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Pender County residents urged to conserve water

BURGAW – According to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) data, Pender County is in its second year of winter drought conditions.

“This places Pender County and Southeastern North Carolina in a dangerous situation,” said Kenny Keel, Pender County Public Utilities Director. “Streamflow is reduced during drought conditions as we are experiencing for the second year in a row.”

Keel explained that lake, river, and reservoir levels decline.

“During a moderate drought, now is the time to begin voluntary water conservation,” said Keel.

According to NOAA, wildfire danger is higher than the seasonal normal during droughts.

“Pender County has experienced dangerous wildfires,” said Tommy Batson, Pender County Emergency Director.

Batson urges residents to monitor any outdoor burning because with the dryness of grass and leaves, fires can spread quickly.

“Suppressing a fire requires a huge amount of water and during a drought, we need to conserve our water,” said Batson.

“If everyone in Pender County practices simple conservation measures, it will help our county to meet our water needs in the future,” said Keel.

According to, here are some practical methods of water conservation during a drought:

  • Never pour water down the drain when there may be another use for it. For example, use it to water your indoor plants or garden.
  • Fix dripping faucets by replacing washers. One drop per second wastes 2,700 gallons of water a year.
  • Check all plumbing for leaks and have any leaks repaired by a plumber.
  • Retrofit all household faucets by installing aerators with flow restrictors.
  • Install an instant hot water heater on your sink.
  • Insulate your water pipes to reduce heat loss and prevent them from breaking.
  • Install a water-softening system only when the minerals in the water would damage your pipes. Turn the softener off while on vacation.
  • Choose appliances that are more energy and water efficient.


  • Consider purchasing a low-volume toilet that uses less than half the water of older models.
  • Install a toilet displacement device to cut down on the amount of water needed to flush. Place a one-gallon plastic jug of water into the tank to displace toilet flow. Make sure it does not interfere with the operating parts.
  • Replace your showerhead with an ultra-low-flow version.


  • Instead of using the garbage disposal, throw food in the garbage or start a compost pile to dispose of it.
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