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Water Loss Technical Assistance Program Helps Conserve Water

May 20, 2014
A lake surrounded by green hills and fluffy clouds

Georgia is committed to conserving the state’s energy, land and water resources, ensuring future economic growth and the well-being of the state’s residents and wildlife. In 2010, the Georgia Water Stewardship Act was established as a conservation initiative, requiring that public water systems serving between 3,300 to 10,000 people must conduct a yearly water loss audit. Once completed, the systems must submit results to the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) by March 1 of the following year.

The Georgia Environmental Finance Authority (GEFA) developed the Water Loss Technical Assistance Program to support the requirement, and selected Cavanaugh & Associates, P.A. and CH2M HILL to train water system staff on how to perform the water audits.

GEFA used $500,000 to fund the training program and invited the participating systems to apply for technical assistance through the federal Drinking Water State Revolving Fund program (DWSRF). An additional $494,000 helped 51 utilities with projects such as finished water meter flow verification, customer meter testing and pilot leak detection.

The pilot leak detection project alone uncovered a total water loss of an estimated 513 gallons per minute (or approximately 270 million gallons a year, the equivalent of 409 Olympic-sized swimming pools). The 23 communities that completed leak detection projects also identified a potential $2,975 a month in energy savings.

GEFA facilitates programs and initiatives that support Georgia’s culture of conservation. As a result of the work through the Water Loss Technical Assistance Program, in April 2014, GEFA received a National Recognition Award from the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) in the Statewide Water Efficiency Training Program category.

The National Recognition Award in the ACEC 2014 Engineering Excellence Awards competition is a prestigious distinction honoring projects that demonstrate exceptional achievement in engineering.

For more information on GEFA’s programs, be sure to check out our website.

About the Agency

GEFA provides loans for water, sewer and solid waste infrastructure; manages energy efficiency and renewable energy programs; oversees land conservation projects; and manages and monitors state-owned fuel storage tanks. These programs improve Georgia's environment, protect its natural resources and promote economic development.