Brunswick County declares conservation alert

Tap water from sink (Photo: U.S. Air Force)

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Brunswick County has declared a Stage 1 Water Conservation Alert to ensure adequate water is available for essential needs. The alert comes after days of high temperatures and little rain.

The county is asking the public water system users to continue to be diligent in using water wisely.

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“Demand for water over the Memorial Day weekend exceeded 90% of the available production and distribution capacity,” the county wrote in a news release Tuesday.

They say drought conditions are expected to continue and water demands are expected to increase.

All customers of a public water system anywhere in the county are affected by water conservation alerts.

Tips to reduce water usage:

  • 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.
  • 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.
    Install rain shut-off devices on automatic sprinkler systems.
  • Don’t water pavement and impervious surfaces.
  • Use the following recommended irrigation schedule to even out system demands:
    • Odd address numbers – Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday
    • Even address numbers – Wednesday/Friday/Sunday
    • No irrigation on Mondays
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Use abundant mulch around trees and shrubs to retain moisture.
  • Plant drought-tolerant grasses, trees, and plants.
  • Adjust mower height to a higher setting to retain moisture.
  • 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.
  • Limit vehicle washing to a minimum. Use commercial car washes that recycle water.
  • Use shower for bathing rather than bathtub and limit shower to no more than five (5) minutes.
  • Inspect and repair all faulty and defective parts of faucets and toilets. Pay attention to dripping sounds.
  • Do not leave faucets running while shaving, brushing teeth, rinsing or preparing food.
  • Do not wash down outside areas such as sidewalks, driveways, patios, etc.
  • Install water-saving showerheads and other water conservation devices.
  • Install water-saving devices in toilets such as early closing flappers.
  • Limit hours of water-cooled air conditioners.
  • Keep drinking water in a container in the refrigerator instead of running water from a faucet until it is cool.
  • Do not fill new (or empty) swimming or wading pools. Top off existing swimming pools from dusk until dawn.
  • Cover pool and spas when not in use to prevent evaporation.
  • Use disposable and biodegradable dishes where possible.

A water shortage emergency was issued Monday for Pender County Utilities water users in Hampstead and Scott’s Hill areas until further notice.

Cape Fear Public Utility Authority is also encouraging its customers to use water wisely as the persistent high temperatures and lack of rain increase demands on the community’s drinking water systems.