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.

Brunswick County is monitoring Hurricane Dorian

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Mandatory Curfew for Unincorporated Areas: Thursday, Sept. 5 at 10 p.m. through Friday, Sept. 6 at 7 a.m.

Brunswick County has made two amendments to its state of emergency declaration, including a mandatory curfew beginning tonight, Thursday, Sept. 5 at 10 p.m. through Friday, Sept. 6 at 7 a.m. to protect residents as Hurricane Dorian arrives. Residents in the unincorporated areas of Brunswick County are required to stay indoors during this time period. Some municipalities in Brunswick County have issued or could issue mandatory curfews within their jurisdictions. Residents are encouraged to check with their municipalities for details on their respective rules. View a list of municipal websites at

Questions about what to do during Hurricane Dorian? Call us anytime at 910-253-5383
If you are in an emergency, call 9-1-1

Details coming soon

Contacts for Power Outages
Duke Energy Customers
  • Texting OUT to 57801 (standard text and data charges may apply).
  • Calling the automated outage-reporting system at 800.769.3766 for Duke Energy Carolinas customers and 800.419.6356 for Duke Energy Progress customers.
BEMC Customers
  • Call 1-800-682-5309
Closings and Schedule Changes
Closures, State of Emergency and Voluntary/Mandatory Evacuations

Brunswick County is currently under a state of emergency since Tuesday, Sept. 3 at 7 a.m. A voluntary evacuation for unincorporated areas began at Wednesday, Sept. 4 at 8 a.m.

The Brunswick County Government Complex and Brunswick County Courthouse are closed Wednesday, Sept. 4 through Friday, Sept. 6.

Residents are encouraged to reach out to their municipality or visit their website for information concerning whether their area is under a voluntary or mandatory evacuation.

Gov. Cooper’s mandatory evacuation for the state’s barrier islands, including the communities of Bald Head Island, Caswell Beach, Oak Island, Holden Beach, Ocean Isle Beach and Sunset Beach, came into effect at 8 a.m. this morning.

Trash and Recycling Service, Convenience Centers, Landfill and Parks Information

Curbside trash/recycling collections will not run Thursday, Sept. 5 or Friday, Sept. 6. Waste Industries will collect any extra household trash on the next regularly scheduled day. At this time, Saturday, Sept. 7 routes will operate on a regular schedule.

The convenience collection sites and landfill will close Thursday, Sept. 5 and Friday, Sept. 6. At this time, both are planned to reopen Saturday, Sept. 7.

These collection schedules are subject to change.

County parks will remain closed Thursday and Friday. They could reopen on Saturday depending on assessments.

Frequently Asked Questions (Power Outages, Water Service, Grinder Pumps, Debris)

Power Outage Safety

Can I use my grill inside while the power is out?

Never use a charcoal or gas grill inside, as doing so can cause carbon monoxide poisoning and can be a fire hazard.

Where should I set up my generator?

Generators should only be used in well-ventilated outdoor areas, to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Do not run generators inside garages.

Should I unplug appliances?

Turn off and unplug appliances, equipment or electronics you were using when the power went out so they are not damaged by a power surge when power is restored. Also unplug electronics and items that could be damaged by a power surge. Consider leaving one light turned on so you’ll know when the power is back on.

Are candles safe?

Try to use flashlights instead of candles, especially if you have children or pets, to reduce the risk of fires.

What should I do about the food in my fridge/freezer?

Group foods together and keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed to help food stay safe longer. Temperatures will stay cooler longer if the refrigerator or freezer are full. After power returns, throw away perishable items (meat, dairy, eggs, leftovers) if the refrigerator has been above 40 °F for more than four hours. If you have any doubt about the safety of food, throw it out. Find details and more food safety tips at

Water Service

Will Brunswick County cut off my water? If so, when?

Brunswick County will only cut off water to a community if the mayor of that community declares a mandatory evacuation. Even then, Brunswick County Public Utilities will not completely turn off water until such time as it is unsafe for staff to remain at these locations. If a less intense storm is anticipated, it may only be necessary to limit the flow to beach communities while still maintaining a minimum pressure. Any such decision is made jointly with officials in that town, based on storm decisions as they occur. Our goal is to maintain water availability throughout the storm, only shutting off water service to vulnerable beach communities well after a mandatory evacuation is declared in order to protect the integrity of the system in an effort to maintain both fire protection and potable (drinkable) water supplies.

If I evacuate, should I turn off my water?

Shutting off water to individual houses, especially those on the ocean front, may provide some level of protection if plumbing pipes are damaged during the storm.  However, care should be taken when this is done.  Some household appliances, such as water heaters, require water to operate properly and may be damaged if left powered on without a water supply.  Therefore, homeowners should consider powering off (shutting off appropriate breakers) if they choose to turn off the water at their house.  The homeowner should use their home’s private shut-off valve to the plumbing system to turn the water off; County equipment and valves in the meter box should not be tampered with.  There is electronic equipment in the meter box that may easily be damaged by unauthorized personnel.  It is worth noting that if a storm dictates that a Mandatory Evacuation be proclaimed for a community, Brunswick County will either limit the pressure or shut-off the water to the community immediately prior to the storm impact.

Grinder Pumps

Will my grinder tank fill up during a storm?

This is very unlikely.  A typical Grinder tank installed by Brunswick County has over 360 gallons of capacity above the point that the alarm comes on.  Most single-family residential houses use much less water than that during a typical day when showers, washers, dishwashers, etc  are being used.  During a storm event where power is lost, water usage is reduced considerably.  Usually, showers, washers, dishwashers, etc  are not used when the power is out thus extending the time it takes to fill the grinder tank.

What if the power stays out for an extended period after a storm?

During previous storm events, some areas of Brunswick County were without power for several days.  The grinder tanks had enough capacity for this time period without overflows occurring.  However, in the event of an extended time period without power, Brunswick County has the ability to use vacuum excavation trucks to empty the grinder tank.  In the case of a significant storm event requiring mandatory evacuation, it is expected that water usage will be minimal.

What if I use a generator?

If you use a generator capable of running high water usage appliances, it is recommended that you also power the breaker(s) to your grinder pump stations.  If the generator is capable and wired to energize the entire house, than the grinder pump will work as normal.

Will my grinder pump “dead head” (be incapable of pumping) due to high pressures in the system during a storm event?

This is very unlikely.  Typically, Brunswick County grinder pumps are part of a low pressure system designed to have other similar sized grinder pumps connected to the system.  It is rare that a pump is not capable of pumping due to high pressure in a low pressure collection system.  However, if this occurs, as pumps turn off in the system upon emptying their basins, any pumps that are “dead heading” will eventually begin to pump down.

Should I empty my grinder pump?

We do NOT recommend that you go into the panel to operate the pump. Incorrect operation or failure to turn off could result in damaging your pump. The grinder tank can be emptied using the following method which does not require the property owner to go into the electrical panel. We’re also including images from the grinder pump manual for your reference: First, run water from an inside tap long enough for the grinder pump to begin working. After the pump turns on, turn the water off. The grinder pump will run until the tank is empty and will shut off. This process will cleanse the pump and leave it filled with a minimum of clean water. Always leave the electrical power on.

What if my grinder pump is sounding an alarm?

If your grinder pump is not working or is sounding an alarm, call 910-253-2657

Storm Debris

What do I do with my storm debris – and when?

In anticipation of Hurricane Dorian, Brunswick County is advising all HOA, POA, and gated communities in the unincorporated areas to allow additional time for residents to remove debris from their properties. Post-storm assessments will need to be made prior to any decisions regarding debris collection by the county’s contractors. IF FEMA allows for debris collection on private roads and IF the county decides to collect debris, then debris will also be collected from gated communities. Any communities that collect debris prior to notice from the county shall not receive reimbursement.

If you have questions or are a community leader/representative who would like to be added to our distribution list, contact our Solid Waste and Recycling Coordinator Micki Bozeman at

Storm Surge Map

Unsure whether you live in a storm surge area or a flood-prone? View a PDF storm surge map here or view an interactive map here.

American Sign Language Updates

To apply for FEMA assistance call:

  • TTY 1-800-462-7585
  • 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS) 1-800-621-3362
ASL Message: Do not use grills indoors

ASL Message: Do not use grills indoors

Posted by Brunswick County Emergency Services on Saturday, September 15, 2018

Do not use grills or generators inside

Latest Updates

Brunswick County rescinds state of emergency

Brunswick County rescinds state of emergency MEDIA RELEASE BOLIVIA, N.C. – Brunswick County rescinded the state of emergency put in place to prepare for and respond to Hurricane Dorian effective Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019, at 5 p.m. A link to the amended declaration is at...

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