Subsurface Utility Engineering

Subsurface Utility Engineering (S.U.E.) is a combination of technology needed to increase the reliability of utility detection in terms of the size, depth, and pipeline materials that can be detected and exposed without incidence.

S.U.E. is a viable solution to the far too common “hits” to underground utility lines. Subsurface Utility Engineering is an all-around better method of locating subsurface utilities or buried cables. This field has grown increasingly popular, and is now being mandated by several federal and state highway administrations.

Advantages of using SSC Subsurface Utility Engineering Services:

  • Fewer conflicts with utilities
  • Reduce delays because of unforeseen conflicts and design changes
  • Elimination of added construction costs because unexpected utility adjustments
  • Fewer contractor claims based on utility delays
  • Chance of severing a utility line is greatly reduced and therefore the safety level is increased

S.U.E. Services Offered By SSC:

Data Analysis

Once a job has been negotiated and accepted, our project manager analyzes the data as provided by existing records or oral recollections. Necessary data is provided by the engineering staff and the S.U.E. Analysts and Surveyors are briefed as to what to expect on-site.

Designation & Location

Utility designation is the use of geophysical techniques to determine the existence and approximate location of existing underground utilities. SSC services may include records research, paint markings, traffic control, and field sketches. Surveying work is done utilizing benchmarks and necessary tie-ins are made to relate the project with real world coordinates.

SSC location services include vacuum excavation (potholing service) which is used to create 0.3 to 0.5 m diameter holes to physically confirm the position and depth of an underground utility. A hole is first cut in the road pavement using a rotary core drill and then the excavation is advanced using compressed air jets in conjunction with a vacuum excavator wand. The excavation process will not normally damage an existing utility and the hole in the street pavement is kept to a minimum and is easily repaired. This procedure can only be used to confirm the position of known utilities or previously located utilities.

Evaluation & Reporting

Involves surveying the utility information obtained by designating and locating to the project control. Data is electronically collected in the field, processed, checked, and provided to clients in CAD or GIS format.

Modern utility mapping techniques that can be layered and detailed are utilized to produce base maps customized to client specific design requirements. They provide simple comparison of data for different pipelines and topography.

To create utility maps, survey information is converted into computer-generated plots in CADD format. Designation and location data is used to create a subsurface utility overlay of the existing road design. Test hole reports are made for each test hole with a computer-generated sketch of the test hole location and all other pertinent information to form a concise, informative data sheet for the utility, geographically referenced to the county Geographic Information Systems (GIS). A geographically accurate base map makes it easier to maintain the accuracy of a utility location as new jobs are designed and completed.

SSC provides state-of-the-art data management methods that allow a rapid interface between a field crew and a multi-utility database including:

  • Easy updating of utility records with new locating information
  • Field alerts as to discrepancies between expected positions of utilities and field measurements
  • Graphical displays of utility layouts in field based on most current information

Based on these factors and others, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has recognized Subsurface Utility Engineering as a professional engineering service and a necessary part of highway construction. This field has grown incrementally in the past few years and, by all indications, will continue to grow for years to come.

As industry experts in Trenchless Technology and non-destructive Air & Hydro Excavation, we can provide the most effective solution for your underground construction project. Please contact us today and speak to us about your next project!

Contact Us

What Our Clients Say:

  • “My experience with the SSC was positive. Their professionalism, efficiency, and commitment to customer service made me feel confident in their ability to handle my construction needs. I would definitely recommend their services to others in need of a reliable construction office.”

    Kyler Colin, General Managing Partner, Phoenix Water Solutions

  • “I was impressed with the communication and appreciate SSC’s help to get this potholing done in a quick and professional manner.”

    Lynne Stocker, Assistant Project Manager, Garney Construction

  • “Workers were very knowledgeable about how to find the utilities despite differences in the drawings and actual field conditions. Very helpful in going above and beyond by working with us.”

    Johnathan Hoffman, Assistant Project Manager, City of Sedona

  • “Their collaboration with my team on large-scale infrastructure upgrade projects has been exceptional. Their expertise and professionalism have been invaluable in delivering successful outcomes. I highly recommend SSC Underground to any organization in need of top-notch services.”

    Ben Kooinga, Project Manager

  • “The Crew from SSC went above and beyond to locate our water line that turned out to be more challenging than originally expected.”

    Kevin Tallman, Director of Construction, Shane Co Jewelers

  • “SSC is accommodating and punctual.”

    Jeff Strasser, Managing Partner-Custom Structures LLC

  • “We had a project in North Scottsdale that had to be completed while school was out for Christmas break. I gave SSC one week notice and sent them plans with over 80 potholes. They jumped right on it and completed the work for us to meet our deadline. Everyone from Michelle and Arvid in the […]

    Kelley Hlavsa, Project Manager, Achen Gardner Construction

  • “Really appreciate you helping us with our boring need. The drilling crew did a great job and completed the entire job above and beyond our expectations, without any issues. We look forward to working with you again if any such need arises in future.”

    Satya Chataut, BHP

  • “Arvid, you and your team performed a difficult task with precision and safety at the forefront. Well done and thank you for all of your efforts.”

    Kelly Haberly, B&F Contracting

  • “Just wanted to reach out and say thank you for your crews’ work today at Asante Well #4. They were safe, professional, and went above and beyond making sure the site was cleaned up after they left. Please pass my thanks onto your crew.”

    JT Core, Felix Construction

  • “Just wanted to say thank you for the safety culture your company has. It’s a breath of fresh air to see other companies embracing being safe. I sat in on your crews’ safety meeting this morning prior to the start of their work on Ray Rd. “

    Scott Nunemaker – Vice President, RCCM

  • “Kuddos to your guys. Not once has any of your foreman’s EVER put up a fuss when I’ve asked them to work a little late. Response is always “whatever you want and we’ll stay as long as you need us to.” I really appreciate all the hard work they do for me.”

    Travis Barrick – Field Supervisor, Felix Construction

  • “A big thank you to SSC for jumping on this quickly as they did to help the team get this information so quickly. It’s much appreciated and was pretty impressive to see 5 separate potholing crews descend upon Rio Salado the way they did today!”

    Christopher Laute, Resident Engineer, Valley Metro

  • We’ve used SSC for a number of years and I’ve been very pleased. Thanks and keep up the great work.

    Dave Klann, Staff Engineer, Mactec

  • SSC did a great job. Their assistance during pre-construction was greatly appreciated and differentiated them from the competition. Keep doing what you do best!

    Jim Drago, Sundt Construction

  • I called with short notice to some work and SSC responded immediately. In this market, dollars seem to control everything and quality of people and work seem to have diminished. The professionalism and hard work of your crew takes me back to when people knew what they were doing and cared. Intelligent guys that work […]

    Lonnie Ferguson, Project Manager, Construction 70

  • As a civil engineering consultant, I usually recommend your services but rarely use them with the exception being vacuum excavating. I have attended your seminars in the past and find them very helpful. I recommend continuing the education to make designers better. If we understand and know how to specify your service, we are more […]

    Bill Gasque, Sr. Civil Engineer, Dowl HKM

  • SSC handled the project perfectly even went above to schedule directly with the gas company, made my job easier.

    Tony Smith, Owner, Western Underground

  • You and your staff are always responsive to our needs and make sure you clearly understand the scope of the work in advance, so there are no surprises. I really appreciate that attitude.

    Michael Rhodes, Civil Engineer, Gila River Indian Community

  • Overall a good company. Very professional in approach and execution of work. Courtesy and respect shown by all personnel, a welcome rarity in the business. Keep doing what you’re doing, and thank you.

    M. Gartner, Project Manager, Sybrant Construction

  • Your field crew did a great job!

    Nick Nikrant, Project Manager, Builders Guild

  • Crew was courteous & helpful.

    Jayde Bullard, Project Manager, Caljet of America, LLC.

  • This is the second time working with this foreman. Will request him again. Easy to work with.

    David Willett, Aero Automatic Sprinkler Co.

  • Superb foreman…Exceptional!

    Curtis Briggs, Shea Homes

  • Great work! SSC was timely, responsive and professional. I would use them again.

    Stewart Vaghti, Project Engineer, Gannett Fleming, Inc.

  • I have always had good and quick service from SSC.

    Sally Raymer, Sundt Construction

  • Arvid was very accommodating in getting crew onsite within 2 hours of my call.

    Dennis Sime, Project Superintendent, Hunter Contracting

  • First I want to express once again how impressed I am with you and your support group. You are all “top notch.” Yes the job went well and I appreciate your help. It really made a huge difference on such a critical facility. I still can’t believe (even though I saw it with my own […]

    David McKinley, VFC-Arizona

  • Great service on short notice. Thanks!

    Richard Komzelman, Carson Construction

  • The entire SSC crew was extremely professional and flexible. All of your company’s efforts are greatly appreciated and you will be our boring subcontractor on any future projects.

    Ben Myers, Project Manager, GRG Construction

  • Your team made this challenging casing push a success.

    Michael Fossett, Project Manager, SDB Inc.

  • Extensive knowledge of the local soil conditions coupled with their proven skills has insured that every job is completed within our schedule and budget. We’ve worked with SSC for many years and always found them to more than equal our high required standards and able to complete any task.

    Brian Chavez, Chief Estimator/Project Manager, Tyers Contracting

  • I would like to thank you for your prompt response to our urgent need for your services. The men you sent did a fantastic and quick bore. We do so appreciate your company for that. Thanks!

    Patricia Riggs, Town of Gila Bend

  • Our job was especially challenging. The SSC team worked six days, around the clock and the testimony to the success of their efforts is that the general public never knew they were here. An additional thanks to SSC for their professional courtesy. In our industry, it is something I do not encounter often enough.

    Chris McCoy, Superintendent, Gilbane Building Company

  • Your project manpower’s knowledge, attitude, safety and work ethic are outstanding!

    Mike Levi, Estimator/Project Manager, Holloman Corporation