DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. -- In DeKalb County, its water department reported losing 3.5 billion gallons of water in 2015 because of leaks and water main breaks according to an audit obtained by 11Alive investigator Andy Pierrotti.
To put that in perspective, that’s enough water to fill every water tank at the aquarium 350 times. It takes 10 million gallons of water to fill all the tanks in the aquarium.
According to the 2015 audit, “meters into [its] distribution system are installed incorrectly and therefore not guaranteed to be accurate.”
It failed the audit with a 61 out of 100.
“We’ve had a little bit of a leadership change in the watershed department. We’ve been re-evaluating all of our processes, reevaluating all of our reporting,” said Burke Brennan who was a spokesperson for the county at the time of the original report.
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Water conservation organizations like the Georgia River Network, said the water loss and failing audit were concerning.
“If that is indeed the case, there are a lot of questions as to why that would happen," said Georgia River Network water policy analyst Chris Manganiello said in our 2016 investigation. "They’ve been doing these audits already for three or four years. So, why in the fifth year would we see this decline?”
11Alive has since requested the 2016 and 2017 water audits from DeKalb County.
The City of Atlanta lost more than 10 billion gallons in 2015, according to an audit obtained by Pierrotti. And Gwinnett's water loss for 2015 was 1.9 billion gallons.
Atlanta and DeKalb County were both implementing large capital improvement projects they believed would reduce water loss in the next few years.