Subsurface Utility Engineering (SUE)

We’ve been carrying out SUE projects since before it was a recognized practice in Ontario. Our tried and tested project methodology is based on decades of progressive experience in project planning and coordination.

Establishing the location of buried utilities within a project area is critical to producing accurate engineering designs and reducing construction project delays and cost overruns. That’s where Subsurface Utility Engineering (SUE) comes in.

SUE is an engineering practice governed by CI/ASCE 38-02 Standard Guideline for the Collection and Depiction of Existing Subsurface Utility Data. It provides a framework for evaluating the integrity of data based on four Quality Levels (Quality Levels D, C, B & A), dramatically improving information reliability.

We used to rely on disparate data to gain an understanding of subsurface assets. Whenever a change would occur, the area would be re-surveyed and data would be stored in various formats. By applying Subsurface Utility Engineering, we’ve created a database of high quality data that can be used by future contractors for years to come.

Florin Doru Merauta, Senior Project EngineerHATCH

multiVIEW Locates has been carrying out Subsurface Utility Engineering investigations for more than three decades and before it was a recognized practice in Ontario.

Benefits of incorporating SUE into your project:

  • Reduce delays and costs associated with utility relocation or project redesign
  • Minimize stakeholder involvement and post design approvals
  • Effectively design infrastructure changes with accurate proximity consideration existing utilities
  • Decrease service disruptions, traffic configurations, and project delay
  • Alleviate the risk and liability that can result from damaging underground utilities
  • Achieve an up-to-date, consolidated record of subsurface utilities within your project area(s)

How Does Subsurface Utility Engineering work?

The process involves collecting existing utility records, surveying utility surface appurtenances, applying geophysical methods to determine the presence of subsurface utilities, and then leveraging techniques such as Vacuum Excavation and Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) to verify their horizontal and vertical position.

Once captured, information is digitally mapped and delivered alongside a list of utility conflicts identified by comparing field data against records. This makes it easy to evaluate and compare collected utility information with proposed plans.

Subsurface Utility Engineering (SUE) is a process that applies four Quality Levels to gather precise information on underground utilities within a project site.  This information reduces surprises at later stages of a project related to utility relocation and coordination.

Informative Image of multiVIEW’s Subsurface Utility Engineering (SUE) four service levels, listed in a diagram form from left to right. First is Quality Level-D service, known as Records Research. At this stage multiVIEW provides full project coordination and will conduct thorough utility records research and reconcile data. This is useful primarily for project planning and route selection activities. Second is Quality Level-C service, referred to as Field Investigation. multiVIEW’s highly trained field technicians are experts at observing visible above-ground features that indicate buried utilities. For example manholes, valve boxes, etc., and then correlating this information with existing utility records (Quality Level-D information). Third is Quality Level-B which covers subsurface Utility Locating services. Using a range of geophysical equipment and methods, multiVIEW can locate almost any type of buried utility infrastructure within a project’s limits. The fourth service is Quality Level-A, also known as “daylighting”. It is the highest level of accuracy presently available and which multiVIEW is capable of self-performing by drawing on years of Hydro Vacuum Excavation experience. It provides information for the plan and profile mapping of underground utilities through the actual exposure of underground utilities (usually at a specific point), and also provides the type, size, condition, material and other characteristics of underground features, as requested. multiVIEW will also offer full restoration services.
Subsurface Utility Engineering (SUE) is most effective at minimizing project risk when Quality Levels D, C and B are carried out as an integrated program. Quality Level A investigations are required when depth data must be obtained to achieve project goals.

SUE Services Available:

  • Record Research & Analysis
  • Field Surveying
  • Utility Locating Services
  • Ground Penetrating Radar
  • Electromagnetic Sewer Sonding
  • Sewer Pipe Inspections
  • Sewer Invert Data Collection
  • Sewer Chamber Data Collection
  • Confined Space Entry Services
  • Traffic Control & Planning
  • HydroVac Excavation Services
  • GIS & CAD Mapping Services
  • Project Management
  • Professional Engineers Review (P.Eng.)

Extend your SUE insights with CCTV!

In addition to our SUE services, multiVIEW can inspect and evaluate the internal conditions of sanitary sewers and residential service lines while capturing images in real-time. We’ll zoom in on anomalies, navigate around bends, and inspect lateral services. Whether it’s a crack, root obstruction, cross bore, break, or another issue, we’ll identify the problem quickly.

We are also capable of investigating:

  • blockages and accumulation of solids
  • structural defects in pipes and maintenance holes including cracks, breaks, sags, internal corrosion, and leak areas
  • misplaced line valves
  • drainage issues
  • changes to the pipes pre or post-construction
  • potentially hazardous intersecting utilities

SUE Report & Deliverables:

Deliverables within a SUE Report varies from project to project based on client’s standards and project specifications. The mapping format of the utility-based data may also differ based on Quality Level requirements and client’s desires.

Typical information delivered with a SUE Report:

  • Cover Page
  • Table of Contents
  • Executive Summary
  • Project Overview
  • CI/ASCE 38-02 Standard Overview
  • Survey Procedures & Methodology Used
  • Discussions of Findings
  • Field Notes & Drawings
  • Summary of Findings (e.g. project issues, limitations, and record betterment – meaning data uncovered which was originally unknown)
  • Closing (stamped and signed by a licensed Professional Engineer)

Utility mapping formats available upon request:

  • Field Composite Drawing (not-to-scale)
  • Georeferenced Digital Drawings (AutoCAD / MicroStation)
  • QL-C Photo Report (surface utility features and data points)
  • QL-A Photo Report (subsurface utility features and data points)
  • Sewer Infrastructure Video Report (with the request of a sewer pipe inspection service)
  • Utility Conflicts Matrix

Our team of CAD experts will consolidate all collected field data to create high-quality drawings that are CI/ASCE 38-02 compliant and customized to conform to project specifications.

Informative Image of a multiVIEW Subsurface Utility Engineering (SUE) digital map (AutoCAD format) showcasing a topographic view of five streets and two intersections, outlining the utility based data collected within a project area. The map outlines the locations of the underground utilities located along each roadway as lines in their respective universal colour code. Green lines for sewers, blue for water lines, yellow for natural gas and red for electricity.

Informative Image of a multiVIEW Subsurface Utility Engineering (SUE) Quality Level C (QL-C) photo report (top view) of a four-way intersection locating underground utilities located along each roadway and where they intersect using coloured drawing CAD lines respective of the universal utility colour code.

The multiVIEW Advantage


A highly qualified team of professionals

We’re authorized by the Association of Professional Engineers of Ontario (PEO) in addition to the Association of Professional Geoscientists of Ontario (APGO). We offer P.Eng and P.Geo oversight on all project processes and deliverables.


Tried and tested project methodology

Our project methodology is based on almost 30 years of experience in project planning and coordination. A focus on QA/QC ensures timely delivery, completeness of in-field area coverage and the production of high quality visuals and reports.


Self-performance capabilities

We’re able to self-perform all four SUE quality levels including QL-A “daylighting.” Minimizing or eliminating the need to manage subcontractors decreases risk and the possibility of project delays.


An investment in continuous training

Our highly trained technicians undergo various levels of training including ORCGA Damage Prevention Technician (DPT); Certified Project Management; Confined Space Entry (CSE); TTC Rulebook (3rd rail) and Electrical Safety Authority (ESA).

As your partner in Utility Data Collection and Management, we’ve defined core values that drive our operations and form the basis of everything we do.

30 years industry experience

We’ve achieved a unique position in the marketplace based on decades of experience, which allows us to provide added value to our customers.

Fast flexible mobilization

Our strategic approach to resourcing fosters scalability, flexibility, and rapid response times. We’re here to support you 24/7, and no project is too complex.

Dedicated to training & safety

We foster a culture of continuous improvement through comprehensive internal and external training. Our Health & Safety culture is backed by our HS&E Manual.

Commitment to quality

We’re guided by our Quality Management System (QMS) and our team of experts executes all processes with the highest regard for quality.

Qualified, dedicated partners in Damage Prevention.

A full suite of Utility Locating services backed by a focus on Safety, Quality and Customer Excellence.