The utility is then measured, photographed, and surveyed using project control to a vertical accuracy of .05'.

On May 25, 2018, Governor John Hickenlooper signed Senate Bill 18-167 – concerning increased enforcement of requirements related to the location of underground facilities into law. The intent of this law is to improve and protect the health, safety, and welfare of the public by accomplishing three key changes to existing policy: 1) Eliminate tier two membership of utility companies in Colorado 811 and establish a true One Call system 2) Establish a Safety Committee to enforce the law universally and fairly 3) To improve the quality of utility data on construction plans by requiring the use of ASCE Standard 38-02 during design.

CDOT made the decision to adopt ASCE Standard 38-02 prior to the signature of Senate Bill 18-167, but all public project owners must now adopt this standard as of August 8, 2018 for all projects that require a Professional Engineer for the design and have a construction excavation footprint over 2' in depth and over 1000 contiguous square feet in area.

Mr. Sylvest serves as an advocate to help project designers manage risks associated with buried utilities. To learn more, go to SAM's Subsurface Utility Engineering services webpage.