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How many water and sewer systems operate in Brunswick County? Is it that water is profitable?

Jason Gonzales
The Navassa water tower rises in the horizon with sewer pipe in a vacant field in Navassa as crews work to install the sewer lines in the northern Brunswick County community. StarNews file photo.

The Navassa water tower rises in the horizon with sewer pipe in a vacant field in Navassa as crews work to install sewer lines. StarNews file photo.

“You’ve got 12 utilities providing water and one utility provides it in two places and the county provides it in the other five places,” said Jerry Pierce, Brunswick County’s director of public utilities.

There are 19 municipalities in Brunswick County, in addition to unincorporated sections served by the county. None are for-profit ventures, Pierce says.

“All are nonprofit entities. There are no for-profit utilities in Brunswick County any more, so to say these utilities make a profit, that is not correct.” Pierce says. “What we do is try to provide a service and make sure that we meet the specific needs of our customers, water and sewer.”

Specifically, Pierce says water service is provided by the town of Sandy Creek, city of Northwest, Leland, Belville and parts of Leland through H2GO North Brunswick Water and Sewer Authority, the town of Navassa, Boiling Spring Lakes, the city of Southport, the town of Oak Island, Caswell Beach, Bald Head Island, Shallotte, Ocean Isle Beach and Holden Beach.

“We provide water to all these municipalities through a wholesale water agreement,” Pierce says.

Brunswick County receives and helps transmit from the Lower Cape Fear Water and Sewer Authority. The county also gets water through various wells.

Sewer service is provided by Sandy Creek, Northwest, Navassa, Leland, to sections of Leland and Belville through H2GO, Southport, Oak Island, Caswell Beach, Bald Head Island, Shallotte, Holden Beach, Ocean Isle Beach and sections of St. James and areas along Long Beach Road through the Southeast Brunswick Sanitary Sewer District.

The county provides water and sewer service in St. James, Bolivia, Sunset Beach, Boiling Spring Lakes, Calabash and Carolina Shores, and water service in Varnumtown.

“Brunswick County provides water from one end of the county to the other,” Pierce says. “Inside of municipalities some elected officials have decided to provide the service themselves and some have decided to let the county provide it for them.”

The county has entered into partnerships with a number of the municipalities for wastewater treatment. It operates the Northeast Brunswick Wastewater Treatment Plant in Navassa, and the West Brunswick Water Reclamation facility in the Supply area. It also operates the Ocean Isle Beach Wastewater Treatment Plant.

“We’re trying to work with the municipalities to create regional facilities,” Pierce said.

“The county has one rate structure for all its customers. Some municipalities are higher than the county’s rate and some and lower than the county,” Pierce says. “We don’t differentiate by area. We charge the same rates.”

To access information about county water rates, go to www.brunsco.net and find the Utilites section under the Departments tab on the top of the page. Once in Utilities, click on water and sewer rates and go to fees on the left-hand side of the page.

NOTE: This question was originally answered in 2009 by Ken Little and is now updated in 2014.


My Brunswick County sewer installation contract states that the county will install meters on homeowners’ private wells. Why is this?

Why did Oak Island raise the sewer tax for only vacant lots?

What is in the water that comes from the Brunswick Nuclear Plant at Southport?


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