Public Notice

Public Notice

Brunswick County statement in response to Environmental Working Group January 2020 report


Brunswick County began an extensive testing program for PFAS contaminants when academic studies revealed the presence of multiple PFAS in its drinking water, testing a suite of PFAS contaminants on a weekly basis. Brunswick County’s water samples have continuously remained below the EPA’s established health advisory levels for PFOA + PFOS and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services’ established provisional health goal for GenX, however the combined levels of all PFAS is concerning and the County continues to test and monitor for most known PFAS compounds and GenX during its routine testing.

At this time, the EPA does not have an established health goal for several of the other compounds listed in this report that are contributing to the overall 185.9 ppt sample level, however the PFOA + PFOS and GenX sample levels in this report are also below the provisional health goals mentioned above. Due to the fact that little or no study has been done on the health effects of combined PFAS or many of these individual PFAS found in the source water, Brunswick County has taken a proactive approach to install the most protective water treatment system at the Northwest Water Treatment Plant to remove these contaminants.

Brunswick County’s leadership recognizes that high quality water is of paramount importance to our customers and residents and agree that reverse osmosis is the most effective PFAS removal technology, which is why the Board of Commissioners and county administration are embarking on a project to install an advanced low-pressure reverse osmosis treatment system at the Northwest Water Treatment Plant, as well as increase capacity at the plant to support the county’s growth. Brunswick County Public Utilities has been working diligently with engineers at CDM-Smith and the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality to design, permit and build an economical low-pressure reverse osmosis system at the plant for the benefit of all Brunswick County water users.

Low-pressure reverse osmosis is considered one of the most advanced and effective methods to treat and remove both regulated and unregulated materials from drinking water, including GenX, 1,4-dioxane and other per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). In April 2018, the County conducted two rounds of testing on a pilot low-pressure reverse osmosis system at the Northwest Water Treatment Plant. The results showed that low-pressure reverse osmosis reduced most PFAS including GenX to undetectable levels, essentially removing all the components.

Not only do pilot studies indicate that low-pressure reverse osmosis is the most effective advanced treatment method for PFAS removal, but they also indicate that it is the most economical advanced treatment option for the removal of high percentages of PFAS at the Northwest Water Treatment Plant. Most previous studies focus on the high-energy cost when using reverse osmosis for the treatment of saline or brackish water, but the cost is considerably less when used to treat fresh water for PFAS contaminants, especially short-chain PFAS.

All of the County’s water sample test reports are available to the public at

Brunswick County would notify customers and residents should any of its test samples exceed the health advisory levels established for PFOA + PFOS or GenX.

Long and Short Term Goals and Major Focus Areas

Advisory Boards & Committees

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Agendas & Minutes

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Meeting Schedule

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Your County Commissioners

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Long and Short Term Goals and Major Focus Areas

Goal: Economic Development

  1. Collaborate with the Brunswick Community College Workforce Development Initiatives, Economic Development Commission, the four Chambers of Commerce and the Tourism Development Authority to develop a friendly and positive business environment, employ an effective business expansion and retention effort, develop a targeted business/industry recruitment strategy and grow the tourism and hospitality industry while protecting our residential neighborhoods.

Goal: Education

  1. Continue the multi-year local funding agreement with the Brunswick County Board of Education to provide for a quality education that prepares our children for college or the workforce.
  2. Support and enhance the Brunswick Guarantee Program with BCC Foundation that provides scholarships for county high school graduates to attend BCC.
  3. Support the expansion of Allied Health Career Programs at BCC.
  4. Facilitate the facility improvements associated with the voter approved 2016 $152 million school bond referendum.

Goal: Financial Stewardship

  1. Adopt a County Budget to maintain one of the lowest tax rates among counties in North Carolina with a population over 100,000.
  2. Employ a conservative budgetary philosophy and make strategic decisions on all fiscal matters in order to maintain the positive financial position and credit strength of the county; continue a zero-based budgeting strategy wherever appropriate and feasible.
  3. Staff seek out ways to reduce overhead and administrative costs.

Goal: Environmental Stewardship

  1. Encourage and incentivize green development and construction to minimize the impact on natural resources while respecting and protecting private property rights

Goal: Transportation

  1. Continue the supplemental financial support for the Brunswick Connector transit service provided by the Cape Fear Public Transportation Authority.
  2. Support BTS in continued development of rural transportation services, providing access to services and employment for rural residents.
  3. Support the efforts of the NCACC to oppose any transfer of responsibility for transportation funding from the state to counties.
  4. Request that NCDOT initiate a comprehensive transportation plan specifically for Brunswick County that includes municipal and other county partners.

Goal: Organizational Improvement/Development

  1. Embed a focus on exceptional customer service where it becomes part of the organizational culture.
  2. Provide all services in a way that recognizes and values diversity.
  3. Recognize that businesses are customers of the county and review the Unified Development Ordinance to develop small business assistance by providing local rules that are clear, simple, easy to understand, that are predictable, reasonable and appropriate for Brunswick County.
  4. Revise and implement policies, processes, procedures, and programs focused on ensuring a high performing workforce.
  5. Encourage participation in the Employee Wellness Program to improve upon individual health of employees, improve productivity and reduce medical costs.
  6. Provide supervisory skill building and leadership training opportunities for all supervisory personnel and those with supervisory potential.
  7. Expand Training and Skill Development to provide growth opportunities for non-supervisory staff.
  8. Develop succession planning for key county positions.
  9. Explore opportunities where the private sector or non-profit entities may more economically and efficiently serve the public than government.

Goal: Infrastructure Development/Expansion

  1. Develop strategies for continued growth in the number of water and sewer customers by determining methods to increase the number of SAD projects, prioritizing County funded water and sewer mains and acquiring or merging existing private and/or public water and sewer systems.
  2. Enter into an agreement with participants of the Lower Cape Fear Water and Sewer Authority to obtain the raw water capacity to position the county for design and expansion of the Northwest Water Treatment Plant.
  3. Improve communication between the county and its wholesale water customers and utilities that contribute flow to the regional wastewater treatment plants.
  4. Explore methods to work with surrounding utilities to reduce operational costs.
  5. Facilitate an agreement for Southport to become a participant in the West Brunswick Regional Wastewater System and expand the system to meet the City’s capacity needs.

Goal: Public/Mental Health

  1. Provide education to the public about preventable health issues and disease and improve Brunswick County’s health ranking in the state.
  2. Support the Trillium LME/MCO to operate a program for mental health, developmental disabilities, and substance abuse services as they transition to one of the four state entities.
  3. Continue to advocate for sufficient state/federal funding to adequately address MH/DD/SAS needs of our residents.

Goal: Community Development

  1. Investigate additional policy amendments and enhancements to provide tangible incentives to encourage the development of affordable single and multi-family housing opportunities.
  2. Enhance community appearance and protect property values through responsible zoning and code enforcement while recognizing the diversity of our county and respecting private property rights.

Goal: Technology

  1. Implement the results of the comprehensive in-house evaluation and assessment of the County’s technological resources and operations and identify opportunities for departments to improve efficiency and service delivery through the implementation of proven technology applications.

Goal: Public Safety

  1. Continue to ensure the safety and security of Brunswick County residents, property owners and visitors, while planning for Brunswick County’s growth.
  2. Establish a County Fire Commission to review the provision of fire and rescue services and explore best practices to plan for growth in the county.
  3. Support the Brunswick County Sheriff with resources to better enable law enforcement efforts while ensuring officer safety.





P.O. Box 249
Bolivia, NC

(910) 253-2017
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