Service Glossary

The following descriptions are designed to assist the layman in selecting the proper engineering/land surveying services. The descriptions are general and the firms listed on the back page should be contacted for further clarification.

Land Development (LD)
Land development engineering firms perform a wide array of services associated with the subdivision of land and the improvements necessary to prepare a site for building.  The engineering firm may help prepare a conceptual plan for a development which may include preliminary environmental evaluations, take the project through the governmental approval process, prepare plans for site improvements (i.e. grading, roads, sewers, waterlines, drainage facilities, etc.), surveying, and generally take all steps necessary to subdivide a parcel of land.

Land Surveying (LS)
Tasks commonly associated with land surveying include boundary surveys to establish property lines, topographic contour maps, laying out the alignment of roads, pipelines, etc. from engineering drawings, and controlling the location and height of grading operations. Many more specialized tasks may be performed by a surveyor. A qualified land surveyor can answer questions regarding land ownership and boundary location and also advise on the proper course of action.

Structural Design (SD)
Structural engineering is the analysis and design of structural members or systems to resist gravity and lateral (wind or earthquake) forces. Typical projects include structural calculations and drawings for retaining walls, and all types of buildings (except Public Schools and Public Hospitals).

Soil Engineering (SE)
Soil engineering deals with soil stability and geologic issues. Typical projects include investigations to determine soil characteristics on a building site, slope stability problems, building settlement issues, and quality control for grading projects. Many geotechnical firms also have capabilities to study ground water movement, and other related subsurface issues.

Sanitary Septic System Design (SA)
Septic system design and engineering deals with the testing and design of on site subsurface sewage disposal systems in areas where public sewer is not available, typically in the unincorporated areas of the County.

Hydrology/Hydraulics (HY)
Hydrology/Hydraulics typically include the preparation of hydrologic and hydraulic reports, erosion control plans, storm water management plans, analysis and design of storm water BMP’s, and flood control facilities. Services might also include more advanced riverside and floodplain management studies.

Traffic Engineering (TE)
Traffic engineering firms deal with traffic planning. Demographic data is used to predict where new streets are needed, when a street must be widened, where traffic control devices are needed and other similar information.

Photogrammeric Engineering & Aerial Mapping (PS)
Photogrammetric services include aerial photography, topographic and planimetric mapping, GIS base mapping, digital orthophotos and photogrammetric consulting. Products rendered can be delivered as hard copy plots and /or magnetic media.

Planning (P)
The firm prepares a conceptual plan for development with the Civil Engineer/Land Surveyor in taking the project through the governmental approval process.

Environmental (E)
The firm prepares environmental studies and evaluations in conjunction with development, and works with the Civil Engineer/Land Surveyor in taking the project through the governmental approval process.

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