Subsurface Utility Information Guide to PAS 128

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PAS 128 is a British Standard specification for underground utility detection, verification, and location. It's a comprehensive framework ensuring accuracy and consistency in locating underground utilities, and it's widely used by professionals involved in construction and infrastructure development. 

Here are some common questions and answers about PAS 128:2022.

What is PAS 128?

PAS 128 is a specification developed by the British Standards Institution (BSI) in collaboration with various industry stakeholders, including the Institution of Civil Engineers. It standardizes the process for detecting, verifying, and locating underground utilities. This standard is crucial for safe and efficient construction and infrastructure development, minimizing the risks of damaging existing underground utilities.

Why is PAS 128 Needed?

PAS 128 is vital for ensuring safety and efficiency in construction projects. It is required by law under HSE Regulations to have a plan of underground services before ground is broken. This specification helps in accurately mapping underground utilities, thereby reducing the risks of accidents, project delays, and additional costs associated with utility damage during construction.

What are the PAS 128:2022 Quality Levels?

PAS 128:2022 defines four levels of quality for underground utility detection surveys, each focusing on different degrees of location certainty:

Quality Level D (QL-D): Desktop utility records search.
Quality Level C (QL-C): Site reconnaissance to validate utility records.
Quality Level B (QL-B): Use of geophysical techniques like Electromagnetic Location (EML) and Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR).
Quality Level A (QL-A): Direct observation or physical exposure of utilities.

What Information is Included in a PAS 128:2022 Underground Utility Drawing?

The drawing typically includes the location of utilities, their direction, types of services (e.g., water, electricity, gas), and a legend with caveats, sub-surface keys, and methodology. The drawing’s accuracy is governed by the PAS 128:2022 standard, facilitating efficient project planning and execution.

What are the Benefits of a PAS 128:2022 Specification Survey?

Conducting a survey to PAS 128:2022 standards helps in preventing work delays, avoiding damage to buried assets, reducing risks of injuries, and ensuring the integrity and reliability of data for utility-based activities. Accurate utility mapping aids in effective planning and decision-making for construction projects.

How Has PAS 128:2022 Been Updated?

Major updates in PAS 128:2022 include additional guidance on training and qualifications of practitioners, updated application of post-processing in utility detection surveys, new specifications for buried utility detection and avoidance, updated guidance on accuracy levels, and technical factors influencing detection efforts.

Why is Implementing PAS 128 Important?

Accurate information on the location of underground utilities is essential to prevent conflicts, ensure public and worker safety, avoid unnecessary work and damage to assets, and foster efficient design solutions. PAS 128 provides a standardized approach, improving asset modelling capabilities and decision-making processes in construction projects.


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