Complete Summary of AS5488 (100% FREE to Use)

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Summary Information about AS5488.

AS5488 is a Australian national standard format for recording subsurface utility information. This includes codes, line types and colors. Using this industry standard will reduce confusion and misinterpretation by the end users of that information.

Standard Utility Symbols and Colors used to represent utilities.

Communications White (or black when on white background) C
PetroleumBrown P
Electricity OrangeE
Fire Service RedF
Recycled WaterPurple R
Drainage Green D
Storm WaterGreenSW

Utility Quality Level Explanation of Risk.

Quality Level SymbolQuality Level
QLAMeets location accuracy standards for minimum risk when excavating
QLBSignificant risk reduction
QLCLow accuracy and a high risk of damage
QLDLeast accurate level and if used on its own has a high risk of damage

To avoid damaging buried assets in any construction activities, the subsurface information relating to the location must be to Quality Level ‘A’.

Summary Explanations for AS5488 2013 – Classification of Subsurface Utility Information (SUI).

In “AS5488 – 2013 – Classification of Subsurface Utility Information (SUI)” Quality Standards are as follows ( A,B,C or D) with a circle around it, this means the certainty that that mark.

Quality Level A – (meets location accuracy standards for minimum risk when excavating) Is the highest Quality Level accuracy and consists of positive identification of the attribute and location of a subsurface utility at a point to an absolute spatial position in three dimensions. It is the only quality level that defines a subsurface utility as ‘Valid.

Quality Level B – (significant risk reduction) Provides relative subsurface feature locations in three dimensions. The minimum requirement for QL-B is relative spatial position, this can be achieved via an electromagnetic frequency locating device. An electronic location provided by a DBYD Certified Locator to QL-B standard would have a maximum horizontal tolerance of plus or minus 300mm and a maximum vertical tolerance of plus or minus 500mm.

Quality Level C – (low accuracy and a high risk of damage) Is described as a surface feature correlation or an interpretation of the approximate location and attributes of a subsurface utility asset using a combination of existing records and site survey of visible evidence – for example you can see the pit lids shown on the plan but the actual position of underground connection between pits is still assumed.

Quality Level D – (least accurate level and if used on its own has a high risk of damage) QL-D information is generally obtained from existing records provided by utilities as a result of a Dial Before You Dig enquiry being lodged. In many cases the asset depicted on the plan is in a schematic format only and intended only to indicate its presence.


This Standard provides a framework for the classification of subsurface utility location and attributes information in terms of specified quality levels for the management of subsurface utilities.

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