Definitions for Underground Utility Terms S
Saddle Clamp: A device or clamp used to secure or attach additional pipes or utilities to an existing underground pipe, often used in branching or tapping applications.
Safety Data Sheet (SDS): A document that provides detailed information about hazardous substances or materials used in underground utility work, including handling, storage, and emergency procedures.
Scour Protection: Measures and structures implemented around underground utility installations, such as bridges or culverts, to prevent erosion or scouring caused by flowing water.
Seepage Pit: An underground pit or structure designed to receive and allow for the gradual infiltration of stormwater or liquid waste into the surrounding soil.
Service Connection: The point of connection between a utility line and an individual property or customer’s service line.
Service Lateral: A pipe or conduit that connects a property’s utility service to the main distribution line.
Service Line: The underground pipe or conduit that connects a property to the main utility line, carrying water, gas, or electricity.
Service Pit: An underground chamber or access point for maintenance or repairs on utility service connections.
Sewage Ejector Pump: A pump used to lift wastewater or sewage from a lower to a higher elevation when gravity flow is not possible.
Sewer Cleaning Nozzle: A nozzle attachment for water jetting equipment used in underground sewer systems to remove debris, roots, or sediment from pipe interiors, restoring proper flow and function.
Sewer Force Main: A pressurized pipe used to transport sewage or wastewater from a pumping station to a treatment facility.
Sewer Lateral: A pipe that connects a property’s plumbing system to the main sewer line.
Sewer Smoke Testing: The process of introducing non-toxic smoke into a sewer system to identify and locate leaks, defects, or illegal connections.
Shear Valve: A specialized valve installed in underground gas or fuel lines to automatically shut off the flow in the event of excessive pressure or impact.
Sheath: A protective covering or outer layer used to shield underground cables or pipelines from damage or environmental factors.
Shoring System: Temporary support structures or systems used in underground excavations or trenches to prevent soil collapse, ensuring worker safety and excavation stability.
Shoring: Temporary support structures or systems installed to prevent cave-ins or collapses during excavation.
Silt Fence: A temporary barrier or sediment control measure used in underground utility construction to prevent soil erosion and the migration of sediment into nearby water bodies.
Siphon: A curved section of underground pipe that uses gravity and vacuum pressure to move water or other fluids from a higher elevation to a lower elevation.
Slip Joint: A joint in a pipe or conduit that allows slight movement or flexibility to accommodate changes in length or alignment.
Slip Lining: A rehabilitation method for pipelines that involves inserting a new pipe or liner inside an existing damaged pipe.
Sliplining Rehabilitation: A trenchless method of rehabilitating underground pipes by inserting a smaller diameter pipe inside the existing pipe.
Sliplining: A method of rehabilitating underground pipes by inserting a smaller diameter pipe into an existing pipe, creating a new structural lining and improving flow capacity.
Slurry Wall: A wall constructed by excavating a trench and filling it with a thick suspension of bentonite clay or other stabilizing material to provide support and prevent water infiltration.
Smart Grid: An intelligent and interconnected electrical power distribution system that uses advanced communication and automation technologies for efficient monitoring and control of underground utility networks.
Smart Metering: Advanced metering technology used in underground utility systems to measure and monitor consumption in real-time, enabling efficient resource management and accurate billing.
Smoke Chamber: An underground chamber or space used in smoke testing where smoke is introduced to the sewer or drainage system to detect leaks, defects, or illegal connections.
Smoke Testing: A method used to identify leaks or defects in underground sewer or drainage systems by introducing smoke into the pipes and observing its escape points.
Soil Classification: The categorization of soils based on their physical properties, composition, and engineering characteristics, assisting in the selection of appropriate construction methods for underground utility projects.
Soil Stabilization: Techniques or methods employed to improve the stability and load-bearing capacity of underground soils, such as chemical stabilization or soil grouting.
Soil Stabilization: The process of improving the stability and load-bearing capacity of soil surrounding underground utility structures through methods such as grouting, compaction, or chemical treatment.
Soil Vapor Extraction: A remediation technique that involves removing volatile organic compounds (VOCs) or contaminants from underground soil by applying a vacuum or negative pressure.
Solenoid Valve: An electromechanical valve used in underground irrigation systems or utility control systems to control the flow of liquids or gases based on electrical signals or commands.
Solvent Cement: A type of adhesive used to join plastic pipes or fittings in plumbing and underground utility systems.
Special Utility District (SUD): A special utility district (SUD) is a local government entity that provides specific utility services to a defined geographical area, typically within a county or municipality. Learn More…
Spill Containment System: A system of barriers, berms, or structures designed to contain and control the flow of hazardous materials or substances in underground utility facilities, preventing environmental contamination.
Splice Kit: A set of materials and components used to join or connect underground utility cables or conductors, providing insulation, protection, and electrical continuity.
Standby Generator: A backup power source that automatically activates during power outages to ensure continuity of essential functions in utility systems.
Standpipe: A vertical pipe installed for accessing water supply in multi-story buildings or fire protection systems.
Stormwater Detention System: An underground structure or basin designed to temporarily store and slowly release stormwater runoff, reducing peak flow rates and minimizing downstream flooding.
Stormwater Harvesting: The collection and storage of rainwater or stormwater runoff from underground drainage systems for subsequent use, such as irrigation or non-potable water applications.
Stormwater Management System: Infrastructure and practices implemented to control and mitigate the impact of stormwater runoff, including underground systems such as detention or retention basins.
Street Cut Permit: A permit issued by local authorities that allows utility companies or contractors to excavate and open trenches on public roads for the installation or repair of underground utilities.
Subgrade Preparation: The process of preparing and compacting the natural ground or soil before the installation of underground utilities, ensuring stable support and load-bearing capacity.
Subgrade Stabilization: The process of strengthening and stabilizing the soil or subgrade beneath underground utility infrastructure using techniques such as soil compaction, geosynthetics, or chemical additives.
Submersible Pump: A pump designed to operate underwater or in underground pits or chambers, commonly used in drainage or wastewater systems to lift and transport fluids.
Subsoil Drainage: The installation of underground pipes, drains, or perforated pipes to collect and redirect excess water or moisture from soil layers, preventing waterlogging and promoting soil stability.
Substation Battery System: A backup power storage system installed in underground utility substations to provide emergency power during outages or disruptions in the electrical grid.
Substation: An electrical facility or structure in underground utility systems that transforms voltage levels, regulates power flow, and distributes electricity to different areas or consumers.
Subsurface Utility Engineering (SUE): A practice that combines geophysical surveying, utility records review, and data analysis to accurately map and locate underground utilities before excavation or construction.
Suburface Drainage: A system of underground pipes, channels, or drains designed to collect and remove excess water from the soil or groundwater, preventing waterlogging or soil erosion.
Sump Pump: A pump used to remove water from basements, crawl spaces, or other areas prone to flooding.
Surface Restoration: The process of reinstating or repairing the surface area affected by underground utility work, including road resurfacing, pavement repairs, landscaping, or reseeding.
Surface Water Management: The planning and implementation of strategies to control and manage stormwater runoff, reducing the impact on underground utility systems and the environment.
Surge Arrester: A device installed in underground electrical systems to protect against voltage surges or transient overvoltages, safeguarding equipment and reducing the risk of damage.
Surge Arrester: A protective device installed in underground electrical systems to divert or absorb transient voltage surges, protecting electrical equipment from damage.
Surge Protection: Devices or systems designed to protect utility lines from sudden voltage spikes or surges.
Swabbing: The process of cleaning the inside of pipelines using foam or brushes attached to a flexible device.
Swell Factor: The increase in volume experienced by excavated soil when it is loosened or moved from its original position.