Public Notice

Public Notice

UPDATE – Stage 1 – Water Conservation Alert – UPDATE

UPDATE – Stage 1 – Water Conservation Alert – UPDATE

Bolivia, NC – A Stage 1 Water Conservation Alert remains in effect. Based on the ongoing hot weather that tends to elevate water demand, this Water Conservation Alert will remain in effect through the month of July and into August when it will be re-evaluated.

Please continue to use water wisely; your water conservation is having a positive impact.

Residents who have questions should contact their water service provider directly or Brunswick County Public Utilities at 910-253-2657. Additional information can be found at <>.

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Bolivia, NC – A Stage 1 Water Conservation Alert remains in effect.

All customers of a public water system anywhere in Brunswick County are affected by Water Conservation Alerts. Brunswick County Public Utilities provides water service in unincorporated portions of Brunswick County as well as the following communities: Boiling Spring Lakes, Bolivia, Calabash, Carolina Shores, Caswell Beach, Sandy Creek, St. James, Sunset Beach, and Varnamtown. Customers of other utilities such as Bald Head Island, Brunswick Regional – H2GO (Belville), Holden Beach, Leland, Navassa, Northwest, Oak Island, Ocean Isle Beach, Shallotte, and Southport are under the same restrictions since these utilities receive their water from Brunswick County Public Utilities.

Under a Stage 1 Water Alert, water system customers are requested to make voluntary adjustments to their water usage habits to appreciably reduce peak demands. (A peak demand of 80% of system production and distribution capacity being targeted). Irrigation demands represent the bulk of non-essential water use, so a primary way that customers may reduce water usage is to limit irrigation. A unified application of voluntary water reductions by all water system users in Brunswick County may help to avoid mandatory water restrictions in the event drought conditions do not lessen.

Specific ways to reduce water usage are as follows:

  1. Use the following recommended irrigation schedule to even out system demands:
  2. Odd address numbers – Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday
    b. Even address numbers – Wednesday/Friday/Sunday
    c. No irrigation on Mondays
  3. Defer all non-essential water use to outside the peak demand hours of 5:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m; preferably after nightfall.
    3. Don’t overwater your yard. One inch of water per week in the summer will keep most types of grass healthy. To determine how long you need to run your sprinkler to provide 1” of water, place straight edged cans at different distances from your sprinkler and time how long it takes to fill an average of 1” of water in each can. Water occasionally, but deeply to encourage deeper rooting that makes grass more drought/heat tolerant.
    4. Install rain shut-off devices on automatic sprinkler systems.
    5. Don’t water pavement and impervious surfaces.
    6. Limit lawn watering to that necessary for plant survival. Water lawns outside of the peak demand hours of 5:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m; preferably after nightfall.
    7. Water shrubbery the minimum required. Water shrubbery outside of the peak demand hours of 5:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Use drip irrigation systems in shrubbery beds and around trees to prevent water loss through evaporation.
    8. Use abundant mulch around trees and shrubs to retain moisture.
    9. Plant drought-tolerant grasses, trees, and plants.
    10. Adjust mower height to a higher setting to retain moisture.
    11. Limit the use of clothes washers and dishwashers and when used, operate fully loaded. Operate dishwashers outside of the peak demand hours of 5:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m; preferably after nightfall.
    12. Limit vehicle washing to a minimum. Use commercial car washes that recycle water.
    13. Use shower for bathing rather than bathtub and limit shower to no more than five (5) minutes.
    14. Inspect and repair all faulty and defective parts of faucets and toilets. Pay attention to dripping sounds.
    15. Do not leave faucets running while shaving, brushing teeth, rinsing or preparing food.
    16. Do not wash down outside areas such as sidewalks, driveways, patios, etc.
    17. Install water-saving showerheads and other water conservation devices.
    18. Install water-saving devices in toilets such as early closing flappers.
    19. Limit hours of water-cooled air conditioners.
    20. Keep drinking water in a container in the refrigerator instead of running water from a faucet until it is cool.
    21. Do not fill new (or empty) swimming or wading pools. Top off existing swimming pools from dusk until dawn.
    22. Cover pool and spas when not in use to prevent evaporation.
    23. Use disposable and biodegradable dishes where possible.

Please note that this Stage 1 Water Conservation Alert does not affect the use of private groundwater wells or those using highly treated reclaimed wastewater. (St. James, Winding River, Sea Trail, and Sandpiper Bay golf courses use reclaimed water. Other golf courses use wells and ponds for irrigation.) Also, this is not a water quality advisory; this is a water conservation advisory. There is no need to boil water for potable use unless you receive a Low Pressure Advisory notice for your specific area due to other conditions in the water distribution system.

Residents will be notified if any other conservation measures are needed and when conditions dictate that restrictions are no longer required. Residents who have questions should contact their water service provider directly or Brunswick County Public Utilities at 910-253-2657. Additional information can be found at <>

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On Site Wastewater Protection


North Carolina laws and rules require local health departments to evaluate a prospective site for a new septic tank system upon submission of a valid application from the property owner or his/her legal representative. Though sometimes called a “perk test,” perk tests are no longer used by any Health Department to determine if a property is suitable for a septic tank system permit. Instead, a site evaluation is completed to evaluate factors like the landscape and topography position, soil characteristics (sand, silt, or clay composition), soil wetness (based on soil color), soil depth, restrictive horizons (hard-pans), and available space for the proposed septic tank system and repair area, if required. Septic sites and drainfields are sized according to the number of bedrooms in a house; when building or re-locating a home or mobile home on a site with an existing septic system, make sure it can accommodate the size of the home.

Some sites have limitations that would affect the functioning of a septic tank system. For some sites, a permit can be issued with specified site modifications, but this option is not always available. North Carolina laws and rules require health departments to advise applicants of any options that may exist for a site, and also set appeal rights.


North Carolina laws and regulations for sewage treatment and disposal systems require that effluent filters be installed for all new septic systems. Effluent filters trap solids and some suspended solids, so they do not flow out of the septic tanks. This extends the life of the drainfield and prevents clogging of the drainlines, which can result in sewage breaking out to the ground surface and costly repairs to the septic system.


To prevent costly repairs, septic tank systems should be routinely maintained. A licensed septic tank pumper should pump your septic tank periodically to remove solids (see your local phone directory for pumpers). How often a septic tank needs to be pumped varies depending on the volume of the tank and the number of occupants in the house, though generally most systems should be pumped every 3 to 5 years. This maintenance is critical.

Effluent filters have to be periodically cleaned and returned to the filter retainer, which is installed at the septic tank outlet. The frequency of this also varies. If wastewater from your house plumbing fixtures begins to drain slowly, you or a contractor should check to see if the effluent filters needs to be cleaned.

Limiting the use of kitchen garbage grinders will also reduce solids from entering the septic tank.


All wastewater from the home must be plumbed to the septic tank. This includes all sink, bath, shower, toilet, washing machine and dish water.

  • Do keep roof drains and other rain or surface water drainage systems away from the septic tank and system drainfield.
  • Do establish a good grass cover for the drainfield to help prevent erosion and help remove excess water.
  • Do not use caustic drain openers for a clogged drain. These can kill the useful bacteria necessary for proper functioning of the septic system.
  • Never use your septic tank as a trash can. Do not dispose of grease, disposable diapers, kitty litter, paint, tampons, condoms, oven cleaners, cigarettes, etc. into the septic system. Putting these materials in your system may contribute to septic system problems necessitating possible expensive repairs for you.
  • Do notdrive, pave or build any structures over the septic tank system area including the reserved repair area if required.
  • Do not plant trees or shrubbery in the drainfield area because roots will damage the septic tank system.

Commercial septic tank system additives are generally not needed. With a minimum amount of care your septic tank system should provide years of trouble-free operation. If you abuse or do not maintain your septic tank system, it is highly likely you will have a septic system failure at some point.

For more information about septic systems and state requirements, visit the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services’ Environmental Health Section.

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