At Ecotech, we believe in building strong long lasting relationships with our clients and partners. We are driven each day by our core values which include Success & Safety of Others, Respectful Communication, Honesty & Hard Work, and a Positive Attitude, and we work laboriously to meet the highest in safety standards as well as reliability for our customers. Our job is to offer the best service, while also being aware of our client’s individual needs and budgets. Over the years, we have had the pleasure of working with many industry leading companies on a variety of exciting projects, and Rettew is one such company.
We were honored to have Bill Steinhart, Senior Geophysicist of Rettew Associates take time out of his busy schedule to sit down with us to discuss Rettew and its Subsurface Utility Engineering (SUE) services as well as the relationship that has developed between our two companies.
Rettew Associates started in 1969, and the company’s expertise is wide and varied with over 450 engineering, environmental, surveying, planning, safety, and related consulting services. Highly regarded as experts in their field, it has been a pleasure working with their team.
“I have known about the benefits of Hydro and Air excavation for over 20 years, and I do believe it is the safest way to expose pipes and wires when other SUE methods of detection cannot be 100% accurate. Inaccurate detection can be due to a variety of reason — the depth of the utilities, material in the way.
We have many sophisticated tools we use when mapping, from radar to metal detectors but sometimes the job calls for us to dig things up to be 100% sure of the location. When I begin working with Rettew, I searched for a Hydro Excavation partner in the area. Ecotech was local and could quickly respond when needed. Rettew has a hometown feel, even if we are working in different states, and we prefer to support local businesses when we can. Having a partner and neighbor right down the street felt right, and we couldn’t have been more than pleased with Ecotech’s professionalism, work, and team.
For example, communication is vital in this industry, and their crew is in constant contact with our team. If anything comes up, they let you know right away which is essential and much appreciated in a field situation. They work with our team to come up with solutions to projects, and their frankness, when needed, is a key strength. For example, when working on a time-sensitive project, the air knife was taking too long, Ecotech suggested switching to hydro which saved time and money. Since their trucks can do both air and hydro, they changed right on site, and we continued with the job. Time and time again their knowledge has come in useful.
Another benefit to Ecotech is workability; their team is fun and easy to get along with making for quicker work days.
As for Hydro Excavation, I wish more people knew about it. It is by far, the safest way to expose utilities. As said before, sometimes the job requires you to confirm utility marks, and exposing of pipes and wires is the only way to ensure the right location. Hydro allows for speed and accuracy. That’s why I always keep Ecotech on the dial in case I need them.”
Per Rettews Website – “The SUE group at RETTEW has broad experience providing utility locating services to many industries, including upstream and midstream natural gas companies, local governments, and commercial and industrial clients, as well as higher education campuses. They’re equipped with cutting-edge tools and technology: robotic cameras, optical imaging, ground penetrating radar (GPR), GIS mapping, and other methods help us uncover utilities so you can plan around them.”
What is SUE?
Per The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Subsurface Utility Engineering or SUE for short is a form of engineering that entails managing risks associated with utility mapping. Starting with a work plan outlining the scope of work, schedules, risk, as well as the desired method SUE is used in utility relocation coordination and design, assessments, estimates, implementation and more.
“Vacuum excavation techniques are employed to expose and record the precise horizontal and vertical position of the assets. This information is then typically presented in CAD format or a GIS-compatible map. A conflict matrix is also created to evaluate and compare collected utility information with project plans, identify conflicts and propose solutions. The concept of SUE is gaining popularity worldwide as a framework to mitigate costs associated with project redesign and construction delays and to avoid risk and liability that can result from damaged underground utilities.”
Sources – https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/programadmin/history.cfm
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