Subsurface Utility Engineering upgrading the standards


01 February 2017

WGE: Rob Sansbury, WGEs National Underground Utility Manager, is working with Standards Australia and Engineers Australia to improve the approach to the management of underground utilities like gas, water and electricity. One of the key challenges on a construction site, is when existing underground utilities are not documented accurately, or information on existing infrastructure is simply not available.

A clear understanding of the vertical and horizontal location of these utilities on a construction site allows earthworks and excavation to be carried out safely, and minimises the risks for all involved.

Rob says there is a strong need for SUE to be acknowledged as a specialist area of engineering with a clear protocol to ensure underground utilities are managed safely and effectively.

The US have had a standard in place for many years and the research shows that cost savings can return between $3 and $10 for every dollar invested in SUE, he said.

The safety, risk management and efficiency benefits are significant because there are fewer utility strikes. Australian practice should be on par with the world leaders in SUE, and implementing an upgrade to AS5488 is the first step to get there.




Source:  Wood & Grieve Engineers -

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