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Carteret, Craven, Pender, Onslow, and New Hanover Counties - Experiencing Moderate Drought Conditions. Please Conserve Water

Jun 04, 2019
This week, the state officials announced that much of Southeastern North Carolina was under a moderate drought. Depending on conditions and community response to the Conservation Advisory, restrictions could be reduced or escalated. 

The North Carolina Drought Advisory issued by the Drought Management Advisory Council has been updated to reflect drought conditions on May 28, 2019 indicated on the weekly U.S. Drought Monitor of North Carolina.  Until further notice, the NCDMAC strongly urges the implementation of drought response actions, for all water users located in or dependent on water resources from the areas of the state experiencing the drought conditions.

Carolina Water Service, Inc. of North Carolina (CWSNC) customers are encouraged to conserve water in the eastern North Carolina counties of Carteret, Pender, Onslow, and New Hanover.  Check out our website for tips on how you can save water indoors and outdoors at this link: https://www.myutility.us/CarolinaWaterServiceNC/about-us/media-room/cws-of-nc/2019/05/24/tips-for-water-conservation

Below are the counties and the stage advisories for each county:
Areas of Carteret County are under a Stage 1 Advisory - D1 - Moderate Drought
  • Some damage to crops, pastures
  • Some water shortages developing
  • Voluntary water-use restrictions requested
Areas of Craven County are under a Stage 1 Advisory - D1 - Moderate Drought
  • Some damage to crops, pastures
  • Some water shortages developing
  • Voluntary water-use restrictions requested
Pender County is under a Stage 1 advisory - D1 - Moderate Drought
  • Some damage to crops, pastures
  • Some water shortages developing
  • Voluntary water-use restrictions requested
New Hanover County is under a Stage 1 advisory - - D1 - Moderate Drought
  • Some damage to crops, pastures
  • Some water shortages developing
  • Voluntary water-use restrictions requested
Onslow County is under a Stage 1 advisory - D1 - Moderate Drought
  • Some damage to crops, pastures
  • Some water shortages developing
  • Voluntary water-use restrictions requested

For more information on drought conditions, please go to the North Carolina Drought Information page at https://www.drought.gov/drought/states/north-carolina

What is an Automated Meter (AMR) and how does it work?

May 28, 2019

Over the next several months and years, CWSNC will begin a new project to replace old analog meters that are currently in place with a new digital meters or Automated Meters (AMR).

These new automated meters (“AMR”) will wirelessly transmit a meter read, eliminating the need for a manual reading. AMR is the technology of automatically collecting consumption, diagnostic and status data from water meters and transferring the data to a central database for billing, troubleshooting and analysis. This system eliminates periodic trips to each physical location to read a meter.  This data, coupled with analysis, can help both CWSNC and customers better control water consumption (usage).

Water meter reads will continue to be collected monthly by our staff using equipment in our vehicles.  We will not have to open the meter boxes to obtain the reads.  This technology is especially beneficial in mountain areas where weather may cause manual reading problems (snow, ice etc.) and will help us ensure accurate and timely billings to our customers.
Currently, there are two projects for Connestee Falls and Fairfield Mountain/Apple Valley where AMR meters are being installed.

  • Why is Carolina Water Service Inc of NC (CWSNC) installing water meters? Water meters are being installed to accurately measure the water used at your residence.
  • Where will my water meter located? Water meters are usually located outside in your yard at or near the property lines. Some meters may be housed in a common building closet for condominiums.
  • How will I be contacted? Contact with each customer will be attempted prior to the meter exchange by knocking on the door or making prior contact. If the customer is home they will be made aware that the water will be off for a brief period of time, typically 60 minutes or less. If this is inconvenient, arrangements will be made to come back.
  • Will you be digging in my yard? For the vast majority, yes. Where digging is essential, your property will be restored.
  • How does the system work? As water passes through the metering chamber of the meter, flow is registered.  In the new meters, the water usage data from each meter will be stored electronically and wirelessly transmitted by a radio signal to ERUI equipment.  Our staff simply drive through the system once a month and upload the information to a computer in the vehicle.
  • Is my meter data secure? Yes, only meter consumption readings and meter identification numbers are transmitted. Personal customer information is not transmitted.
  • Does the transmitter run on my home’s electricity? No, the transmitters run on an internal battery with an estimated 20 year life span.
  • Do I have to be at my home or business during the water meter replacement? No, since the water meters are located outside, the customer does not have to be present.
  • Will my water bill go up? The new water meter will accurately measure the water that you use. All new meters are tested at the factory to ensure that they register properly. When there is a change from flat rate to metered rate, you may notice a change in your bills.
  • Will the timing of my water bills change? There will be no change to your billing period.
  • How do I know that you have my reading and not someone else’s? Each radio frequency device has a unique identification number which is transmitted along with the meter reading. The unique identification number is compared to your account record to ensure that there is a match.
  • How do you know that my reading is accurate? These state of the art water meters have electronic registers, which verify the meter reading before it is sent to the transmitting unit. Substantial experience around the country indicates that this reading is more accurate than visually reading the meter.
  • Is there a hazard from the radio transmitter? No, the radio signal is only on when the meter reading takes place. This is less than a few seconds per month. The power level is low and the meter is located some distance from homes and business in the ground.
  • Is there anything hazardous inside the equipment? No, only ordinary electronics and batteries are inside the equipment.
  • Will the radio interfere with my television, cordless phone or pacemaker? No, the radio transmissions occur on a licensed frequency which is very different from those used by television signals, cordless phones and pacemakers. In addition, the transmissions last less than a few seconds each month. You will never see interference with your television reception.
  • I have occasionally in the past received an estimated bill because I was told ice or snow prevented the meter reader for accessing my meter. Does the new meter help that situation? Part of the benefit of the new AMR technology is that it eliminates the need for a person to physically access the meter to read so weather related estimating is eliminated.

 


Tips for Water Conservation

May 24, 2019

Tips for Water Conservation

Indoor tips:

  • Check water consumption on your monthly bills unexpected increases may result from undetected leaks.
  • Regularly check your faucets, spigots, toilets, water pipes, washing machine, and dishwasher for leaks.
  • Listen carefully for the sound of running water at night when no faucets or fixtures are in use.  Check for wet spots from the water meter to the residence indicating a possible underground water leak.
  • Toilets are one of the most common places for leaks.  Check flappers at the bottom of the tank or the fill valve malfunctioning.
  • Take shorter showers.
  • Don’t leave water running while brushing your teeth, shaving, etc.
  • When replacing used appliances check for waterless model toilets, hand and shutoff faucets and low-flow shower heads. Check the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s/Department Energy’s www.energystar.gov website for water and energy efficient models.
  • Know the location of the water shut-off valve for plumbing system so that you can turn off water quickly if you have a major leak.
  • Sensor shut-off devices can be used to detect a major leak in your plumbing system and turn off your water automatically even when no one is at home.

Outdoor tips:

  • Check outdoor spigots and hoses for leaks. 
  • Water lawns and plants before sunrise and after sunset.
  • Use hand-held spring loaded nozzles on lawn and garden hoses.
  • For irrigation systems, install automatic controls and rain sensors to prevent wasteful irrigation.
  • Rain or moisture sensors can be installed on irrigation system to prevent watering during or after rainfalls.
  • Choose drought-resistant, non-invasive plants for your lawn.
  • Use a soaker hose, bubbler, micro spray or drip irrigation system instead of the spray irrigation, which loses more water due to evaporation.
  • Purchase a rain barrel or install a cistern to reuse rainwater. (Rain barrels are available in your local region).
  • Use 2 to 4 inches of mulch around trees and shrubs to conserve moisture in the soil.
  • Consider drought tolerant groundcover, drought tolerant grass, or landscape with trees, shrubs and mulch.
  • Cut grass to a height of at least two inches (one inch for Bermuda grass) to encourage good root growth and to help shade and retain moisture in the soil.  Small grass clipping are good soil enhancers.

 


Voluntary Water Conservation in Johnston County, North Carolina

May 24, 2019

To ensure reliable water supply for Memorial Day Weekend, our water supplier, Johnston County, has asked that customers suspend the use of irrigation systems and hose-end sprinklers from Saturday, May 25th through Monday, May 27th.  Carolina Water Service, Inc. of North Carolina customers are encouraged  to employ voluntary water conservation due to increased demand and hot, dry weather.

Tips for Water Conservation

Indoor tips:

  • Check water consumption on your monthly bills unexpected increases may result from undetected leaks.
  • Regularly check your faucets, spigots, toilets, water pipes, washing machine, and dishwasher for leaks.
  • Listen carefully for the sound of running water at night when no faucets or fixtures are in use.  Check for wet spots from the water meter to the residence indicating a possible underground water leak.
  • Toilets are one of the most common places for leaks.  Check flappers at the bottom of the tank or the fill valve malfunctioning.
  • Take shorter showers.
  • Don’t leave water running while brushing your teeth, shaving, etc.
  • When replacing used appliances check for waterless model toilets, hand and shutoff faucets and low-flow shower heads. Check the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s/Department Energy’s www.energystar.gov website for water and energy efficient models.
  • Know the location of the water shut-off valve for plumbing system so that you can turn off water quickly if you have a major leak.
  • Sensor shut-off devices can be used to detect a major leak in your plumbing system and turn off your water automatically even when no one is at home.

Outdoor tips:

  • Check outdoor spigots and hoses for leaks. 
  • Water lawns and plants before sunrise and after sunset.
  • Use hand-held spring loaded nozzles on lawn and garden hoses.
  • For irrigation systems, install automatic controls and rain sensors to prevent wasteful irrigation.
  • Rain or moisture sensors can be installed on irrigation system to prevent watering during or after rainfalls.
  • Choose drought-resistant, non-invasive plants for your lawn.
  • Use a soaker hose, bubbler, micro spray or drip irrigation system instead of the spray irrigation, which loses more water due to evaporation.
  • Purchase a rain barrel or install a cistern to reuse rainwater. (Rain barrels are available in your local region).
  • Use 2 to 4 inches of mulch around trees and shrubs to conserve moisture in the soil.
  • Consider drought tolerant groundcover, drought tolerant grass, or landscape with trees, shrubs and mulch.
  • Cut grass to a height of at least two inches (one inch for Bermuda grass) to encourage good root growth and to help shade and retain moisture in the soil.  Small grass clipping are good soil enhancers.

 


What is a boil water advisory?

Apr 25, 2019

What is a Boil Water Advisory?
A Boil Water Advisory is a public health recommendation from Carolina Water Service, Inc. of North Carolina (CWSNC) advising customers to boil their tap water before using it. This is in response to an event that could have allowed contaminants to enter the water distribution system. Because the water quality is unknown, customers should assume the water is unsafe to drink and take the necessary precautions listed below.

When does CWSNC issue a Boil Water Advisory?
Typically, we issue a Boil Water Advisory after a water main break repair, small or widespread loss of pressure in our water system, or a natural disaster.

In some cases, our crews can repair a water main while maintaining adequate pressure to prevent contamination from entering the water distribution system. (When we do a repair in this way, no Boil Water Advisory is needed.)

When we issue a Boil Water Advisory, we notify only the customers affected. If the risk of contamination is widespread, CWSNC will put information on our website,  notify customers using our My Utility Connect application, social media, etc. to inform the public.

How long will a Boil Water Advisory be in effect?
An advisory will remain in effect until bacteriological test samples show the water is safe to drink. Bacteriological testing typically takes 24 to 28 hours to complete.

What should I do during a Boil Water Advisory?
Boil tap water before using it for drinking, making ice, washing dishes, brushing teeth or preparing food. Bring tap water to a rolling boil for at least 1 minute and let it cool.

Should I use my coffee maker, water or ice dispenser when a boil water advisory is in effect?
During an advisory, do not use water from any appliance connected to your water lines. This includes water and ice dispensers in your refrigerator/freezer. Use boiled or bottled water to make coffee and ice.

How should I wash dishes during a Boil Water Advisory?
Household dishwashers are generally safe to use if the water reaches a final rinse temperature of at least 150oF or if the dishwasher has a sanitizing cycle.

To wash dishes by hand:
Use boiled water; or wash and rinse dishes as normal. Then in a separate basin, add 1 teaspoon of unscented household bleach for each gallon of warm water. Soak dishes in basin for a least 1 minute. Let dishes air dry completely.

Should I bathe or shower during a Boil Water Advisory?
It is safe to bath or shower, but be careful not to swallow any water. Use caution when bathing babies and young children. Consider giving them a sponge bath to reduce the chance of them swallowing water.

Can I wash my hands during a boil water advisory?
Yes, vigorous handwashing with soap and your tap water is safe for basic personal hygiene. However, if you are washing your hands to prepare food, you should use boiled (then cooled) water, disinfected or bottled water with hand washing soap.

What if I drank some of the water before I found out about the advisory?
This advisory was issued as a precaution, so your risk of getting sick is very low. However, if you begin to have a fever, diarrhea, or nausea you should seek medical attention.

How will I know when the advisory or notice has been lifted?
CWSNC will rescind the Boil Water Advisory when the results from the testing have been confirmed that the water is safe to drink. You will receive your notification the same way you were informed of the advisory.

Is a Boil Water ADVISORY the same as a Boil Water NOTICE? NO!
We issue a Boil Water Advisory when water contamination is possible. In an advisory, we recommend that affected customers boil CWSNC water before consumption or use bottled water. A Boil Water Advisory is voluntarily issued when water contamination is possible.We provide the notification as a courtesy to keep our customers safe just in case.  During an advisory we recommend that customers vigorously boil water for at least 1 minute before consumption or drink bottled water.

We issue a Boil Water Notice when contamination is confirmed in the water system. During a notice, affected customers must boil their water before consumption or use bottled water. A Boil Water Notice is required by law to be issued when contamination is confirmed in the water system. During a notice, affected customers must boil water before consumption or use bottled water.

If you have any questions, call our Customer Service Department at 800) 525-7990.


How to Find and Fix Pesky Household Leaks!

Mar 18, 2019

Did you know that an average household's plumbing leaks can account for nearly 10,000 gallons of water being wasted each year? This adds up to almost 1 trillion gallons of water being wasted annually nationwide! Easy-to-fix leaks around your house could be wasting 90 gallons of water or more, every day.

Fixing easily corrected water leaks can save homeowners about 10 percent on their water bills. So how do you know if your home hides costly and wasteful leaks? Here's a list of tips from the EPA.

1. Check your utility bill: Try examining your utility bill for January or February. It’s likely that a family of four has a serious leak problem if its winter water use exceeds 10,000 gallons (or 13.4 CCF) per month. You can also look for spikes - is your water use a lot higher this month than it was last month?

2. Read your water meter: Find your water meter, which is usually near the curb in front of your home but can be inside your home (e.g., in the basement) in cold climates. Use a screwdriver to remove the lid on your meter, which is heavy and usually marked “water.” Now that you’ve found the meter, take a reading during a period when no water is being used. If the meter does not read exactly the same after two hours, you probably have a leak.

3. Test your toilet: Put a few drops of food coloring into the tank at the back of your toilet and let it sit for 10 minutes. If the color shows up in your bowl, you have a leak. Make sure to flush afterward to avoid staining, and consider replacing your old toilet flapper if it is torn or worn.

4. Water world: Examine faucet gaskets and pipe fittings for any water on the outside of the pipe to check for surface leaks. Another telltale sign of a leak is decreased or inconsistent water pressure. If you notice a problem with your faucets, call a plumber.

5. Pipe problems: The pipes that deliver your water are a common source of leaks. If you own an older home, it is more likely to have plumbing problems. Replace galvanized pipes with plastic if possible, and insulate exposed pipes and those in the attic or basement if possible. Pipes can break or crack with age, pressure, or freezing.

Leaks are often easy to fix, requiring only a few tools and hardware that can pay for themselves in water savings. Adding new WaterSense labeled fixtures and other high-efficiency appliances will help further improve your home's water usage.

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Protect your pipes! When in doubt, throw it out!

Feb 14, 2019

Oils and grease are wastes that our sewer system cannot handle and should not be discarded down the drain. Grease, fats, and oils will clog sewer lines (the same way bad cholesterol can clog heart arteries), causing sewage back-ups and flooding. Sewage back-ups can damage personal and our wastewater treatment system.

Carolina Water Service Inc., or North Carolina inspects and clears sewer pipes to prevent spills but we can't do this without your help. Drain excess grease or cooking oil into a can, cool and toss. Wipe any leftover grease from the pan with a paper towel and throw the paper towel away.

The same goes for our toilets. If you flush items down the toilet that don't belong there, you are inviting clogs and overflows. Even products labeled as "flushable" do not decompose in the sewer system and can contribute to clogging. Don't flush paper towels, baby wipes, adult or baby diapers, hair, cotton swabs, feminine products or dental floss. Only put toilet paper down the toilet. 


Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Social Media are LIVE!

Aug 13, 2018
Carolina Water Service, Inc. of North Carolina is now on social media!  Customers can now look for information concerning a wide range of announcements using our social media links! 
Updates on water repairs, capital projects, Employee Spotlights, news and facts on water related conservation, sustainable programs, and many other topics can be found on our Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and SoundCloud -  for our Water Drop Podcast!

Just click on any of the icons and follow CWSNC! To locate the current social media opportunities, look on our main site below the Pay Your Bill Tab on the top right.  

Take a moment to learn more about your water and wastewater provider!

#ClickClean and Choose Paperless Billing

Aug 06, 2018

PAPERLESSnorthcarolina

Get rid of paper clutter. Switch to Paperless Billing.

Paperless billing is the easy, secure way to view your bill. The option for free Paperless Billing will email your full viewable invoice directly to you on the date the bill is issued, instead of through the mail. 

If you are interested in free Paperless Billing, please sign up thru your Online Account Access or contact Customer Service.

Phone: (866) 842-8432
Fax: (866) 842-8348
Email: customerservice@carolinawaterservicenc.com
Monday - Friday: 9:30AM - 6:00PM EST