Utility Verification (QA)

Construct confidence and perform due diligence with utility mapping.

Most projects include a variety of utility locating processes by different stakeholders throughout the project timeline. Utility verification or quality assurance is a way to ensure that utility information derived from different sources is accurate, consistent, and comprehensive.


Every form of utility designating and locating has advantages and drawbacks, but adding another technique helps you construct confidence.

As-builts and other utility records may not be properly geo-referenced or contain significant inaccuracies or deviations from real installations.

Aboveground surveys can miss key information that reveals previous installations of utilities below ground.

Utility designating through geophysics methods may be conducted or interpreted incorrectly for the soil conditions and the material and energy properties of the various utilities.

Utility locating through exposure is limited to the specific points where it is carried out and restricted by accessibility, cost, and time implications.


4M verifies utilities and performs QA using satellite imagery and computer vision to gather comprehensive data.

Cost-effective, high-impact tool for due diligence.

4M supports stakeholders by conducting QA for boots-on-the-ground utility location services. In particular, 4M adds value to SUE surveys by providing comparative results through remote sensing technologies.

Data validation, correction, and augmentation.

4M offers stakeholders a map of the site with broad context and precise georeferenced findings. These results can be used to validate existing knowledge of utilities, as well as correct deviations on linear paths and add missing information.

Increased likelihood of finding abandoned utilities.

When the utility is abandoned, inactive, nonconductive, or uninsulated, it may be difficult to detect with boots-on-the-ground teams, even with the latest geophysics technology. But 4M provides a new tool to the arsenal by finding visual evidence for abandoned lines by analyzing satellite and aerial imagery.


Everything you need to know

What are 4 points of quality assurance?

Quality assurance helps you inspect goods or services before they reach the customer. In the context of utility mapping and subsurface utility engineering, the four components of quality assurance are:

  • Confirm things are working the way they should – Ensure there are no unidentified subsurface utilities under construction sites.

  • Measure pre-determined processes and ensure you meet compliance requirements – Take precautions to safeguard existing utilities, both known and unknown.

  • Record insights derived from the first two steps – map all utilities and subsurface infrastructure in the target area.

  • Implement changes if an opportunity exists for a smoother process – Foresee how risks to utilities can be mitigated during digging projects

What are some examples of quality assurance?

A few examples of quality assurance include reviewing and establishing  process standards, documentation of processes, auditing different processes, and making project checklists. During any digging project, this involves accurately mapping subsurface infrastructure, both known and unknown, and liaising with different entities involved, all the while maintaining records of communications and planning for risk minimization and mitigation.

What is the role of quality assurance?

The role of a quality assurance professional is to inspect products and services at various pre-planned phases. Quality assurance ensures that services and products meet consistent standards and that there is a reduction in defects and deficiencies. Quality assurance professionals overseeing projects that involve breaking ground can use smart utility maps to identify subsurface infrastructure such as water and gas mains, electrical and telecommunication infrastructure, and sewer pipelines. In addition, AI-enabled utility maps help them to ensure compliance with regulations, and ensure safety of manpower, surrounding communities, and infrastructure.

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