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The SUMO Survey: A Matter Of Safety And Simple Economics

Updated: Jan 31

The SUMO Survey is the bread and butter utility survey, which we provide to our clients. With over 15 years since its establishment, SUMO's utility department has been refining and adapting this service. SUMO aims to offer the best quality survey, at the best price.

The SUMO Survey

Why is this our 'bread and butter' utility survey?

Back in 2001, SUMO's Utility Mapping pilot scheme was launched. Quickly becoming one of the fastest growing utility mapping survey's in the UK. The SUMO Survey is favoured by our clients as it is a highly effective, yet cost-efficient underground mapping and utility survey.

What is it?

With growing infrastructure, there are potentially hundreds of utilities lying right beneath our feet. Many are at shallower depths, than first perceived. At SUMO, we think it’s a matter of safety and simple economics.  If your employees are going to break ground, then you ought to have a survey done to protect them. It's often written in the Health and Safety Guidelines for most projects. The SUMO Survey also dramatically reduces the high-risks of hitting buried utilities and the associated cost of repairs.

Utilising the latest non-invasive technology, a SUMO survey combines 3 key survey techniques, which our multi-disciplined surveyors are expertly trained in. It is a highly effective utility survey offering with a few key processes:

  1. We complete research into the site and make use of service records when available.

  2. "Walking the site" when we arrive, allows us to familiarise ourselves with the services infrastructure. We continue to look for clues from the surface evidence (scars, inspection covers, meter boxes and overhead utilities).

  3. Next, we open inspection chambers, valve covers etc. This is to confirm the existence of utilities and to confirm depth, direction and type of utility.  We also use cover detectors (metal detectors) to search for buried covers.  We then use signal induced threading to trace the direction and depth of accessible drains, ducts and culverts.

  4. Using RFL (radio frequency locators) and a signal generator, we then detect metal pipes, electricity cables and metal ducts.  Firstly, this is used in 'active power mode' to trace live HV and LV cables.  Secondly, the equipment is used in 'radio (passive) mode' to detect metal pipes, electricity cables and metal ducts.

  5. Lastly, the SUMO Survey uses Ground Probing Radar (GPR) to confirm the existence of utilities already detected. This could be with previous techniques to detect the ‘inert’ utilities. This can include plastic gas and water pipes, ‘power off’ cables, fibre optics, drains and ducts etc.

The great feature of the SUMO Survey is that Topographic survey techniques can easily be integrated into the survey process. As well as the 'basic' utility mark out we can also provide you with full Topographic drawings of the data. 

What do you get out of it?

The SUMO Survey is a multi-faceted survey approach that can be tailored to your needs. You will get the best quality, responsive survey service, deliverables at the best price and peace of mind.  Plus, you will dramatically reduce the risk of hitting buried utilities. This can cause time delays and considerable cost implications to a project.

Below are examples of the SUMO Survey utility mark out data. As well as an integrated topographic survey drawing. Some of the equipment we use to complete the utility survey is also shown.

SUMO is heavily invested in making all of our SUMO Surveyors multi-disciplined. This means a SUMO Survey saves costs by reducing the work-force and time required to survey your site area.  As such, an early conversation with SUMO can safeguard your staff and allow for a timely, cost effective survey and deliverables.

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