Out of sight, but not out of mind. Our SUE teams go above and beyond to manage what's below.

Knowing What's Below Saves Time and Money

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Subsurface Utility Engineering (SUE) services help project designers manage risks associated with surprise encounters with buried utilities which can bring construction projects to a complete halt. These services have been proven to reduce construction costs related to the risks associated with inaccurate or incomplete utility information.

We use state-of-the-art geophysical sensing equipment for identifying, designating, locating and mapping existing and abandoned utility infrastructure. Techniques include magnetic, sonic, and acoustic technologies, ground penetrating radar, and radio frequency detection. We also provide a full range of vacuum excavation services and maintain a fleet of state-of-the-art Vacuum Excavation equipment for “safe dig” operations to safely uncover and measure the exact horizontal and vertical position of the utility.

Our experienced and highly trained staff includes engineers, surveyors, and technicians have successfully provided all four SUE quality level services to state, municipal, and private clients.

Quality Level D: Record Research/Data Collection
At this level, information is derived from records research or oral history. The D level of service can provide a "feel" for the overall congestion of utilities, but is often limited in terms of comprehensiveness and accuracy.

Quality Level C: Visible Surface Feature Utility Survey
At Level C, utility surface feature data is obtained from surveying and plotting aboveground utility features. Level C data supplements Level D data and finds omissions and errors in record information.

Quality Level B: Utility Designation
Designation data is collected by thorough applications of appropriate surface geophysical sensing technology. Located utilities are marked, field-tied to project monumentation, and mapped onto plan documents.

Quality Level A: Underground Utility Locating (Test Hole)
For this highest confidence level, precise horizontal and vertical locations of utilities are obtained using nondestructive vacuum equipment excavation to safely expose, measure and map utilities. Level A includes all other quality level tasks and conflict resolution.

All SUE services are performed in accordance with ASCE CI-38-02.

Our crews use the latest geophysical technologies, including:

  • Radio frequency equipment
  • Sonic, acoustic, Ground Penetrating Radar and magnetic designating equipment
  • Non-destructive vacuum excavation equipment

SAM’s experienced SUE staff provides the following services:

  • Record Research / Data Collection
  • Visible Surface Feature Survey
  • Utility Locating and Marking
  • Non-Destructive VacuumExcavation
  • CAD Plan Preparation
  • Utility Design/Specification
  • Utility Relocation Plans
  • Conflict Identification
  • Site Management

Vacuum Excavation Services
SAM provides a full range of services for vacuum excavation and keyhole coring, whether to assist municipal clients with utility relocation, or to support private sector clients such as the oil and gas pipeline industry. Our staff has 20 years experience using state-of-the-art equipment on projects where buried communication, cable TV, fiber optics, electrical, duct banks, natural gas, petroleum, water and wastewater systems are located. Our clients include TxDOT and other departments of transportation, engineering firms, municipalities, oil and gas companies, and electric companies. Find out more on our Vacuum Excavation page.

“Your project manager has done an excellent job on our project, being a good steward of our budget and easy to work with throughout the project. He has definitely made me interested in sending more work to SAM, so kudos to him.”

Client Senior Executive