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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Test Results Show 1,4-Dioxane in Brunswick County’s Northwest Water Treatment Plant Below Detectable Level in Treated Water

07.14.2017

Testing of Brunswick County’s raw and treated water at the Northwest Water Treatment Plant has found 1,4-Dioxane at 1.3 parts per billion in raw water but at less than detectable levels in treated.

Testing of water samples taken by Brunswick County on July 5 show the presence of 1,4-Dioxane at the Northwest Water Treatment Plant, which draws water from the Cape Fear River, at less than 0.028 parts per billion (PPB), or less than the lowest detectible level, in the treated water, and at 1.3 PPB in the raw water. Testing of water samples taken by Brunswick County at the 211 Water Treatment Plant, which uses 13 wells to draw water from the Castle Hayne Aquifer, show the presence of 1,4-Dioxane at 1.3 PPB in treated water.

According to the EPA, parts per billion and micrograms per liter are equivalent to each other, and each form of measurement is equivalent to one drop in 50,000 liters of water (13,208 gallons of water).

“We are pleased with the results of the tests from the Northwest Water Treatment Plant as it shows that we effectively eliminated the 1,4-Dioxane to undetectable levels,” said County Manager Ann Hardy.

These results from the Northwest Water Treatment Plant are 100 times lower than when water was sampled in 2015 as part of the EPA’s Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR3). The results from the 211 Water Treatment Plant are higher than the samples taken in 2015, but are still well below the EPA’s noncancer adverse health effect advisory of 200 PPB, which is calculated for consistent daily exposure over a lifetime to the most vulnerable populations, like infants.

However, the results from the 211 Water Treatment Plant are above the concentration of 0.35 PPB, which represents a 1-in-a-million cancer risk, according to the EPA’s 1,4-Dioxane Technical Fact Sheet. The levels from the 211 Water Treatment Plant – 1.3 PPB – equate to a 3.7-in-a-million cancer risk level. This risk level was determined from animal studies. There are no U.S. regulatory maximum contaminant levels for 1,4-Dioxane.

Brunswick County had no reason to suspect 1,4-Dioxane in the wells drawing from the aquifer, and is working to quickly locate and isolate the source of the 1,4-Dioxane in the water and determine appropriate corrective actions, including testing and reviewing processes. Brunswick County is also developing a plan for sampling of the source water as officials determine whether these results are a sampling anomaly. Staff is also working to determine why the number has changed from 2015, when the 211 Water Treatment Plant showed 1,4-Dioxane at 0.04 PPB.

Map showing 1,4-Dioxane levels detected by NCDEQ research in different areas of North Carolina (click to enlarge).

North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality is also studying the presence of 1,4-Dioxane at several sites upriver from Brunswick County where levels of 1,4-Dioxane have been detected, after DEQ officials detected it at 70 public water systems in North Carolina.

For more information about DEQ’s studies on 1,4-Dioxane, visit http://deq.nc.gov/about/divisions/water-resources/water-resources-data/water-sciences-home-page/1-4-dioxane.

Additionally, NCDHHS examined data from the North Carolina Central Cancer Registry, comparing local rates for five types of cancer (pancreatic, liver, uterine, testicular and kidney) to statewide rates. Brunswick County had a lower 20-year rate of pancreatic cancer (1996-2015), a lower five-year rate of uterine cancer (2006-2010) and a lower five-year rate of pancreatic cancer (2011-2015) compared with the state rates. Brunswick County rates for other cancers or other timeframes were similar to state rates. (https://www.ncdhhs.gov/news/press-releases/nc-dhhs-releases-summary-selected-cancer-rates-counties-cape-fear-region)

Brunswick County takes seriously its commitment to provide safe, quality drinking water, and provides water that meets all state and federal drinking water requirements. The County is committed to providing timely, accurate information to the public, and as we test and learn more about emerging and unregulated substances, information will be shared as it becomes available.

View the full test results here.