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Public Notices

Water Treatment Chemical – Granular Activated Carbon, Invitation to Bid # 23-248


Pender County Utilities is seeking bids for two exchanges of Granular Activated Carbon (GAC) for FY24.  The two exchanges shall be scheduled for November 2023 and April 2024 and will be 40,000 lbs. each.  In addition to freight, all materials, equipment and supervision for the transport, supply and installation of the virgin GAC into the filters must be included.  Bids will only be accepted from manufacturers with 10 years of experience manufacturing virgin activated carbon.  Bidder’s virgin and reactivation manufacturing processes shall produce NSF/ANSI 61 certified products. The GAC product designated by the Bidder as the material to be supplied for this bid shall have five years of history of use in municipal drinking water facilities in North America with a minimum of three installations.  Visit to view full specifications and Invitation to Bid # 23-248 in its entirety.  Questions must be emailed to no later than April 27, 2023 at 1pm.  Sealed bids shall be submitted in person or by FedEx/UPS/courier to 605 E. Fremont St., Burgaw, NC  28425.  Bids sent by US Mail should be submitted to PO Box 995, Burgaw, NC  28425.  Bids must be marked “ITB # 23-248” on the outside and are due no later than May 11, 2023 at 1pm, at which time a formal opening will be conducted at 605 E. Fremont St., Burgaw, NC 28425 in the conference room.   Pender County reserves the right to waive formalities in any response and to reject any or all responses.


Click here to view Water Treatment Chemical – Granular Activated Carbon, Invitation to Bid # 23-248.


Pender County Utilities prepares for 2023 water shortage

BURGAW- Pender County Utilities issued a water shortage plan for Southeastern Pender County effective May 1. PCU customers located east of Interstate-40 in Rocky Point along and adjacent to NC 210 as well as all of Hampstead and Scotts Hill will be impacted.

“Pender County Utilities is taking a proactive stance to provide water to our growing county,” said Kenny Keel, Pender County Utilities director. “Recent drought conditions, the lack of available materials, and water tower capacity make it necessary to issue some restraints in Southeastern Pender County.”

Restraints include suspending installation and permitting all new irrigation services, due to material availability and water supply limitations. Temporary irrigation meters and service arrangements can be made with PCU for new sod needs on a limited basis.

PCU strongly encourages private wells or well systems for irrigation purposes rather than using PCU service. If irrigation water is sourced from PCU, the use of sod is strongly discouraged to reduce irrigation water demand.

PCU will enforce irrigation restrictions. Irrigation will only be allowed on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. Enforcement may include the revocation of irrigation meters until restrictions are lifted.

Lastly, PCU reminds all developers that new commercial or residential developments must be able to provide acceptable fire suppression systems, either from PCU or independent of the county water system to meet NC fire code and water extension requirements. Proposed developments require a third-party Professional Engineer certification verifying adequate water flow and pressure for fire conditions.

“As of March 30, Pender County is in Moderate Drought conditions,” said Keel. “We may be forced to make further adjustments to these restrictions based on drought conditions.

“Our key concern is fire safety and providing clean, safe drinking water to PCU customers,” Keel stated.

PCU is currently constructing three new water supply wells and a new 500,000-gallon elevated tank in Scotts Hill. This project will assist the county’s water capacity until a reverse osmosis water plant is constructed in the impacted area. Completion of one well is expected to go online in December, with the additional two wells to go online in early 2024. The elevated water tank, which is under construction on US Hwy 17 in Scotts Hill, will not be completed until May 2024.

“Pender County Utilities has been impacted by tremendous growth, current supply chain supply issues, and inflation pressures,” said Keel. “We need to take these measures seriously to ensure we have water available for fire suppression and general consumption.”

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Four County Electric Membership Corporation Play Pivotal Role in Helping Deliver High-Speed Internet

Four County Electric Membership Corporation Plays Pivotal Role in Helping Bring High-Speed Internet to Pender County

Pender County, NC – FOCUS Broadband and Four County Electric Membership Corporation (EMC) are cooperatively working to bring high-speed internet service to unserved communities in Pender County. Through this partnership, Four County EMC is allowing FOCUS Broadband to utilize a portion of their fiber-optic network to make high-speed internet service available in western portions of the county more quickly.

To make high-speed internet service available in Pender County, FOCUS Broadband must connect the Pender County network they are constructing to their existing fiber optic network in Columbus County. When the company encountered delays boring under the Cape Fear River and Black River, Four County EMC stepped in and made a portion of their fiber optic network available on a temporary basis to complete the connection. As a result, residents in the Canetuck, Atkinson, and Grady communities will have access to gigabit broadband speeds much sooner. “Cooperation among cooperatives is a principle we believe in,” commented Jeremy Dewberry, Marketing and Energy Services Supervisor at Four County EMC. “By helping FOCUS Broadband we’re helping our members gain access to this critical service, and that is great for our community.”

This is not the first time that Four County EMC and FOCUS Broadband have partnered together.  In 2020, at the onset of the pandemic, the cooperatives worked together to provide Wi-Fi hotspots at several Pender County Schools, and last spring FOCUS Broadband was able to use a connection provided through Four County’s network to make high-speed internet available to Four County EMC members in Duplin County.

“I can’t say enough about how great Four County has been to work with,” commented Keith Holden, FOCUS Broadband CEO. “We have seen firsthand how much they care about their members because they have gone above and beyond to help us connect Duplin and Pender counties to the the incredible opportunities this project will provide.”

FOCUS Broadband’s Pender County project is being made possible using a $21.6 million dollar grant from the USDA ReConnect Grant Program and the company will provide up to $7.2 million in matching funds for the project. FOCUS Broadband has already begun serving customers in Pender County and once complete, more than 7,000 unserved addresses will have access to high-speed internet. Last August, FOCUS Broadband was also awarded a $4 million dollar grant through the NC Department of Information Technology’s GREAT Grant program to bring high-speed internet to an additional 1,331 addresses located in rural areas which were not included in the 2020 ReConnect Grant award. FOCUS Broadband will contribute $547 thousand dollars and Pender County will provide an additional $547 thousand dollars using American Rescue Plan Act funds.

FOCUS Broadband is now offering high-speed internet service in areas of Duplin and Pender counties and additional areas will continue to come online as construction is completed. For more information on FOCUS Broadband’s progress in Pender County, or to see where service is available, visit

About FOCUS Broadband

FOCUS Broadband is a member-owned cooperative providing a multitude of communications services, including telephone, business services, wireless, broadband internet, cable television, and home security, in Brunswick County, North Carolina. FOCUS Broadband provides services in additional areas through its wholly owned subsidiary, ATMC, LLC. FOCUS Broadband is the largest communications cooperative in North Carolina and one of the largest in the country. For more information on products and services from FOCUS Broadband, visit

About Four County Electric Membership Corporation

Four County EMC serves members throughout Bladen, Duplin, Pender, Sampson, Columbus and Onslow Counties by delivering electricity to approximately 34,000 meters. For more information about the electric cooperative, visit

 NCDHHS Urges North Carolinians to “Fight the Bite” with Insect Repellant and Other Prevention Tools to Avoid Tick- and Mosquito-Borne Disease



RALEIGH — With warmer weather on the way, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services urges North Carolinians to “Fight the Bite” by taking measures to reduce their risk of tick- and mosquito-borne diseases. In 2022, almost 700 cases of tick- and mosquito-borne illnesses were reported in the state.

As part of this April’s Tick and Mosquito Awareness Month, NCDHHS is announcing the return of the Fight the Bite campaign to increase awareness about the dangers of tick- and mosquito-borne diseases and to educate North Carolinians about measures they can take to protect themselves.

“Ticks and mosquitoes are everywhere in North Carolina and their bites can cause serious diseases,” said Alexis M. Barbarin, Ph.D., State Public Health Entomologist. “We encourage all North Carolinians to explore the outdoors but do so safely and take protective measures like using DEET or other EPA approved repellants.”

Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Lyme disease and other tickborne diseases can cause fever, headache, rashes, flu-like illness and other symptoms that can be severe.  Alpha-gal syndrome and southern tick-associated rash illness, or STARI, have been seen in the state as well. Most diagnoses of tick-borne diseases are reported between June and September, and cases of Lyme disease accounted for more than half of tick-borne diseases reported last year.

Ticks live in wooded, grassy and brushy areas; frequenting these areas can put you in contact with ticks and increase the potential exposure to vector-borne diseases. To reduce exposure to ticks:

The mosquito-borne diseases most often acquired in North Carolina are West Nile virus (WNV), eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) and La Crosse encephalitis (LAC). North Carolina reported the second-highest number of LAC cases in the United States between 2012 and 2021.

Most mosquito-borne diseases reported in the state are acquired while traveling outside the continental United States, including cases of malaria, dengue, chikungunya and Zika.

To reduce exposure to mosquitoes:

  • Use mosquito repellent that contains DEET (or equivalent) when outside. Use caution when applying to children.
  • Consider treating clothing and gear (such as boots, pants, socks and tents) with 0.5% permethrin.
  • Install or repair screens on windows and doors and use air conditioning if possible.
  • “Tip and Toss” — Reduce mosquito breeding by emptying standing water from flowerpots, gutters, buckets, pool covers, pet water dishes, discarded tires and birdbaths at least once a week.

Talk with your primary care provider or local health department if you plan to travel to an area where exotic mosquito-borne diseases occur.

​Always check your destination to identify appropriate prevention methods. Travel associated health risk information is available at

The Fight the Bite Campaign is a collaboration between the NCDHHS, local health departments and schools to promote a K-12 poster artwork contest that uses illustration to increase tick- and mosquito-borne disease awareness in North Carolina. Entries are due April 10, and information regarding contest submission and deadlines can be found here. Winners of this statewide awareness poster contest will be announced at the end of April.

​For more information on vector-borne diseases in North Carolina, please visit the NCDHHS Vector-Borne Diseases webpage here.

County tire disposal policy

Pender County Regulations for Commercial and Residential Tire Disposal           


  • Pender County policies on tire disposal for residents are as follows. No more than five (5) tires are allowed per day per resident at any of the county sites that accept tires as well as the Transfer Station. These sites are in White Stocking, Willard, Burgaw, Montague, and Rocky point. If a resident has more than five tires they must go to the Transfer Station in Hampstead and pay the required fee.


  • Per the county ordinance, loads of commercial tires can only be taken to Rocky Point Convenience Center and the Hampstead Transfer Station, and quite possibly in the future only be accepted at the Transfer Station. These loads can be no more than one hundred (100) tires per week and must be laced properly when loaded to ensure that the trailer is at maximum capacity when it is hauled. The issue with the commercial tire businesses bringing tires to the Convenience Centers is that the trailer fills quickly and often the residents must wait for the trailer to be hauled before they can dispose of their tire/s.


  • Pender County tire policies are similar to other counties. For instance, New Hanover County only has a landfill and whether you are an individual or a business you must take the tires there. There are no convenience centers in NHC. Lincoln County prohibits tire disposal from businesses at any of their eight centers. Only residents of Alleghany County have access to their Transfer Station and no businesses are allowed. Durham County also prohibits commercial tires from their two convenience centers.


  • Pender County offers commercial tire businesses the two options of manually disposing of their tires. Another option is contacting Central Carolina Holdings (CCH) to have a trailer placed at their business site for permanent use or once to get excess tires cleaned up. The businesses will be responsible for all charges incurred with the trailer except tire tonnage. Pender County will pay for all tire tonnages.

New convenience centers stickers are arriving this spring

BURGAW- Pender County Solid Waste will issue new vehicle window decals this spring for resident use at the convenience centers and the Transfer Station.

“Until the new stickers arrive from the printer, Pender County Solid Waste will have a grace period for residents,” said Kenny Keel, Pender County Utilities director. “Residents should continue using the last issued decals into the spring.”

Two new decals will be issued per household through the mail. Additional decals will be available for purchase at $40 each. New decals can be purchased at the Pender County Utilities office, 605 E. Fremont St. in Burgaw, or from the Hampstead Transfer Station on Tuesdays through Fridays.

Residents can pay for full-service trash disposal or recycle-only disposal for use at the county’s multiple convenience sites and the Transfer Station. The charge typically appears on resident tax bills.

Keel said residents often hesitate about affixing the decals to the windshields of vehicles, however, that is a requirement for site access. If a vehicle is traded, simply scrape a portion of the decal from the windshield and the county will replace the decal for residents. He added that if a vehicle is totaled in an accident, take a photo of the windshield and the county will replace the decal at no cost.

“We look forward to providing the new decals this spring,” said Keel.

EPA announces proposal to regulate PFAS in drinking water

DEQ provides assistance to public water systems

RALEIGH– Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced a proposed National Primary Drinking Water Regulation to establish legally enforceable levels for six PFAS, or per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, known to occur in drinking water. Specifically, EPA is proposing an enforceable Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) for PFOA and PFOS, at 4 parts per trillion (ppt), a level that can be reliably measured by most labs. The proposed rule would also regulate GenX chemicals, PFNA, PFHxS, and PFBS through the use of a Hazard Index calculation to determine if the combined levels of these PFAS pose a potential risk to human health. Once the proposed EPA rule becomes final, public water systems will have three years to comply with the regulation. More information on the EPA announcement and how to provide public comment is available here.

The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality has been working with public water systems to prepare for the proposed regulation and assess PFAS levels in drinking water systems across the state. Under the Action Strategy for PFAS, DEQ is taking a whole-of-department approach to protect communities by identifying, reducing, and remediating PFAS pollution. DEQ is also utilizing federal funding under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to help address PFAS contamination, including funding designated specifically for small, rural, and underserved communities.

“North Carolina has been leading efforts to address forever chemicals in our drinking water and today’s EPA announcement provides additional federal support and a roadmap for the public water systems in our state,” said Secretary Elizabeth S. Biser. “Having clear direction on national drinking water standards supports DEQ’s work with public water systems to protect the people of North Carolina.”

In late 2022, DEQ performed three months of sampling at 50 municipal and county water systems (map) identified in the 2019 PFAST Network study with PFOA/PFOS detections above the minimum reporting level indicated by the 2022 EPA interim health advisories or GenX above 10 ppt. DEQ is actively working with the systems on next steps and providing technical assistance.

Some public water systems in North Carolina are currently monitoring for PFAS voluntarily.  DEQ is also implementing plans to sample hundreds of smaller water systems that may not have that capability to better assess the levels of PFAS on a statewide basis. DEQ recommends that public water systems share their PFAS results with customers.

Beyond public water systems, DEQ has taken several actions to better identify PFAS sources and reduce emissions and discharges:

  • Requiring PFAS information from new facilities and industries and developing permit conditions as appropriate throughout the state;
  • Inventorying and prioritizing locations for additional assessment where these substances may have been manufactured, used, discharged or disposed;
  • Adding permit conditions as appropriate to address PFAS air emissions, waste generation, or wastewater discharges and require disclosure of data and additional monitoring;
  • Conducting groundwater testing and additional monitoring in areas with known or suspected PFAS contamination;
  • Requiring all solid waste sanitary landfills to include PFAS analyses of all regular groundwater, surface water and leachate samples;

DEQ continues to gather data to support setting regulatory standards and to provide technical assistance to facilities to reduce future PFAS pollution.

If you have public water, contact your water provider to find out whether they have sampled for PFAS and what steps they are taking to address PFAS.

If you are concerned about the level of PFAS in your drinking water, whether you are on a private well or public water system, you may consider adding filtration to reduce the amount of PFAS you consume. The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services has developed a list of filtration options, from whole house or under sink systems to pitcher of fridge filters with information on their effectiveness. NC DHHS Filtration Options and Sampling Factsheet

Additional information on PFAS is available on the DEQ website.

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