Canadian Common Ground Alliance

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

03 Nov 2022 1:02 PM | Anonymous

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

The complete 2021 DIRT Report is available to download at Stakeholders interested in submitting data to the 2022 report, or establishing a Virtual Private Dirt account, should visit the DIRT website at

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.

Doug Lapp
Canadian Common Ground Alliance

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