Pender County asking residents to conserve water due to drought

Pender County asking residents to conserve water due to drought
Published: Dec. 8, 2022 at 3:37 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 8, 2022 at 9:32 PM EST
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PENDER COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) - Due to the second year in a row of winter drought conditions, Pender County is asking residents to conserve water. Much of Southeastern North Carolina is in a moderate drought.

“We’re trying to be proactive about that. And informing our citizens of the need to conserve water to make sure the water in our water system lasts as long as it can. But also giving the notice to be aware of the dry conditions and to be protective of their activities to help prevent fires from occurring,” Kenny Keel, Pender County’s Public Utilities Director, said.

Per a release from Pender County, the drought data comes from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. A drought can result in reduced streamflow and a higher risk of wildfires.

“Pender County has experienced dangerous wildfires,” said Tommy Batson, Pender County Emergency Director. “Suppressing a fire requires a huge amount of water and during a drought, we need to conserve our water.”

Officials recommend the following methods to conserve water:

  • “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.”

Another thing to keep in mind with the holiday season-- real Christmas trees in your home.

“You definitely don’t want those to dry out. Those can certainly be a big fire hazard,” Keel said.

He urges people to continue watering their trees regularly as putting out a fire from a dried-out tree would use significantly more water than your everyday watering.

Keel said this also serves as a reminder to always think about how you can conserve water on any given day.

“Definitely good to practice conservation measures all the time, regardless of when the county or your municipality might encourage it. Not only does it save water and helps our water in our system to go further, but it also saves you money.”