Public Notice

Public Notice

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

01.22.2020

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 https://www.brunswickcountync.gov/genx/

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

DO I NEED A PERMIT?

Permits

Column 1 CTA

Fees

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Frequently Used Forms

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FloodPlain Administration

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DO I NEED A PERMIT?

A building permit IS required: If an individual or corporation is locating, erecting, constructing, enlarging, altering, repairing, demolishing, relocating, or changing occupancy of a structure.

A building permit is NOT required for:

  • Nonstructural work where the cost is less than $15,000 in any single-family residence.
  • Farm buildings outside the jurisdiction or municipality.
  • Residential building structures where no dimension exceeds 12 feet.
  • The replacement of windows, doors and exterior siding in residential structures.
  • The replacement of pickets, railings, star treads, and decking of residential porches and exterior decks.

An electrical permit IS required: If installation, extension, alteration, or general repair of any electrical wiring, devices, appliances, or equipment

An electrical permit is NOT required: If any, one or two-family dwelling units need repair or replacement of electrical lighting fixtures or devices (example: receptacles and light switch) having the same voltage and the same or less amperage if the work is performed by a person licensed under G.S. 87-43.

A plumbing permit IS required: For the installation, extension, relocation, replacement or general repair of any plumbing system.

A plumbing permit is NOT required: For minor repairs or replacements of plumbing fixtures provided such repairs or replacements do not disrupt the original water supply, the waste or ventilation system.

Replacement of Water Heaters: No permit shall be required for replacement of water heaters in one- or two-family dwellings, provided:

  • The energy use rate or thermal input is not greater than that of the water heater which is being replaced.
  • There is no change in fuel, energy source, location, routing or sizing of venting and piping.
  • The work is performed by a licensed plumbing contractor and installed in accordance with the current edition of the North Carolina State Building Code.

Mechanical / HVAC Permit Required: Mechanical / HVAC permit is required for the installation, extension, relocation, replacement and general repair of any heating, air-conditioning or venting system.  

DO I NEED TO USE A LICENSED CONTRACTOR?

Building Contractor Required: A general contractor licensed in North Carolina must perform all work where the construction cost is in excess of $30,000. Any person who is paid to manage a project where the construction cost is in excess of $30,000 must be a licensed General Contractor. An unlicensed contractor may perform work where the cost is $30,000 or less. Any person may act as their own general contractor for construction of a home, addition or accessory structure if they own the land and will personally occupy the structure for 12 months after completion.

Plumbing, Heating, Air Conditioning, Sprinkler License Contractor Required: A licensed plumbing, heating and air conditioning contractor is required to alter, replace or relocate plumbing or heating and air conditioning. Homeowners may perform their own plumbing or heating work if they own the land and will personally occupy the structure.

Electrical Contractor’s License Required: A licensed electrical contractor is required for all installation, construction, maintenance or repair of electrical wiring, devices, appliances or equipment. Homeowners may perform their own electrical work if they own the land and will personally occupy the structure.

Building I

Contact

75 GOVERNMENT CENTER DRIVE
Building I

(910) 253-2021
eplans@brunswickcountync.gov
open mon-fri:
8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

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