Press Release

Common Ground Alliance Releases Newest Edition of Best Practices Guide

The Best Practices Guide 18.0 provides guidance for damage prevention safety and includes new practices that reflect advancements in technology

  • 22 July 2021
  • Author: Sarah Daley
  • Number of views: 3771

WASHINGTON (July 22, 2021) Common Ground Alliance (CGA), the national nonprofit trade association dedicated to protecting underground utility lines, people who dig near them and their communities, today released the Best Practices Guide 18.0, the newest edition of the preeminent resource in underground damage prevention. Since the establishment of CGA in 2001, the Best Practices have been regarded as the trusted guide to protect vital underground infrastructure and improve safety during excavation activities conducted in the vicinity of existing underground facilities.

The Best Practices Guide includes over 160 Best Practices established by a consensus of CGA’s 16 stakeholder groups that provide damage prevention recommendations based on practices currently being utilized, categorized by six key industry areas to provide guidance along the entire safe digging process: One Call Center, Facility Owner, Excavator, Locator, Project Owner and Designer. The guide is developed by the CGA Best Practices Committee, which oversees the review and approval of new Best Practices and updates to existing practices. Potential practices are proposed by CGA members and damage prevention stakeholders as advancements in technology, changes in policy and other factors create opportunities to further improve the safe digging process.

The newly released Best Practices Guide 18.0 includes two new Best Practices and an addition to Appendix B: Uniform Color Code and Marking Guidelines that reflect recent technology advancements being utilized in damage prevention:

  • Best Practice 2-19: Underground Electronic Utility Markers: Underground electronic utility markers are an effective way to enable accurate locating and verification of underground facilities.
  • Best Practice 6-19: As-Built Mapping of Underground Electronic Utility Markers: The location of underground electronic utility markers is identified on as-built mapping, GIS mapping, and/or other underground facility mapping documents.
  • Addition to Appendix B: Uniform Color Code and Marking Guidelines: Guidelines for Underground Electronic Utility Marker Technology

“Since CGA was founded 20 years ago, the Best Practices Guide has continued to be the ‘go-to’ resource for effective damage prevention practices that help stakeholders protect underground utilities, and keep the people who work and live near them safe,” said Sarah K. Magruder Lyle, President & CEO of CGA. “As technology continues to advance in ways that simplify and enhance the damage prevention process, we look forward to working as an industry to identify Best Practices -- and improve upon existing ones -- to help us reach our shared goal of zero damages.”

The Best Practices Guide 18.0 can be viewed in full on CGA’s website at, and print copies of the Guide are available for purchase by CGA members. For more information about CGA and the Best Practices, visit


About CGA

CGA is a member-driven association of nearly 1,800 individuals, organizations and sponsors in every facet of the underground utility industry. Established in 2000, CGA is committed to saving lives and preventing damage to North American underground infrastructure by promoting effective damage prevention practices. CGA has established itself as the preeminent source of damage prevention data and information in an effort to reduce damages to underground facilities in North America through shared responsibility among all stakeholders. For more information, visit CGA on the web at

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Categories: Press Releases
Tags: News

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