Subsurface Utility Engineering (SUE) is a branch of Civil Engineering that involves managing certain risks associated with utility mapping at appropriate quality levels. The SUE process begins with a work plan that outlines the scope of work, project schedule, levels of service vs. risk allocation and desired delivery method. Surface geophysical methods (Designating) are then utilized to determine the presence of subsurface utilities and to mark their horizontal position on the ground surface. Air/Vacuum excavation techniques are employed to expose and record the precise horizontal and vertical position of the found utility. This information is then typically presented in CAD format or a GIS-compatible map. The concept of SUE is greatly increasing in popularity worldwide as a framework to justify costs associated with project redesign and construction delays and to avoid risk and liability that can result from damaged underground utilities.

AIM’s Expertise and Competence
Advanced Infrastructure Mapping, LLC is able to demonstrate a thorough knowledge and understanding of major SUE activities and is able to provide these services to the extent desired by the contracting agency.

Experience – Employees of Advanced Infrastructure Mapping, LLC are well-trained, experienced, highly motivated, and capable.

Equipment – A wide range of equipment is necessary to detect the variety of subsurface utilities that may be present. Equipment utilized by Advanced Infrastructure Mapping, LLC includes state of the art designating equipment; vacuum excavation or comparable nondestructive locating equipment; and software systems compatible with those of the contracting agency.

Timeliness – The Resources utilized by Advanced Infrastructure Mapping, LLC provide us with the ability to perform our services in a timely and professional manner.

Insurance – Advanced Infrastructure Mapping, LLC has adequate insurance covering all aspects of SUE work. Minimum amounts should be in accordance with the contracting agency’s requirements.


Utility Quality Levels are our professional opinion of the quality and reliability of the utility information. Such reliability is determined by the methods of our professional team. Each of the four quality levels are established by different methods of data collection and interpretation. See as follows:

quality levels

A precise horizontal and vertical location of utilities obtained by the actual exposure of known or unknown utilities by air excavation and obtaining depth and size measurements from a known  point.  Non- intrusive excavation equipment (Air/Vacuum) is typically used to minimize the potential for utility damage.  A precise horizontal and vertical location, as well as other utility attributes, will be shown on plan documents.  Accuracy is typically set to +/- 0.02′ vertical and horizontal differences will be set by the Client.

Information is gathered by the use of electromatic and geophysical instruments on a horizontal level only. Quality level B information should be able to be reproduced at any point of their depiction. This information is surveyed to applicable tolerances as defined by the project and reduced onto a plan documents overlay.

Information obtained by surveying and plotting visible above-ground utility features and by using professional judgment in correlating this information to Quality Level D information.

Information obtained from existing records or verbal communication.