Brunswick County Media Release: Stage 1 – Water Conservation Alert
Brunswick County thanks the users of public water systems throughout the county for using water wisely over the Memorial Day weekend and asks public water system users to continue to be diligent in using water wisely. Drought conditions are expected to continue for the foreseeable weather forecast and water demands are expected to increase as vacationers visit Brunswick County beaches. Demand for water over the Memorial Day weekend exceeded 90% of the available production and distribution capacity. To ensure adequate water is available for essential needs, Brunswick County has declared a Stage 1 Water Conservation Alert effective immediately. 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 Shor es, 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. 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.
2. 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.
3. Install rain shut-off devices on automatic sprinkler systems.
4. Don’t water pavement and impervious surfaces.
5. Use the following recommended irrigation schedule to even out system demands:
a. Odd address numbers – Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday
b. Even address numbers – Wednesday/Friday/Sunday
c. No irrigation on Mondays
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: <http://www.brunswickcountync.gov/>.