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SurvWest SUE crews performing QL A testholes
SurvWest SUE crews performing QL-A testholes

SurvWest’s SUE team provides our clients with comprehensive and reliable utility information that reduces risks associated with complex projects. Our expertise in subsurface utility engineering ensures that we identify potential hazards, which could result in safety issues, construction delays, and increased costs.

During the project planning and design phases, SurvWest’s SUE team supports our clients by accurately identifying, depicting, and mapping utility information with specified Quality Levels (QLs). This ensures that our clients have access to high-quality data that they can rely on, which enables them to make informed decisions and reduces the likelihood of costly errors.

Our commitment to the SUE industry and our years of combined experience help to streamline the construction process and mitigate delays and cost overruns. By providing detailed utility information upfront, our clients can identify potential conflicts and plan accordingly, reducing the likelihood of unexpected changes to the project scope, which can lead to increased costs and delays.

Quality Levels

Based upon Colorado Senate Bill SB 18-167 SUE Compliance and ASCE 38-22 Engineering Standard Utility Investigations, our SUE services include:


QL-D is research-based on existing utility records and verbal recollections. It is the most basic level of information for utility locations. A value is assigned to a utility segment or utility feature not visible at the ground surface whose estimated position is judged through utility records, information from others, or from visual clues such as pavement cuts, obvious trenches, or existence of service.


QL-C is surveying visible utility facilities (e.g., manholes, valve boxes, etc.) and correlating this information with existing QL-D utility records. A value is assigned to a utility segment not visible at the ground surface whose estimated position is judged through correlating utility records or similar evidence to utility features, visible above ground and/or under-ground. The utility anchor point on the utility features shall be tied to the Project Survey Datum with an accuracy of 0.2 ft (60 mm) horizontal.


QL-B, under the direction of a licensed professional engineer, QL-B uses geophysical techniques and methodologies to determine the existence and horizontal position of underground utilities within the project limits. Called designating, QL-B uses QL-D and QL-C information during the investigation. A value is assigned to a utility segment or subsurface utility feature whose existence and horizontal position is based on geophysical methods combined with professional judgment and whose location is tied to the Project Survey Datum.


QL-A, also known as locating, is the highest level of accuracy available. QL-A is a non-destructive, minimally invasive excavation process that assigns a value (x-, y-, and z-geometry) to a portion of utility segment or subsurface utility feature that is directly exposed and measured to determine the exact horizontal and vertical position of underground utilities. It determines the type, size, condition, material, and other characteristics associated with the buried utility. The utility segment or subsurface utility feature shall be tied to the Project Survey Datum with an accuracy of 0.1 ft (30 mm) vertical and to 0.2 ft (60 mm) horizontal for the measurements of the outside limits of the Utility Feature or Utility Segment that is exposed.

Wes Kaisershot, VP of Engineering
Wes Kaisershot, VP of Engineering

Wes Kaisershot leads SUE and Utility Coordination at SurvWest. He is an experienced professional civil engineer specializing in subsurface utility engineering (SUE), utility coordination, conflict analysis, utility engineering, utility adjustment design, oversight, and construction monitoring and verification. His deep and rounded experience working for the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), TxDOT, and the private sector allows him to successfully manage complex projects that require high degree of attention to detail, expertise in federal and state regulations, knowledge of the various client levels in command, and appreciation for the work and review processes that occur.