Advisories & Restrictions

Water emergency management and conservation advisories apply to all customers of the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority. Conditions and advisories will be posted and updated on our website and publicized accordingly. Water shortage conditions will expire when the Authority deems that the condition which cause the alert has abated. The expiration or cancellation of a water shortage declaration shall be promptly and extensively publicized.

Operating Status

For All CFPUA Residential and Business Customers
Until Further Notice

Major Waterline Break Resulting in Reduction in Supply;
Water Quality NOT Affected

CONTACT:  Mike McGill
24/7 Contact: (910) 622-8472  


Wilmington, NC – October 15, 2016, 7:00 p.m.:  Due to the waterline break affecting jurisdictions throughout the Lower Cape Fear Region, Cape Fear Public Utility Authority (CFPUA) is issuing MANDATORY WATER RESTRICTIONS for ALL residential and commercial customers in its service area until further notice.  The repair of the 48” main, which is being jointly conducted by CFPUA and Brunswick County Public Utilities, is expected to take several days to complete.  The resulting reduction in supply requires the restrictions.  

Water quality is NOT an issue; 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.  

“We need our customers to adhere to the following restrictions to ensure necessary service for all,” said Jim Flechtner, CFPUA Executive Director. “Maintaining an adequate water supply for fire protection and medical services is the top priority and a responsibility we all now share.”

CFPUA customers are required to IMMEDIATELY reduce their water usage.  The MANDATORY restrictions are as follows:

•    No outdoor water usage is allowed.  No irrigation system or other lawn or garden watering, no car washing, no power washing, no driveway washdowns, and no topping off of swimming pools.
•    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.  

CFPUA is not instituting fines at this time.  However, such measures, including assistance from local law enforcement, may be put in place if the necessary reduction in usage is not achieved.  

Updates will be provided through CFPUA’s website at, via social media through under Twitter handle @CFPUA, and through mass media.  New Hanover County is also assisting CFPUA through the use of countywide notification systems, social media support, and billboards.  CFPUA customers will be notified when the restrictions are lifted using all of these tools.

For more information, visit  Starting Sunday, October 16, 2016,  information will also available by contacting CFPUA Customer Service between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. at (910) 332-6550.  Because high call volume is expected, wait times may be longer than normal, so we encourage you to use if you have general questions about these restrictions.  

#  #  #

Cape Fear Public Utility Authority (CFPUA) was formed by the City of Wilmington and New Hanover County to combine their water and sewer operations. It began operations on July 1, 2008.  Today, the Authority serves more than 67,000 water customer accounts and more than 65,000 wastewater customer accounts.  It oversees more than 1,000 miles of water mains and nearly 1,000 miles of sewer mains. For more information, visit   

Emergency Management Plan

CFPUA’s Emergency Management Plan is designed to aid in our response to any number of situations that could potentially affect our water supply and distribution. Situations such as drought, water supply disruption, distribution or quality problems could trigger a conservation declaration.

Advisory Factors

CFPUA considers many factors prior to declaring and implementing water use advisories/restrictions. Factors considered include:
  • Pressure at monitoring locations of the water system
  • Ability to re-fill water storage tanks of the water system
  • Ability to maintain an amount of water in the ground lever storage tanks at the water treatment plant that is adequate for fire protection
  • Ability to maintain adequate water pressure in every portion of the water system
  • Adequacy of the water supply in terms of quantity and/or quality for the foreseeable future to satisfy the anticipated demand for water
  • Conditions at the water intake
  • Conditions at B. Everett Jordan Lake
  • Regulatory requirements affecting operation, repair or maintenance of any portion of the water system
  • Such factors as may affect our ability to supply, treat and/or distribute water through the water system
  • Drought declarations issued by the State of North Carolina

Trigger Conditions

Trigger conditions demonstrate worsening hydrologic conditions or increased water demand and are also considered in determining the issuance of mandatory water use advisory stages, linked below. Trigger conditions can be identified individually or they can be combined to define various stages of a water emergency.
  • A source trigger is determined by the conditions at B. Everett Jordan Lake (Chatham County) which feeds the Cape Fear River - the source of the water treated at the Sweeney Water Plant and overall groundwater/aquifer levels used at the Nano Water Treatment Facility. Drought advisories (as indicated on the NC Drought Monitor) are one component of a source trigger.
  • Supply trigger conditions are affected by the total demand on the water distribution system. Water use advisories may be declared in the event of an immediate water shortage whereby a reduction in the [water use] demand has not been effective using other water-saving measures or lesser stages.

More Information