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  • Writer's pictureTopsail Times

Water Pressure Issues In Surf City

This July, the Town of Surf City was packed with visitors and tourists. The weather was hot and perfect for a day at the beach. Shops and restaurants were filled with families of all sizes. Rental homes and hotels were booked up and the traffic was heavy, but steady.

Though it was a perfect hot summer’s day, many people were not aware of a record that was broken on July 5th. During the 24-hour period of July 5th, a staggering 1.563 million gallons of water were used from the Surf City system. In simple math that equals 65,000 gallons per hour.

The two primary high production wells (well #3 and well #5) are equipped to handle approximately 2400 gallons per minute (which at full capacity would generate over 100,000 gallons an hour).

So, what happened that caused area business owners and homeowners to reach out to social media about drastically lower water pressure?

The answer may be a combination of certain events.

First, the area was crowded with lots of people and demand was high.

Second, on the 4th of July, the Town of Surf City began to provide water to 1,100 homes at the north end of Surf City in Onslow County who are customers of ONWASA. Those customers, who mainly live on the canal streets, already receive sewer and trash service from Surf City. Those 1,100 new customers used approximately 260,000 gallons of water.

Even though Surf City’s water system is designed to produce 2.6 million gallons of water a day (if demand requires it) the town is already working on getting a 3rd high production well online. Known as well #6, it’s location will be across from the Surf City Food Lion and it will be the closest well to the Island.

Surf City also has three other wells known as well #1, #2, #4 that are functional reserves if needed.

As an emergency back up plan, Surf City’s water system is connected to ONWASA, Pender County and Topsail Beach’s water systems. This connection allows water to be bought or sold as needed to assist neighboring areas.

Last year the average high consumption rate during season was between 900,000 and 1.2 million gallons a day in the summer and approximately 500,000 gallons per day in off season. This year the average is considerably higher for both on and off season.

The last record for a one-day high was in 2019 when the system used 1.4 million gallons of water.

The Town of Surf City currently provides water to 5,606 customers with 2,602 connections.

ONWASA (Onslow County) has 141,409 customers.

Pender County Utilities has 24,236 customers.

Cape Fear Public Utilities (Wilmington) has 153,202 customers.

The Town of Topsail Beach has 3,198 customers.

Interested in learning more about the Surf City water system? Please check out the Town of Surf City’s website and go to Utilities.

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