A subtle but important shift in the base standards established in February 2016 for the new ALTA/NSPS (American Land Title Association/National Society of Professional Surveyors) survey relates to how the evidence of utilities is treated.

Prior to adopting the new standards, surveyors were not required to show evidence of utilities as part of their base study. Previously, a client had to select evidence of utilities as an optional item denoted in Table A item 11(a).

For the new ALTA survey a surveyor must show evidence of utilities as part of the base report. This information is now located in section 5.e.iv. Table A item 11(a) is still available as an optional item, and it comprises a greater level of detail than section 5.e.iv.

Considerations for electing to include Table A item 11 and in an ALTA Survey

For the new ALTA survey the information noted in the old Table A item 11(a), principally noting the evidence of utilities, has been moved to the base report. Item 11 in Table A of the 2016 report is similar to the old Table A item 11(b). Item 11 provides a deeper look at property elements like evidence of rail crossings, underground vaults and cabling infrastructure.

For basic evidence of utilities, the boilerplate information should suffice for most clients. ALTA Survey requirements note that a surveyor must note evidence of utilities like water, sewer, gas and electric running on, above or beneath the property. In addition, the surveyor must indicate markers like sewer hole covers, utility poles, valves, meters and transformers.

For new construction or significant renovation projects, a client may want the additional detail provided in Table A item 11. Item 11 provides a much deeper understanding of the utilities present on the site, including a requirement to call 811 numbers and have utility companies provide information to the surveyor.

At Millman National Land Services, we look forward to providing you exemplary service with regard to your ALTA survey needs and specific project requirements.