Interactive: Guess what Georgia water losses are costing you

By Mandi Albright

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Sure, you're paying your monthly water bill and maybe you're doing your best to conserve water to bring that bill down. But you're still paying for extra water -- not water that you've used, necessarily, but for the water that's lost from your local system. The most recent water loss audit, produced by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources in 2013, is an eye-opening account of just how much consumers foot the bill for water waste.

"Water system inefficiencies increase the cost of service to customers and may lead to increased raw water demands that negatively impact the natural environment," the DNR's March 2016 Georgia Water System Audits and Water Loss Control Manual states, noting that "trying to achieve a water loss of zero isn't practical or expected." The Manual goes on to list the sources of data for apparent losses, which includes as unauthorized fire hydrant usage, customer-installed bypasses, repair efforts with unreported system damage and meter or reading equipment vandalism and a variety of other factors. Click here to see the complete 2016 Manual.

How to use this map: Click on the water drop icons below to find your city or county, the amount of water supplied annually, the amount lost annually and the total annual cost of water loss per customer. To enlarge the map, click the "+" icon. To downsize it, click the "-" icon. To bring the map back to original size, click the "home" icon.

Source: Georgia Environmental Protection Division, A Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources,