Mandatory water restrictions to continue throughout the week for Cape Fear Public Utility Authority and Brunswick County Public Utilities customers

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The repair site of the broken water main in Brunswick County on Monday, Oct. 24, 2016. Courtesy of the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority.
The repair site of the broken water main in Brunswick County on Monday, Oct. 24, 2016. Courtesy of the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority.

After  a main water line broke in Brunswick County over a week ago, mandatory water restrictions for Cape Fear Public Utility Authority and Brunswick County Public Utilities customers are still in place and will remain so for the rest of the week, according to officials.

“Repairs to the Lower Cape Fear Water and Sewer Utility Authority’s broken 48-inch raw waterline continue to progress, despite difficult soil conditions. This is a complicated undertaking involving the coordinated effort of multiple agencies and no less than seven different contractors,” the CFPUA stated in release Monday afternoon.

The release noted the site is still flooding due to water leaking from the main and has to be “dewatered” each day.

“Because the bypass line needs to be in place and operational for a period of time before we feel confident enough that we can lift water restrictions, mandatory water restrictions will continue throughout this week,” it states.

According to a release from Brunswick County, which has been in a state of emergency due to water issues, crews worked all weekend to install a bypass around the break in order to keep water flowing while repairs are made.

“At this time, it looks likely that the bypass will be in place Thursday or Friday,” the release stated. “As the amount of water flowing to the plant is reduced, even with these efforts, it remains critical that citizens continue to conserve water and decrease usage until the bypass is completed.”

Outdoor water use — which includes all irrigation systems that do not draw from well water, residential vehicle washing, and the upkeep of pools, fountains, ponds and other water-based decorations — is prohibited in both counties. Golf courses are allowed to irrigate since most use reclaimed water from retention ponds that is unsuitable for drinking. Commercial car washes are also allowed to operate since they use recycled water.

Customers are also asked to cut their indoor water usage by a third. Some conservation methods include taking showers instead of baths (and keeping them short), only running dishwashers and washing machines with full  loads, not wasting water while brushing teeth and washing hands and limiting the flushing of toilets, if possible.

The CFPUA, which provides services to the City of Wilmington as well as most of unincorporated New Hanover County, said water usage among its residential and business customers has dropped about 10 percent (nearly two million gallons) since last Monday. Brunswick County Public Utilities reported a three million gallon drop in usage to date due to water conservation measures. However, repeat violators of the mandatory restrictions in both counties are subject to fines, according to the respective agencies.

Water quality has not been affected by the break or the repairs, and no boil water advisories have been issued.

For updates on the water emergency in Brunswick County, residents can visit the Brunswick County government website. Cape Fear Public Utility Authority customers can visit www.cfpua.org for the latest information.

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