Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Pender County to begin enforcing water restrictions next month

Pender County Utilities is asking residents in the southeastern portion of the county to conserve water starting May 1. (Port City Daily/file).

PENDER COUNTY — Pender County Utilities has issued a water shortage plan for southeastern Pender County effective May 1.

Customers located east of Interstate Highway 40 in Rocky Point along and adjacent to North Carolina Highway 210, as well as all of Hampstead and Scotts Hill are asked to start conserving water next month due to limited water supply and moderate drought conditions as of March 30.

READ MORE: No viable land: The wait continues for Pender County to offer adequate water supply to east residents

Restrictions include suspending installation and permitting of all new irrigation services due to material availability and water supply limitations. Temporary irrigation meters and service arrangements can be made with PCU for new sod needs on a limited basis.

PCU is also strongly encouraging the use of private wells or well systems for irrigation purposes rather than using PCU service. If irrigation water is sourced from PCU, the use of sod is strongly discouraged to reduce irrigation water demand.

Irrigation will only be allowed on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.
Enforcement may include the revocation of irrigation meters until restrictions are lifted.

Lastly, PCU reminds all developers that new commercial or residential developments must be able to provide acceptable fire suppression systems, either from PCU or independent of the county water system to meet North Carolina fire code and water extension requirements. Proposed developments require a third-party professional engineer certification verifying adequate water flow and pressure for fire conditions.

“Pender County Utilities is taking a proactive stance to provide water to our growing county,” said PCU Director Kenny Keel in a press release. “Recent drought conditions, the lack of available materials, and water tower capacity make it necessary to issue some restraints in Southeastern Pender County.”

Pender County Utilities is currently constructing three new water supply wells and a new 500,000-gallon elevated tank in Scotts Hill. This project, to be complete in May 2024, will assist the county’s water capacity until a reverse osmosis water plant is constructed in the impacted area.

Another well is expected to go online in December, with an additional two wells to follow in early 2024.

“Pender County Utilities has been impacted by tremendous growth, current supply chain supply issues, and inflation pressures,” Keel said in the release. “We need to take these measures seriously to ensure we have water available for fire suppression and general consumption.”

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