BFA, Inc.


A Topographic Survey depicts the elevations or “lay of the land” and is typically used in the design of land development that includes grade changes and underground utilities. This type of survey is the basis for earthwork calculations and the proper design of stormwater drainage and sanitary sewer infrastructure improvements.  In many cases, commercial property development requires a detailed survey of the existing physical features on the property.

The resulting topographical map will identify elevations drawn as contour lines showing the relative heights of the ground throughout the property.  The map will mark all physical and man-made features on-property, including trees, hills, trails, roads, streams, poles, manholes, etc.


When is a TOPO necessary?

A TOPO survey is often conducted on commercial property for any of the following reasons:

  • Identify the optimal building site on the property
  • Identify water runoff patterns on the land and create drainage or grading solutions to divert drainage away from structures
  • Resolve current standing water issues
  • Optimal planning of additional infrastructure, such as roads and utilities
  • Evaluate possible effects of development on the landscape
  • Requirement to obtain permits from local zoning authorities


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