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Navigating Subsurface Utility Engineering Standards

Since the release of the ASCE 38-02 Standard, which set the tone for Subsurface Utility Engineering, a number of other SUE-related standards have been released internationally. 
 

CSA Standard S250

Though SUE is not officially legislated in Canada, in 2011, the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) released Standard S250 Mapping of Underground Utility Infrastructure which builds upon ASCE 38-02 and outlines best practice for mapping and managing records for underground infrastructure. The standard developed out of a recognized need by utility owners, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, contractors and locators to improve data collection processes and clean up existing records.
 
Standard S250 Mapping of Underground Utility Infrastructure is described as a collective framework for best practices to map, depict and manage records across Canada. CSA S250 compliments and extends ASCE Standard 38-02 by setting out requirements for generating, storing, distributing, and using mapping records to ensure that underground utilities are readily identifiable and locatable. Accuracy levels expand upon ASCE 38-02 Quality Level A, prescribing a finer level of detail to define the positional location of the infrastructure.
 

Malaysia Standard Guideline for Underground Utility Mapping

The Standard Guideline for Underground Utility Mapping in Malaysia was launched in 2006 to create, populate and maintain the national underground utility database. This standard addresses issues such as roles of stakeholders and how utility information can be obtained, and was a call to action from the Malaysian government due to increasing demands for improvements on basic infrastructure facilities including utilities. 
 
The Standard is similar to ASCE 38-02, using quality levels D-A as its basis. Although it does not classify utility definition, colours or symbols, the Malaysian standard does specify an accuracy ±10cm for both horizontal and vertical readings. The Standard is supported by the Malaysian government but is not backed by an Association or governing body.
 

Standards Australia Committee AS 5488-2013

In June, 2013, the Standards Australia Committee IT-036 on Subsurface Utility Engineering Information launched Standard 5488-2013 Classification of Subsurface Utility Information to provide utility owners, operators and locators with a framework for the consistent classification of information concerning subsurface utilities. The standard also provides guidance on how subsurface utility information can be obtained and conveyed to users.
 

British Standards Institute PAS 128

An industry consultation event in January 2012 kicked off the development of a British SUE standard. The first technical draft was reviewed by the committee in December 2012 and it was released for public/general industry review in March 2013. PAS 128 applies to the detection, verification and location of active, abandoned, redundant or unknown underground utilities and associated surface features that facilitate the location and identification of underground utility infrastructure. It sets out the accuracy to which the data is captured for specific purposes, the quality expected of that data and a means by which to assess and indicate the confidence that can be placed in the data. 


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