CFPUA: Highest level of water restrictions in effect, enforcement to begin

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY)- The highest level of mandatory water restrictions are now in effect for all Cape Fear Public Utility Authority residential and business customers.

The CFPUA says because the mandatory water restrictions that started Saturday are not having the necessary impact on the water supply, the highest level of mandatory restrictions are in effect until further notice.

All CFPUA customers are required to immediately reduce their water usage.  CFPUA will begin working with local law enforcement to make sure customers are complying with the restrictions.

The mandatory restrictions cover the following uses and are subject to a fine schedule:

  • All irrigation system use is prohibited;
  • All hose and sprinkler use is prohibited;
  • Approved large commercial, industrial, institutional irrigation systems, and golf courses;
  • Hand-held hoses;
  • Drip irrigation is prohibited;
  • New lawn/landscape establishment permits are no longer issued;
  • Commercial vehicles washing is allowed ONLY to ensure proper functioning and safe operation of the vehicles;
  • Residential vehicle washing is prohibited;
  • Fountains, artificial waterfalls, misting machines, reflecting pools, ornamental ponds use is prohibited, except for the need to maintain aquatic life; and
  • All other non-essential use, leaks, or witnessed water waste.

Indoor restrictions are as follows:

  • Use water only as necessary.  Instead of baths, take showers.  Make those showers short in length.
  • Do not waste water.  Turn it off when it is not directly in use, like while brushing teeth, washing hands, and washing dishes.
  • Dishwashers and washing machines should only be used when loads are full.
  • If possible, limit flushing of toilets.

The fine schedule is as follows:

  • A first offense results in a warning that is recorded;
  • Subsequent offenses are subject to civil penalties of up to $500 per violation, per day;
  • If civil penalties are not successful in addressing the violation or violations, then termination of service will occur.

The Cape Fear Public Utility Authority is warning that water quality and fire protection could be put at risk, unless people adhere to mandatory water restrictions that went into effect over the weekend.

The mandatory water restrictions are for all commercial and residential customers in its service area because of a water main break. Since the announcement, CFPUA spokesman Mike McGill says they have not seen a reduction in usage.

McGill says the raw water main break that has occurred is significantly reducing the supply for Brunswick County, CFPUA and Pender County by 12.5 MILLION gallons a day.  For comparison, CFPUA produces an average of 17 million gallons of drinking water a day for the almost 200,000 people we serve.  While CFPUA has redundant sources and emergency supplies to lessen the impact, CFPUA may also supply Brunswick County with some of the raw water they need.

McGill says water quality is not an issue at this time; the quality of CFPUA’s drinking water has not been affected.  The break involved a major raw water line, not a line supplying treated drinking water to customers.  However, if the level of water in the system drops to a less than manageable level, then a precautionary boil water advisory (PBWA) may be issued for the portion of our system served by the Sweeney Water Treatment Plant.

“We must come together as a community to make sure we all continue to have a water supply that provides the essential services we count on every day,” said Jim Flechtner, CFPUA Executive Director.

McGill says the repair will take several days.  If there isn’t a significant reduction by mid-week, fire protection, medical facility supplies, and water quality could be put at risk.   McGill says it’s a difficult repair site, because of flooding. A “road” of mats and wood must be used to get a crane to the site to remove the break and install the pipe.

Site of waterline break in Riegelwood, October 2016

Site of waterline break in Riegelwood, October 2016

On another note, if you see the CFPUA flushing the fire hydrants, McGill says flushing must be done on an as-needed basis to ensure water quality.  McGill says the impact has been taken into account as part of the planning for this emergency.



Categories: Local, New Hanover

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