When to use SUE

Subsurface Utility Engineering (SUE) can be used anytime you need information about utilities. The two main applications of SUE are at the design stage of capital works projects or to collect accurate information for an asset management project. The process followed is essentially the same regardless of the application. The difference is in scope of work and the use and presentation of the information.

When a SUE investigation is carried out for a capital works project during design, the main goal of the investigation is to collect accurate utility information in the project area to allow designers and utility coordinators to avoid unwanted utility issues later on in the project. In this type of application the geographical area of the project is usually well defined and the key is to collect a sufficient quantity and quality of information such as to reduce the utility related risk to an acceptable level.

In an asset management application, the project owner is often missing information about their underground utilities or realizes that information they have is flawed or incomplete. In this situation the SUE provider would collect the required information to add to the asset management database. The Quality Levels described in the ASCE Standard can be used as a data attribute in the database so the user of the database knows how the utility information was collected.

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