Definitions for Underground Utility Terms U-W
Ultrasonic Flow Meter: A device that uses ultrasound technology to measure the flow rate of fluids in underground utility systems.
Underground Cable Pulling: The process of installing electrical or communication cables underground by using pulling equipment or techniques to draw the cables through conduit or ducts.
Underground Distribution System: A network of underground electrical lines, transformers, and equipment used to distribute electricity from substations to consumers or buildings.
Underground Fault Locator: A device or instrument used to detect and locate faults or short circuits in underground electrical cables, assisting in troubleshooting and repairs.
Underground Fault Locator: A device or system used to locate faults or breaks in underground electrical cables.
Underground Fault: A fault or breakage occurring in underground electrical cables or conductors, often caused by physical damage, insulation failure, or electrical overloads.
Underground Fire Hydrant: A fire-fighting water supply point installed below ground level, providing access for firefighters to connect hoses.
Underground Utilities: Infrastructure such as water, sewer, gas, electricity, telecommunications, and cable that are installed below the ground.
Underground Utility Locator: Specialized equipment or tools used to detect and locate underground utility lines, pipes, or cables, helping to prevent accidental damage during excavation or construction.
Underground Utility Mapping: The process of surveying and creating accurate maps or drawings that depict the location and attributes of underground utilities.
Underground Vault: An enclosed underground chamber or structure used to house and protect equipment, controls, or junctions for various utility systems, such as electrical, telecommunications, or water.
Underpinning: A construction technique used to strengthen or stabilize existing underground structures or foundations by extending their support or foundation depth, often used in utility infrastructure upgrades.
UST (Underground Storage Tank): A tank buried underground for the storage of liquids such as fuel or hazardous substances.
Utility Abandonment: The process of decommissioning or permanently closing down underground utility lines, structures, or facilities that are no longer in use or required.
Utility Access Chamber: An underground chamber or vault providing access to utility lines or equipment, allowing for inspection, maintenance, or connection points within the utility network.
Utility As-Built Drawings: Updated drawings or plans that depict the actual location and configuration of underground utilities after construction or installation, providing accurate records for future reference and maintenance.
Utility Asset Tracking: The systematic tracking and management of underground utility assets, including inventory, condition assessments, maintenance history, and replacement schedules, for effective asset management.
Utility Asset Valuation: The process of assessing the monetary value or worth of underground utility assets, considering factors such as age, condition, replacement cost, and depreciation.
Utility Audit: An examination or review of underground utility systems, operations, or processes to assess efficiency, identify cost-saving opportunities, or ensure compliance with regulatory standards.
Utility Backfill: The material used to refill and compact the excavated trench or hole after the installation of underground utility lines, providing support, stability, and protection to the infrastructure.
Utility Backflow Prevention: Measures and devices installed in underground water supply systems to prevent the reverse flow of water, ensuring protection against contamination or cross-connection.
Utility Bylaws: Regulations, rules, or policies established by utility companies, municipalities, or regulatory bodies to govern the operation, maintenance, and usage of underground utility systems.
Utility Bypass System: A temporary system or arrangement put in place to redirect the flow of utility services, such as water or gas, during planned maintenance, repairs, or emergencies.
Utility Capacity Analysis: The evaluation of the capacity and capability of an underground utility system to handle the projected demand and load requirements, supporting efficient operation and future growth.
Utility Catheterization: The insertion of catheters or probes into underground utility pipelines or conduits to inspect their internal condition, identify blockages, or collect samples for analysis.
Utility Cathodic Protection: A corrosion protection technique used in underground metal pipelines or structures by applying an electric current or sacrificial anodes to prevent corrosion and extend their lifespan.
Utility Condition Assessment: The evaluation and inspection of the condition, performance, and integrity of underground utility infrastructure, including pipes, cables, or conduits, to identify maintenance or replacement needs.
Utility Conflict Avoidance: The proactive planning and design process aimed at minimizing or eliminating conflicts between underground utilities through thorough investigation, coordination, and routing.
Utility Conflict Resolution: The process of identifying and resolving conflicts or clashes between different underground utility lines or systems during construction or excavation projects.
Utility Conflict: A situation where underground utility lines or systems interfere or clash with each other, requiring careful coordination and resolution to prevent damage or operational issues.
Utility Construction Permit: A permit or authorization issued by regulatory authorities or local agencies that grants permission to perform underground utility construction or modifications within specified guidelines and regulations.
Utility Construction Specifications: Detailed specifications and requirements outlined in contracts or agreements for the construction, installation, or modification of underground utility infrastructure, ensuring compliance with quality and safety standards.
Utility Coordination Meeting: A meeting involving multiple stakeholders, such as utility companies, contractors, and project owners, to discuss and coordinate the design, installation, and maintenance of underground utilities.
Utility Coordination Plan: A documented plan that outlines the procedures, responsibilities, and schedules for coordinating the installation, relocation, or maintenance of underground utilities within a construction project.
Utility Coordination: The process of coordinating and managing the location, design, and construction of underground utilities to avoid conflicts and ensure efficient project execution.
Utility Corridor: A designated area or route reserved for the installation and maintenance of multiple underground utilities, allowing for easier access, coordination, and future expansion.
Utility Cross Bore Inspection: The inspection and detection of potential cross bores, where one utility line intersects or intersects another, posing a risk of damage or interference during excavation or repairs.
Utility Cross-Connection Control: The implementation of measures and devices to prevent contamination or backflow of water in underground utility systems due to potential cross-connections with non-potable sources.
Utility Damage Prevention: A set of procedures, regulations, and practices implemented to prevent accidental damage to underground utilities during excavation, construction, or digging activities.
Utility Data Integration: The integration and consolidation of data from various sources, such as meters, sensors, and maintenance records, to create a unified view of underground utility system performance.
Utility Data Management: The collection, storage, analysis, and utilization of data related to underground utilities, including asset information, maintenance records, and performance metrics.
Utility Demand Response: A system or program that allows underground utility systems to respond to changes in demand by adjusting consumption, load shedding, or implementing energy-saving measures.
Utility Depth Marker: A visible marker or sign installed at regular intervals on underground utility lines to indicate their depth below the ground surface, assisting in safe excavation and maintenance.
Utility Duct: An underground conduit or duct used to house multiple utility lines, such as electrical, telecommunication, or fiber optic cables, for organized and efficient installation and maintenance.
Utility Easement: A legal right or permission granted to a utility company or entity to access, use, and maintain underground utility lines or facilities within a specified area of land.
Utility Elevation Benchmark: A known reference point or elevation used to determine the relative vertical position of underground utility lines or structures, ensuring accurate surveying and mapping.
Utility Elevation: The vertical position or depth of underground utility lines or facilities, typically measured from a reference point or datum to accurately determine their location.
Utility Emergency Preparedness: The proactive planning and readiness measures implemented by utility companies to respond effectively to underground utility-related emergencies or natural disasters.
Utility Emergency Response: The organized and coordinated actions taken by utility companies, emergency services, and response teams to address and resolve underground utility-related emergencies, such as gas leaks or power outages.
Utility Enclosure: A protective structure or cabinet used to house underground utility equipment, such as valves, pumps, or electrical components, ensuring security and protection from external elements.
Utility Encroachment Permit: A permit or authorization required for any activity that involves excavating or working near underground utility lines or facilities, ensuring safety and compliance.
Utility Encroachment: The unauthorized occupation or presence of structures, vegetation, or objects within the designated area or right-of-way of underground utility lines, potentially causing interference or damage.
Utility Equipment Rental: The temporary rental or leasing of specialized equipment or machinery used in underground utility construction, maintenance, or repair, allowing for cost-effective and flexible resource allocation.
Utility Fault Location: The process of identifying and pinpointing the location of faults, breaks, or disruptions in underground utility cables, enabling efficient repairs and restoration of services.
Utility Flow Control: The regulation and control of fluid flow within underground utility systems, ensuring appropriate pressure, distribution, and management of water, gas, or other fluids.
Utility Flowmeter: A device used to measure the flow rate or volume of fluids, such as water or gas, within underground utility pipelines, providing valuable data for monitoring and management.
Utility Heat Tracing: The installation of electric or steam-based heat tracing systems on underground utility pipes or equipment to prevent freezing or maintain optimal operating temperatures.
Utility H-Frame: A structure or support system used in underground utility installations to secure and stabilize equipment, such as transformers, electrical cabinets, or switchgear.
Utility Identification: The process of identifying and labeling underground utility lines or facilities with markers, tags, or color codes to ensure their clear identification and minimize accidental damage.
Utility Infrastructure Decommissioning: The process of permanently taking underground utility infrastructure out of service and rendering it non-operational, following appropriate regulations and procedures.
Utility Infrastructure Depreciation: The gradual reduction in the value or worth of underground utility infrastructure over time due to factors such as aging, wear and tear, or technological advancements.
Utility Infrastructure Mapping: The process of creating detailed maps or drawings that accurately depict the location, configuration, and attributes of underground utility infrastructure for reference and planning purposes.
Utility Infrastructure Monitoring: The continuous surveillance and monitoring of underground utility infrastructure, such as sensors, alarms, or data analytics, to detect anomalies, leaks, or failures.
Utility Infrastructure Resiliency: The ability of underground utility systems to resist, recover from, and adapt to disruptions, extreme weather events, or changing environmental conditions, ensuring continuous service delivery.
Utility Infrastructure Retrofitting: The process of upgrading or modifying existing underground utility infrastructure to meet modern standards, enhance performance, and accommodate new technologies.
Utility Joint Sealing: The sealing or caulking of joints and connections in underground utility pipelines or structures to prevent leakage, infiltration, or entry of unwanted materials.
Utility Leakage Monitoring: The continuous monitoring and detection of leaks or anomalies in underground utility systems, such as water pipelines or gas lines, to promptly identify and address potential issues.
Utility Line Abandonment: The process of permanently decommissioning and sealing off underground utility lines or pipes that are no longer in use or required, following appropriate regulations and procedures.
Utility Line Cathodic Protection: A corrosion prevention method used in underground metal pipelines by applying an electrical current or sacrificial anodes to protect against electrochemical corrosion.
Utility Line Extension: The expansion or extension of underground utility lines to reach new areas or serve additional customers, involving the installation of new pipelines, cables, or conduits.
Utility Line Flushing: The practice of purging or flushing underground utility pipelines with water or cleaning agents to remove debris, sediment, or contaminants, ensuring optimal performance and water quality.
Utility Line Identification Tape: A brightly colored, non-adhesive tape that is buried above underground utility lines to provide a visual warning and identification of their presence to excavators or construction workers.
Utility Line Identification: The process of clearly marking or labeling underground utility lines with color-coded tapes, paints, or labels to provide visual identification and prevent accidental damage.
Utility Line Insulation: The application of insulation materials or coatings on underground utility lines to protect against heat loss, condensation, or electrical leakage, improving efficiency and safety.
Utility Line Marking: The process of marking the location of underground utility lines or facilities with paint, flags, or other visible markers, providing clear indications of their presence and path.
Utility Line Rehabilitation: The process of restoring or rehabilitating underground utility lines through various methods such as relining, pipe bursting, or sliplining, to improve structural integrity and extend their lifespan.
Utility Line Tracer: A handheld device or equipment that emits an electromagnetic signal to trace and locate underground utility lines, assisting in their identification, mapping, and avoidance.
Utility Line Trimming: The periodic maintenance practice of trimming or pruning vegetation along the path of underground utility lines to prevent vegetation-induced damage or interference.
Utility Load Calculation: The process of determining the anticipated demand or electrical load that an underground utility system will experience, helping to size equipment, transformers, and conductors accordingly.
Utility Load Management: The practice of optimizing the consumption and distribution of utilities, such as electricity or water, in underground systems to reduce peak demand, improve efficiency, and save costs.
Utility Locate: The process of identifying the exact location of underground utilities using specialized equipment before excavation to prevent damage.
Utility Locating Paint: Specialty marking paint used to identify and mark the locations of underground utility lines, providing visible indicators for excavation or construction activities.
Utility Locating Services: Professional services provided to accurately locate and mark the position of underground utility lines, using specialized equipment and techniques, to prevent accidental damage during excavation or construction.
Utility Locator Certification: A professional certification program that validates the skills, knowledge, and competency of individuals involved in underground utility locating, ensuring accuracy and adherence to industry standards.
Utility Locator Training: Training programs or courses designed to educate individuals on the principles, techniques, and best practices of underground utility locating, ensuring accurate and safe operations.
Utility Mapping: The process of creating accurate maps and plans that depict the location and attributes of underground utilities, facilitating proper planning and coordination during construction and maintenance.
Utility Mapping: The process of creating detailed maps or plans that depict the location, type, and characteristics of underground utilities, helping to prevent damage during excavation or construction.
Utility Marking Flags: Color-coded flags or markers placed on the ground to indicate the presence and location of underground utilities, assisting in safe excavation and construction activities.
Utility Meter Data Analysis: The examination and interpretation of metering data from underground utility systems to identify patterns, anomalies, or opportunities for optimization and conservation.
Utility Metering Infrastructure: The network of meters, sensors, communication devices, and data management systems used to monitor and record utility consumption in underground systems.
Utility Microtunneling: A trenchless method of excavating underground tunnels for the installation of utility pipelines, using a remote-controlled microtunneling machine, reducing surface disruption.
Utility Ownership: The legal ownership and responsibility for the operation, maintenance, and management of underground utility lines or systems, typically held by utility companies or entities.
Utility Potholing: The process of manually excavating small test holes or potholes to visually confirm the presence and location of underground utilities before further excavation or construction.
Utility Power Factor Correction: The adjustment or correction of the power factor in underground electrical systems, improving efficiency, reducing energy losses, and enhancing power quality.
Utility Pressure Reducing Station: A facility or equipment installed in underground utility systems to reduce and regulate high-pressure fluid flows, ensuring safe and controlled distribution.
Utility Pressure Testing: The process of subjecting underground utility pipelines or systems to a controlled increase in pressure to identify leaks, weaknesses, or defects in the infrastructure.
Utility Protection Zone: A designated area around underground utility lines or facilities where special care and precautions are taken to prevent damage during excavation, construction, or digging activities.
Utility Relocation: The process of moving or adjusting underground utility lines or facilities to accommodate construction, roadway expansion, or infrastructure improvement projects.
Utility Resilience Planning: The development of strategies and measures to enhance the resilience and reliability of underground utility systems, including backup power, redundancy, and contingency plans.
Utility Revenue Management: The processes and strategies employed to optimize revenue generation from underground utility services, including billing, metering, tariff structures, and customer management.
Utility Revenue Metering: The measurement and monitoring of utility consumption, such as electricity, gas, or water, in underground systems to calculate usage and billing for commercial, industrial, or residential customers.
Utility Right-of-Way: A designated area of land granted for the installation, operation, and maintenance of underground utilities, providing legal access and protecting the utility’s interests.
Utility Rightsizing: The process of evaluating and optimizing the capacity, size, or configuration of underground utility infrastructure to match the actual demand and usage requirements.
Utility Service Disconnect: The process of disconnecting and isolating the supply of utility services, such as water, gas, or electricity, to a specific location or property, typically for maintenance, repairs, or safety reasons.
Utility Service Restoration: The process of reestablishing the normal functioning and operation of underground utility services after a disruption, outage, or repair work.
Utility Structural Reinforcement: The strengthening or reinforcement of underground utility structures, such as manholes or vaults, to improve their load-bearing capacity and extend their lifespan.
Utility System Auditing: The comprehensive examination and assessment of underground utility systems, operations, and processes to evaluate compliance, identify inefficiencies, and recommend improvements.
Utility System Automation: The implementation of automated systems, control panels, or supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems to monitor and control underground utility infrastructure remotely.
Utility System Integration: The process of integrating different underground utility systems, such as water, gas, and electricity, to improve operational efficiency, data sharing, and coordinated management.
Utility System Modeling: The creation of computer-based models or simulations that represent the behavior, performance, or interaction of underground utility systems for analysis, planning, or design purposes.
Utility System Optimization: The continuous improvement and fine-tuning of underground utility systems to maximize efficiency, minimize losses, and optimize resource utilization.
Utility Tapping Machine: A specialized machine used to create connections or taps into existing underground utility lines, enabling the installation of new service connections without interrupting the main supply.
Utility Trench Shield: A protective structure or system installed in an excavated trench to provide support, prevent cave-ins, and ensure the safety of workers during underground utility construction or repairs.
Utility Tunnel Ventilation: The system of fans, blowers, or air circulation equipment used to ensure adequate airflow and ventilation within underground utility tunnels or confined spaces.
Utility Tunnel: An underground passage or corridor used to house and provide access to a network of utility lines, such as electrical, water, or telecommunications, for maintenance and repairs.
Utility Tunneling: A method of creating underground tunnels or passages to house multiple utility lines or systems, allowing for organized and convenient installation, maintenance, and access.
Utility Valve Box: An underground access point or enclosure that houses valves for controlling the flow of water, gas, or other fluids within underground utility systems.
Utility Valve Exercising: The periodic operation and exercising of valves in underground utility systems to maintain their functionality, verify operability, and prevent valve sticking or malfunction.
UV Curing: A method used to cure or harden underground pipe liners or coatings by exposing them to ultraviolet (UV) light, creating a durable and protective lining.
UV Disinfection System: An underground system that uses ultraviolet (UV) light to disinfect water or wastewater by inactivating or destroying pathogens, bacteria, and viruses.
Vacuum Breaker: A device installed in water supply systems to prevent backflow and contamination by allowing air to enter the system when a negative pressure condition occurs.
Vacuum Breaker: A device installed on water supply lines to prevent the backflow of contaminated water into the potable water system.
Vacuum Excavation: A non-destructive method of excavation that uses high-pressure water or air to break up soil while simultaneously vacuuming the debris, revealing the underground utilities.
Vacuum Sewer System: A wastewater collection system that uses vacuum pressure to transport sewage from individual properties or buildings to a central collection station or treatment facility.
Vacuum Testing: A method of testing underground utility pipes or vessels by creating a vacuum or negative pressure to detect leaks or structural integrity issues.
Valve Actuator: A device used to open or close valves in utility systems, often controlled remotely or through automation.
Valve Box: An underground enclosure or chamber that houses valves, meters, or other utility control devices, providing access for maintenance, repairs, or shut-off operations.
Valve Operator: A tool or device used to manually open or close valves in underground utility systems, particularly for valves located in difficult-to-reach areas.
Valve: A device used to control the flow of fluids or gases in a pipeline.
Valved Manifold: An underground manifold or distribution system that consists of multiple valves, allowing for the control and distribution of fluids to different branches or areas.
Vapor Recovery System: An underground system that captures and recovers vapors or gases emitted from underground storage tanks or pipelines, reducing air pollution and emissions.
Vault Access Cover: A removable lid or cover installed on underground utility vaults or chambers, providing secure access for maintenance, inspections, or equipment servicing.
Vault: An underground chamber or enclosure used to house equipment, valves, or control devices in utility systems.
Vent Stack: A vertical pipe or vent used to release sewer gases or odors from the plumbing system to the exterior of a building.
Venturi Meter: A flow measurement device that uses a converging-diverging nozzle to create a pressure differential and determine the flow rate of fluids in a pipeline.
Water Hammer Arrestor: A device installed in underground water supply systems to absorb or dampen the sudden pressure surges or shocks caused by the rapid closure of valves or sudden changes in flow.
Water Hammer: A pressure surge or shock wave caused by the sudden stop or change in flow of water in a pipeline, potentially leading to pipe damage.
Water Quality Monitoring: The continuous or periodic measurement and analysis of water parameters in underground utility systems to ensure compliance with quality standards and regulations.
Water Sampling: The process of collecting representative samples from underground water sources, such as wells or monitoring points, for analysis and testing to assess water quality and compliance.
Wellhead: The above-ground portion of a water well or oil well that provides access for maintenance, monitoring, and control of the underground resource.
Wet Well: An underground chamber or pit in a sewage or wastewater system that collects and temporarily stores influent before it is pumped to a higher elevation or treatment facility.