Public Notice

Public Notice

UPDATE – Stage 1 – Water Conservation Alert – UPDATE

07.19.2019
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 <http://www.brunswickcountync.gov/>.

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 STAGE 1 – WATER CONSERVATION ALERT 

07.22.2019
 STAGE 1 – WATER CONSERVATION ALERT

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 <https://www.brunswickcountync.gov/>

https://www.brunswickcountync.gov/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/smart-tips-for-the-home-yard.pdf 

https://www.brunswickcountync.gov/files/utilities/2015/02/util_water_conservation_utilities_brochure.pdf

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Storm FAQ

Hurricane Irma FAQ

Water

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.

Storm Debris

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

Damage assessments play a critical role in how local governments respond and recover from events.   While everyone’s first response is to start the cleanup, these assessments are important in determining the needs of our community as a whole.  For the county to get an accurate idea of the amount of damage that is storm-related, we ask that you hold your debris while keeping materials separated until the county has had time to perform the initial assessments.  Separation categories include vegetative debris, construction & demolition debris, electronics, household trash, appliances & metal, household hazardous waste, etc.  North Carolina has several landfill bans in place for many of these items.  Having the items separated is key in making sure we uphold the law and safety of all our emergency responders.  If you do decide to haul your storm-related debris to the landfill prior to the assessments, normal tipping fees and long lines are likely.

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