Town of Ocean Isle Beach
Water Conservation UPDATE 10-21-16
Posted on Friday October 21, 2016

Water conservation remains key; no plans to shut off water
(Please scroll to bottom for link to Water Conservation FAQs)


Bolivia, NC – As repairs to the broken water main continue, Brunswick County has no plans to shut off water, but conservation and decreased usage of water remain important for all public water customers.


Crews are working right now to put a temporary bypass around the break. This will allow water to keep flowing to the Northwest Water Treatment Plant while repairs are made, as well as help to reduce flooding at the site of the break. Once repairs to the main are made, the bypass will be removed and raw water will flow through the main again. Brunswick County does not know exactly how long the repair process will take, but we expect water flow to be reduced – and the need for water conservation to remain – at least into next week, and possibly longer.


Brunswick County has no plans to turn off water, other than irrigation meters of customers who continue to irrigate despite mandatory restrictions. This would only change if the situation changes and Brunswick County is no longer able to supply water to its customers; in that instance, Brunswick County would notify citizens using media, social media, emails and the CodeRED notification system. Citizens can sign up for CodeRED notifications by phone call, text or email at If customers continue to conserve water and decrease usage, it will assist crews with efforts to keep water flowing to all customers.


In addition to getting water from the Cape Fear River through this water main, Brunswick County also gets raw water from wells, and may utilize mutual aid agreements with neighboring water systems to help supplement water supply. The County has raw water storage tanks near the Northwest Treatment Plant and has implemented additional water storage at the site; we have not tapped into our reserves at this time. If water stopped flowing completely to the storage tanks, the amount of time the water in those tanks would last is dependent upon usage, and is one reason it is so critical for citizens to conserve water. Crews have implemented options to keep some water flowing to these storage tanks throughout the repair process.


Outdoor water usage, including irrigation, continues to be prohibited for all public water customers. Customers who are still irrigating are at risk of termination of irrigation services and fines.


Additionally, customers should avoid using water during peak times – like in the mornings before work – as much as possible. Residents should take additional steps to conserve water, like taking short showers instead of baths and only running dishwashers or washing machines when they are full (instead of running partial loads).


Residents may see golf courses continuing to irrigate. Golf courses use effluent (reclaimed water) or non-potable water from retention ponds for irrigation. No golf courses in Brunswick County use potable water for irrigation. Commercial car washes can still operate at this time as well; car washes use relatively little water because they recycle the water they use, and are the livelihood for their operators and employees. Closing commercial car washes will not cause much of a decrease in water usage and will diminish their ability to earn a living. However, when we can no longer provide adequate water to our treatment plant, we will restrict their operations.


Since this water main break affects one of Brunswick County Public Utilities’ sources of water, it affects not only Brunswick County Public Utilities customers but also the customers of utility providers that purchase wholesale water from Brunswick County.


Thank you to all of the utility customers who worked to decrease water usage, and contributed to the 3 million gallon per day decrease in consumption seen to date. Thank you also to the Village of Bald Head Island, which switched entirely to an alternate water source to help relieve demand on the County’s system. The mandatory water restrictions do not apply to customers of Bald Head Island or to those who solely use wells.

The Water Emergency Ordinance is viewable at

Those who have questions should contact 910-253-5383.


Town of Ocean Isle Beach
Ocean Isle Beach | Three West Third Street Ocean Isle Beach, NC 28469  |  Phone: 910-579-2166  |  Fax: 910-579-8804
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