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Work continues to construct bypass waterline; Multi-agency effort calling upon seven different contractors to fix waterline

MANDATORY WATER RESTRICTIONS REMAIN IN EFFECT; All CFPUA customers affected throughout the week

Major waterline break cutting off millions of gallons of water supply; WATER QUALITY IS NOT AFFECTED AT THIS TIME; Enforcement actions to continue

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


Wilmington, NC – October 24, 2016, 3:30 p.m.:  Repairs to the Lower Cape Fear Water and Sewer Utility Authority’s broken 48” raw waterline continue to progress, despite difficult soil conditions (See attached photos).  This is a complicated undertaking involving the coordinated effort of multiple agencies and no less than seven different contractors.  The work at the scene today involves:

  • Dewatering of the repair area.  With more than 12 million gallons a day still leaking from the broken main so it can maintain some level of supply, the work area must be dewatered every day;
  • Positioning of the 900’ of bypass waterline.  Tree removal has allowed for the bypass waterline to be maneuvered into place.  Significant portions, if not all, of the bypass waterline will need to be buried underground to reliability; and
  • Preparing the work area for the safe installation of the important line stops.  With the area still soupy from the leaking water, making sure the site is safe to work in of utmost importance.  (See attached photos.)

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.                     

ALL CFPUA CUSTOMERS MUST CONTINUE TO REDUCE THEIR WATER USAGE.  Demand for water usage has dropped about 10% (nearly two million gallons) in consumption since Monday, the first full weekday of restrictions.  CFPUA will continue 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 not drawing from well water;
  • All hose and sprinkler use;
  • Hand-held hoses;
  • Power washers;
  • Drip irrigation;
  • New lawn/landscape establishment permits are no longer issued;
  • Commercial vehicle 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:

  • One-third cut in indoor usage.  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.

MEDIA:  The work area is being strictly managed for safety, with the public being kept at a significant distance.  We are working to supply video to you, in addition to photos, to help with your coverage.  Video is available on our CFPUA YouTube Channel.  Search CFPUA or click here…

Because CFPUA has additional sources of water, we are not in a state of emergency.  However, those additional sources are limited, making water conservation throughout our service area a top priority for everyone.

Water quality remains unaffected at this time.  However, if the level of water in the system drops to less than what is manageable, then a precautionary boil water advisory (PBWA) may be issued for a significant portion of our water system.

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 some or all of these tools.

For more information, visit www.cfpua.orgInformation is 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. 

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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

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The mission of the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority Communications staff is to proactively convey to the public current and accurate information about utility policies and services, billing procedures, environmental compliance, conservation, vendor opportunities and more.

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