Gold Shovel Standard Communities are a geographic area or region where partnerships happen that reduce the risk of damages to buried assets found there, preventing life-threatening damages. Networks traversing Gold Shovel Standard Communities are expected to be at reduced risk from line strikes.
It was a long-standing practice for the problem of line strikes to be the sole responsibility of the owner of the damaged infrastructure, leaving damage reduction to the utilities involved.
Gold Shovel Standard Communities flip that paradigm, and embrace the recognition that partnerships between asset owners hold the key to driving damage reductions.
Partners in a Gold Shovel Standard Community view damage to any infrastructure as damage to all infrastructure.
In Gold Shovel Standard Communities, excavation work is reserved for those demonstrating excellence in caution around buried infrastructure. In a Gold Shovel Standard Community, permits and right-of-way grants for projects with excavation are typically reserved for those demonstrating caution.
One of the repeated goals of the organization is that more than half of North American municipalities rely on GSS certification and metrics when hiring, establishing or renewing franchise rights and offering permits by the end of 2025.
The health of a community can be measured by the safety and reliability of its infrastructure, including key buried assets. People deserve to live and work in communities that provide safe and reliable services, and the integrity of buried infrastructure is a key component of delivering that promise. A Gold Shovel Standard Community is a geographic area dedicated to reducing the risk of damages to buried assets and preventing life-threatening damages through innovative partnerships.
Case Study – 38% Reduction in Third-Party Damages
In less than 33 months, Gold Shovel Standard member Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), saw a 38% reduction in third-party line strikes, through its partnerships to establish a Gold Shovel Standard Community in the Sacramento, California region.