Canadian Common Ground Alliance

Damage Prevention is a Shared Responsibility


CCGA DIRT Report Estimates Damage to Buried Utilities Continues to Cost Canada in excess of $1 Billion Every Year 

(November 3, 2022) – The Canadian Common Ground Alliance (CCGA) released the 2021 Damage Information Reporting Tool (DIRT) Report today. This report presents characteristics, themes and contributing factors leading to buried energy and utility damages in Canada as reported via the DIRT system.

In 2021, there were 11,403 damages reported via DIRT for Canada; on average, this is more than 45 reported damages per workday. The societal cost of these damages to underground infrastructure in Canada continues to be estimated in excess of $1 billion per year.

Among all damage reports with an identified and known root cause, 27% occurred because no locate was made to a One Call Centre and 31% were the result of insufficient excavation practices.

A new table was added to the CCGA report this year capturing the number of parties reporting data into the provincial /regional partner DIRT data. This metric adds context to the number of damages reported in each province - particularly when considered relative to population - and illustrates the ongoing challenge of data collection across the country.

While reporting damages in DIRT continues to be voluntary, the data is critical for the CCGA to determine root causes and develop mitigating measures to reduce and eliminate them.


  • 11,403 damages voluntarily reported in 2021 – a drop of 1% from 2020
  • More than 45 damages occurred per work day
  • 27% of damages are the direct result of not making a locate request to a One Call Centre – Up 5% from 2020
  • Damages cost Canadians in excess of a $1 Billion annually 

Download the 2021 DIRT Report.  Stakeholders interested in submitting data to the 2022 report, or establishing a Virtual Private Dirt account, should visit the DIRT website at

Doug Lapp
Canadian Common Ground Alliance

The Canadian Common Ground Alliance (CCGA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing public safety, and increasing the integrity and reliability of Canada’s underground utility infrastructure through the development and implementation of effective and efficient damage prevention practices across Canada. As Canada’s unified voice on damage prevention, the CCGA attracts members from all Canadian national organizations and associations who share common damage prevention and public safety solutions. The CCGA and its Regional Partners welcome all stakeholders who wish to be part of the identification and promotion of best practices that reduce damage to buried utilities.

CCGA's Monthly Newsletter
Know What's Below

The Know What's Below Newsletter is a fantastic opportunity for partners across Canada to share information: updates from each province, regional issues we encounter and the latest developments in damage prevention.

Mark your calendars for the 2023 Symposium

Fairmont Le Château Frontenac
November 20 – 23, 2023

CCGA Best Practices

In the spring of 2022 the CCGA released Best Practice Version 4.0. This includes updates developed through regional and stakeholder consensus. 

This is a continuation of the significant goal of the harmonized Best Practices Version 1.0 released in 2014.

" is Canada's only one-window national portal to initiate the damage prevention process anywhere in Canada serviced by a One Call Centre. Click on your province and request your locate online 24 hours per day, 7 days per week! You'll never be placed on hold and you'll be done in minutes."

One Voice

The Canadian Common Ground Alliance is the voice of Canada's Regional Partner CGAs dedicated to working toward damage prevention solutions that will benefit all Canadians.  This website is a portal to Canada's Common Ground Alliance Partners and provides routine updates to the damage prevention issues of national interest the CCGA is managing on behalf of our Regional Partners.

One Mission

"Through shared responsibility among all stakeholders, the CCGA works to reduce damages to underground infrastructure - ensuring public safety, environmental protection, and the integrity of services by promoting effective damage prevention practices."

Copyright 2022 Canadian Common Ground Alliance

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software