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11 a.m. Update:  Bypass work continues; MANDATORY WATER RESTRICTIONS REMAIN IN EFFECT; All CFPUA customers affected through first part of next week

Major waterline break cutting off millions of gallons of water supply; Work on repairs to continue into the first part of next week; WATER QUALITY IS NOT AFFECTED AT THIS TIME; Enforcement actions to continue

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


Wilmington, NC – October 21, 2016, 11 a.m.:  Because repairs to the broken 48” waterline affecting Cape Fear Public Utility Authority’s (CFPUA) supply will last into the first part of next week, CFPUA is maintaining its HIGHEST LEVEL of mandatory water restrictions for all of its commercial and residential customers through the weekend.  Mandatory restrictions will continue into the first part of next week.

ALL CFPUA CUSTOMERS MUST IMMEDIATELY CUT THEIR WATER USAGE.  Based on previous usage, CFPUA only saw a 6% drop in consumption since Monday.  CFPUA will continue working with local law enforcement to make sure customers are complying with the restrictions.

Total day CFPUA Demand:
Monday, October 18:  15.66 million gallons
Tuesday, October 19:  14.86 million gallons
Wednesday, October 20:  14.68 million gallons

The mandatory restrictions cover the following uses and are subject to a fine schedule:

  • All irrigation system use;
  • All hose and sprinkler use;
  • Hand-held hoses;
  • Power washers;
  • Drip irrigation;
  • New lawn/landscape establishment permits are no longer issued;
  • Commercial vehicles 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.

The repair effort involves the construction of a bypass line around the break location.  Because of the difficult soil conditions, flooding, and high water table, the repair is requiring significant site preparation to ensure worker safety, which extends the timeframe for the repair.  The attached pictures are the latest shots from the repair scene.

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.  If you wish to visit the scene, please contact Mike McGill, PIO for the incident, at 910-332-6463 or 910-622-8472.

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  Information 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  

Mission Statement

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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