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UPDATE: CFPUA backtracking on comment it tried to "scare" customers this weekend

READ MORE: CFPUA tried to "scare" customers with threats of fines


During our press conference this afternoon a reporter [Ann McAdams] asked about the enforcement of the water conservation measures that were in place. A CFPUA staff member began to say that it was an effort to “scare” customers into conserving; however, she stopped and corrected herself and explained that our intent was to inform customers of the severity of the situation.

It has already shown up on a few of the media outlets that CFPUA was out to “scare” people and we would appreciate it if this indication was changed and replaced with what was truly explained.

Jacqueline Major
Water Conservation Specialist
Cape Fear Public Utility Authority
235 Government Center Drive
Wilmington, NC 28403


CFPUA Director Matt Jordan just called me - asking me to not report this story or to at least report that the "scare" comment was not CFPUA's "intent."

I've watched the interview where the staffer refers to "scaring" customers and not once did she try to "stop" or "correct herself" or to ammend her comment or change it in any way immediately after she made the statement.

She said what she said - and I'm sure that's what she meant - the CFPUA tried to SCARE us into not using water this weekend unless we had to.

As Joe Mauceri told me after the phone conversation, "I don't think any of us ever INTENDS to put our foot in our mouth." I think he has a valid point.

Scott Pickey
News Director

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.


I pay the bill ...I will use

I pay the bill ...I will use the water that I pay for anyway I want..
I watered the sod that I payed for also during the whole ordeal..
think cfpu will re-emburse me for my sod investment? think again!
I'll take my chances in court...

I love how you all call out

I love how you all call out companies and their bull. I don't care if it was an engineer or the pr person, it was said at a press conference therefore it's fair game. Besides, I think the scare tactic comment is the truth behind all the other garbage they try to tell us. Nice job wway on sticking on to the story and not backing down!

The lesson from this story

The lesson from this story is that you can not believe the information put out by the CFPUA. In the video this poor women from the CFPUA says "The police can enforce whatever they want to enforce." Are you kidding me? The police just can't enforce whatever they want to. It's important to realize none of the big wigs there from the CFPUA answered Ann's questions. The point of this story is that the CFPUA put out in a press release that the Sherrif and WPD would be enforcing the CFPUA code and that was a complete fabrication. Thanks WWAY for actually thinking and asking questions while other news outlets just drink the koolaid.

Utility Authority - Was Berger Right?

Voters will have the choice to elect one of the very, very few people in this community who foresaw the problems with CFPUA, the way the Utility Authority was created, the developer and crony-flled Authority appointments, the poor short, the problems creating the CFPUA would add to the sewer/water infrastructure...and he was amazingly prophetic. largely right as documents on make painfully clear.

As the one candidate who had the courage and good judgement to see the problems that have since become a painful reality, and to actively challenge CFPUA's self-serving (for the politicians) reason for being, lack of accountability, the costs that are contributing to numerous rate increases, it's clearer that Brian Berger has the guts and brains we need and should be elected County Commissioner in NHC.

Berger is the only candidate for office who fought the Authority, when nobody was paying attention, and he was looking out for the citizens even though he wasn't a politician or running for office, in office, or profiting from anything having to do with the CFPUA or developers put in charge.

Brian Berger should be the one vote of anyone who KNOWS we need change, common-sense, competent, change, in NHC. Berger is that fighter for us we always say we want as voters, but rarely support. It's time to change what we look for as voters before our country and county destroy the middle class and society as we know it. Electing Mr. Berger is one step in the right direction we NEED to take this year, so make sure you do your research and vote for Brian Berger, the one fighter running for Commissioner this year.


OK so now WWAY is not only becoming the National Enquirer of local television media focusing on semantics, but also candidates for office can also campaign on their website?

Maybe the CFPUA...

will "backtrack" on the rate increases as well.

The woman that made that

The woman that made that comment is an engineer, not the public spokesperson for the Authority. Way to go WWAY...continuing to stir the pot and make controversies where none exist.

I have an idea; why don't you do some real investigation and ask the regulatory oversight agencies that monitor CFPUA to guage their performance? Instead of your amateurish reporting...try gathering the facts instead of the quick soundbites to make your story.


really doesn't matter if she is the PR person or not. She was a representative of the authority making staements for them (you.

She still said it

It doesn't matter if the woman isn't the "official" spokesperson. She is employed with the CFPUA and said what she said. WWAY was just reporting "the facts" like it or not.

A 90 year old water main broke that had a 50 year life span and should have been replaced 40 years ago. That in itself is another story but part of the big picture of how inept city council has been for many years. Instead of spending 10s of millions of dollars on a convention center, maybe "they" should have been spending that money on real infrastructure issues instead of giving it away to an "authority" that is now a for-profit buisness and isn't accountable to anyone.
Just an idea!

Because apparently the

Because apparently the "regulatory oversight agencies" aren't doing their jobs. This agencies (CFPUA) wanton and irresponsible behavior since inception is appalling and the more it is exposed the better. I don't care if the janitor made that comment, you are an agent of the entity if you work for that entity and that person was allowed to make that comment by CFPUA. THINGS MUST CHANGE IN GOVERNMENT AND EXPOSURE OF GOVERNMENT IS THE FIRST STEP. Good job WWAY, keep it up. I wonder where "H2O everywhere" works?

Obviously "H20" is an employee...

When you screwballs quit showing up at the corner of Kerr and MLK with seven trucks going in eight different directions, And of course, Lower your rates, MAYBE, the public will take you seriously.

Not Scary Movie 5

The CFPUA had no intention of "scaring" anyone into reducing water use. That is like saying the death penalty is meant to "scare" people into NOT committing murder. This implies that it is in most peoples nature to committ murder. It is not. What the $500 citation is intended to do is to make those that ignore our requests for conservation realize that there are consequences for their actions. When we declare stage 4 conservation it means that if one person carelessly waters their lawn or washes their car, there is another person who may be in the middle of surgery or in dialysis who has to go without. Which is more important? Some people don't care to be bothered with this moral question of the needs of their fellow man/woman. Those people are who the $500 citation is aimed at. Those are the people who need to be reminded sometimes of the price of carelessness.

So, since I pay a set fee

So, since I pay a set fee for a certain amount of water regardless if I use that water or not...when the CFPUA puts restrictions like this on us, will they adjust my monthly bill for water I didn't use or will I still have to pay for water that the CFPUA says I am not allowed to use?

I'm willing to bet I would still have to pay my full amount. Unless the water company plans on adjusting my bill for what I actually use, I will continue to use up the base amount of water that I am being billed...and the CFPUA can shove that $500 fine where the sun don't shine

I agree

I currently own a house that is vacant but being remodeled before I attempt to sell it. I get the big bill even though nobody is currently living there, not doing laundry, washing dishes or taking showers. CFPUA can go to a southern warm spot for all eternity for all I care.

Sick of the CFPUA Monopoly

Regardless of CFPUA's intent, I was one customer who WAS scared. I used as little water as possible, and I put the phone number to report water misuse in my phone so that I could report people that I saw misusing water. If I HAD called and reported someone, are you saying that absolutely nothing would have been done about it? I would have wasted my time and my cell phone minutes for nothing??? If that is the case, then what is the incentive for anyone to follow water guidelines or advisories?
I was very displeased with the way CFPUA handled this situation. If I had not HAPPENED to turn on the news (which in a typical day I do not), I would never have known there was a problem with the water. Why was there no automated phone call or attempt to warn people more effectively? Then there was no notification when the boil advisory was lifted; I was able to check the CFPUA website to discover it had been lifted, but what about all of your customers that do not have Internet?
I hope that at a bare minimum, we are given a discount of 3 days' water service on our next bill, as a form of apology for the inconvenience.
There is yet another water main problem today. I hope that this series of problems brings to light that serious changes need to be made to CFPUA, because believe me, if I could go with another utility company, I would. When I am paying such inflated rates from what they were before, I expect better service, not worse.

Yeah it sorta' is

It is scary when the City of Wilmington is watering the grass while a " stage 4 conservation" is going on.

BTW, What authority does a private company have to make law enforcement issue fines for anything? Scary!

The irrigation for these

The irrigation for these systems is not on the CFPUA. They dug wells and put in pumps for this irrigation. Does not have anything to do with the CFPUA.

I do like how WWAY has turned to "Tabloid" journalism to drum up viewers. So what if they said "scare".. They wanted us to conserve water while the pressure was low and the reserve tanks were drained. What is the big deal with saying "scare"??????

They reported what a CFPUA

They reported what a CFPUA worker stated. WWAY didn't make anything up or imply anything. They reported a statement. We can't help it that CFPUA is not smart enough to only let people that know how to lie speak to the media

Oh really

It's good to know that the city has a backup for watering the grass while we have yet another water main break just today.


watering of front st and downtown is done with city water. backflow protectors are not required for water coming from a well.

so wait... a water main that

so wait... a water main that was only suppossed to have a 40 year lifespan bursts, and we have to endure not using water b/c you greedy people didn't fix the issue? What happens with all the money you get, and the rate increases? Hmmm. Why the water line wasn't replace at its end of life span is beyond me, or maybe it was due to greed and ignorance. I'll bet on the latter. Coming here acting as if a $500 fine threat is acceptable is crap, there is no justification for it. Perhaps YOU guys should be reminded about the price of carelessness, after all, YOU let the waterline remain in service 50 years after its designed life span. Wanna keep talking your ignorance?


Your doing enough talking for the both of you two.

So why is she talking to the media?

In most REPUTABLE, WELL-ORGANIZED entities, people other than designated representatives are prohibited from talking to the media.