Utility Locating and Mapping

Draper Aden employees and vac truck

Know what’s below with SUE


Unplanned utility relocations during construction is expensive; utility redesign can account for up to 20 percent of a project’s total design schedule. Having an accurate map of utilities from the start of a project allows you to virtually eliminate potential conflict, saving you both time and money; that’s where we come in. Subsurface Utility Engineering (SUE), or utility locating and mapping, is an engineering process for accurately locating and mapping underground utilities.


Inspection and Condition Assessments


SUE capabilities also include the assessment and modeling of underground pipes to provide you with the clearest pictures of what’s below the surface. Inflow and infiltration, root intrusion, and grease buildup can cause pipe backups and overflows that lead to service interruptions, property damage, and potential health hazards. The Department of Environmental Quality strictly enforces aging infrastructure regulations. We are prepared to help you address infrastructure rehabilitation through efficient and cost-effective innovative technology.

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Tools of the Trade

Air Vacuum Excavation


With the use of one of our Air-Vacuum Excavation trucks, we can provide our clients with utility Quality Level A data. The precise utility data gathered will help eliminate unexpected utility conflicts. We document the utility Quality Level A data which includes the horizontal and vertical location, size, material type of the utility, configuration and other information that can be collected within the excavated test hole. This information will allow the designer or contractor, to determine the nature and extent of the conflict and allow a mitigation plan to be developed saving time and money. By using Air-Vacuum Excavation, the actual excavation is less invasive, environmentally sound, and non-destructive to existing utilities.

pipe tunnel inspection

RedZone Robotics


We are partnered with RedZone Robotics to offer state of the art robotic pipeline inspection services that evaluate pipe conditions without the added expense of cleaning the line first. All data collected by our various inspection services are compatible with most standard GIS databases and can be paired with subsurface utility location coordinates, leveraged to create overall system models, and used to implement a strategic approach to system rehabilitation. By exploring and cataloging the condition of subsurface infrastructure, rehabilitation funds can be spent wisely.


Our diverse field capabilities, interactive evaluation software, and decades of combined Sewer System Evaluation Surveys (SSES) expertise allow our team to offer a better way to find and fix your infrastructure.

GIS Utility Mapping


GIS utility mapping is a proactive GIS database solution that allows you to easily access and leverage subsurface data in order to avoid infrastructure conflicts. This process collects the data at Quality Levels B, C or D, depending on how the data is obtained, and documents the information onto the client’s plans or GIS system determining the GPS location of each utility that is marked on the ground. The data from utilities that are detected using multi-frequency utility detection equipment including Electromagnetic Field (EMF) and Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) is considered utility Quality Level B data. Information based solely on record information is Quality Level D and information based on record information in correlation with surveyed features is Quality Level C.


Once collected, the utility location data is used to populate a GIS database. This working GIS database of subsurface utility information not only allows you to quickly locate infrastructure, but also make planning and design decisions earlier in the process. The use of information collected in the SUE process will minimize the risk of utility-related delays, cost overruns and utility related accidents or spills.


Additionally, we can incorporate pipe condition assessment information into your GIS utility mapping database to create an accurate and complete picture of an entire system. This comprehensive model allows you to view virtual snapshots of system segments, such as lateral connections or manhole structures, as a benchmark for future infrastructure upgrades or as an overall asset management tool.

gIS map

Utility Locating and Mapping Projects

VCU & VCU Health Partnership
Construction Materials Testing / Education / Environmental Services / Geotechnical Engineering and Geophysics / Site/Civil Engineering / Structural Engineering / Surveying / Utilities Engineering / Utility Locating and Mapping

Additional Services Include

Electro-magnetic Field (EMF) Detection

Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR)

Electro-magnetic/Radio-Frequency Identification (EM RFID)

Vacuum Truck Technologies

Smoke and Dye Testing Flow Monitoring Analysis

Manhole Inspection Scanning

Erosion and Sediment Control Inspection

Groundwater Monitoring Construction Inspection

Hydrant Flow Testing

Members of our team completed the Pipeline Assessment Certification Program (PACP) provided by the National Association of Sewer Service Companies (NASSCO).

We provide SUE services and can map utilities at all Utility Quality Levels (A-D).

TRC Logo

Draper Aden Associates is now part of TRC, a leading national provider of engineering and consulting solutions supporting a clean energy future. Learn more.

TRC Logo

Draper Aden Associates is now part of TRC, a leading national provider of engineering and consulting solutions supporting a clean energy future. Learn more.