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A System Pressure Advisory (SPA) is a public statement advising customers to boil tap water before consuming it. Advisories are issued when an event has occurred allowing the possibility for the water distribution system to become contaminated. An advisory does not mean that the water is contaminated, but rather that it could be contaminated; because the water quality is unknown, customers should assume the water is unsafe to drink and take the appropriate precautions until water samples can be tested. A System Pressure Advisory is different from a Boil Water Notice, which is issued when contamination is confirmed in the water system. During a notice, all customers must boil their water before consuming it or use bottled water.
What actions do I need to take?
If a system pressure advisory is issued, it is recommended all water used for human consumption be boiled but it is not mandatory. Recommendations include bringing all water to a rolling boil, let it boil for one minute, and cool before using; or use bottled water. It is recommended to use boiled or bottled water for drinking, making ice, washing dishes, brushing teeth and food preparation until you are notified that the advisory has been lifted.
The following steps are also recommended:
How long does a system pressure advisory last until it can be lifted?
A System Pressure Advisory or Notice will remain in effect until test samples show the water is safe to drink. Testing for bacteria requires 18 to 24 hours to complete, depending on the type of test used. A notification will be sent out to either rescind the System Pressure Advisory if water samples test negative for bacteria or if samples test positive for bacteria, an official Boil Water Advisory will be issued.
Since an advisory is a precautionary measure, will I get sick if I drink the water? What if I drank some of the water before I found out about the advisory?
Until test results show the water is safe to drink, you should not drink the water without boiling it first. During an advisory, chances are if you are in good health, you will not get sick from drinking the water; however, young children, some of the elderly, and people with severely compromised immune systems should not drink the water until it is deemed safe to drink. Symptoms of illness caused by bacteria in the water may include diarrhea, cramps, nausea, headaches, or other symptoms. Please note that these symptoms are not caused only by organisms in drinking water. If you experience any of these symptoms and they persist, you may want to seek medical advice.
What should I do once the advisory is lifted?
Customers under a system pressure advisory can resume normal water usage when the notice is lifted without taking additional measures. If you experience cloudy or discolored water, you should run your faucets for a few minutes until the water runs clear.
Can I use the water for showering and bathing?
Yes. Just be careful not the drink the water while you shower or bathe or to allow the water to get into any open wounds.
Can I use the water for laundry?
Yes, it is OK to do laundry.
Can I use the water for washing dishes?
It is recommended affected customers not use the dishwasher because the water temperature in most dishwashers does not reach the boiling point. Dishes should be hand-washed with water that has been boiled first. Or, you can use hot, soapy water and add one tablespoon of bleach per gallon as a precaution, and rinse dishes in cooled water that has been boiled first.
Do I still need to boil my water if I have a filter system on my faucet or refrigerator?
Most point-of-use filters are designed to improve the aesthetics of water (improve taste and odor), and not to remove harmful bacteria. You can learn about the capability of your filter by contacting the manufacturer. If in doubt, you should boil your water or use bottled water even if you have a filtering system
How long is boiled water safe to drink?
Once the water has been boiled, you can cover it and put it in the refrigerator for later use. As long as the water is protected from contamination, it will stay safe to drink.
Should I flush my house pipes?
Craven County will notify you if it is necessary to flush household pipes and will provide instructions to take prior to using the water in the event of a mandatory boil water advisory. Flushing simply means letting the water run to ensure that no contaminated water remains in your pipes. If customers are advised to flush household plumbing, the guidelines will likely include:
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Craven County Water is open Monday through Friday from 8:00am until 5:00pm. However, if you need to set up new service in the office, we request that you come in no later than 4:30pm to allow us time to process your paperwork. We will be closed during the same holidays as other Craven County Government.
Craven County Water covers a wide spread and diverse population. We service many of the areas outside of city limits. We service portions of Harlowe and Havelock, James City, Brice’s Creek, Vanceboro, Ernul, Cove City, Fort Barnwell, Jasper, and Spring Garden just to name a few. If you are unsure of who services your water, feel free to call our office and one of our friendly Customer Service Clerks will let you know if we service your address.
There are several different ways to set up a new service.
We require proof of identity in order to set up new service or write a check in our office. We do this in order to protect our customers from identity theft.
Craven County Water’s rates can be found by clicking here.
No. Craven County does not service sewer. If service is available at your address there are several different companies that could service your particular address. Check with your landlord or realtor for information on your specific address.
No. Craven County Water does not handle trash collection. For more information you may contact Craven County Solid Waste.
No. At this time we do not have the capability for online billing or viewing of your bills. However, this is something that we are looking forward to providing to our customers within the next 2-5 years.
In an effort to protect our customers, we require that someone over the phone must provide the account number in order to gain information, change information or terminate water service.
Craven County Water services over 14,000 homes and businesses. Those numbers are broken down into 4 billing areas based on Townships. So there are 4 different billing dates, due dates and disconnection dates.
Bills are due and payable upon creation. A customer’s failure to receive a water bill shall not preclude such bill becoming delinquent or relieve the user from payment. Bills become delinquent twenty days after the BILLING DATE, there after which a 10% penalty will be applied. Your billing date may be different every month based on the calendar.
Neuse River is billed between the 1st and the 5th of every month.
Township 6 is billed between the 5th and the 10th of every month.
North West Craven is billed between the 15st and the 20th of every month.
East Craven is billed between the 20th and the 25th of every month.
So the last day to pay your bill without incurring a penalty will be based on what day your bill was created. This date will be printed on your monthly bill. We do not call/robo-call customers to remind them of their due dates or their disconnection dates.
HOWEVER!!!! If you know your billing area (Northwest Craven, East Craven, Neuse River or Township 6) you can click NOTIFY ME from our calendar. This feature will send you a text or email message 2 days before your area's bills are due or scheduled for disconnection! It cannot give any information on your account you would still have to contact the office for specifics. PLEASE NOTE: This will send you a message even if your bill has already been paid. If you do not know your billing area, please feel free to ask one of our Customer Service Clerks.
Bills are due and payable upon creation. A customer’s failure to receive a water bill shall not preclude such bill becoming delinquent or relieve the user from payment. Bills become delinquent twenty days after the BILLING DATE, there after which a 10% penalty will be applied. If the bill is not paid within 50 days of the BILLING DATE service will be disconnected. If you are scheduled for a disconnection, the date will be printed on your monthly bill. We do not send out additional notices. We do not call/robo-call customers to remind them of their due dates or their disconnection dates.
HOWEVER!!!! If you know your billing area (Northwest Craven, East Craven, Neuse River or Township 6) you can click NOTIFY ME from our calendar.. This feature will send you a text or email message 2 days before your area's bills are due or scheduled for disconnection! It cannot give any information on your account, you would still have to contact the office for specifics. PLEASE NOTE: This will send you a message even if your bill has already been paid. If you do not know your billing area, please feel free to ask one of our Customer Service Clerks.
If you are unable to pay your bill due to financial hardship, unfortunately Craven County Water does not offer payment arrangements.
There are several different places in town that may be able to assist you:
Please Note: Craven County Water does not accept vouchers other than the specific entities listed as numbers 1-4 on the above list. Any other assistance will have to be made the same day via cash, check, money order or Official Payment only.
DISCLAIMER: Craven County Water does not endorse the above companies or charities nor do we receive any compensation other than payment on bills owed by the customers they assist. We do not have any oversight as to their qualifications for assistance or ability to receive their aid. This is simply a list of places that have been able to help other customers in the past.
You can apply for an adjustment on your bill if you meet the following requirements:
1) Customer must make repairs within 48 hours after being notified by the Water Department personnel. This is either by being sent or left a high consumption notice or upon creation of the bill.
2) Customer must provide either a signed statement or copy of a bill that states the leak has been repaired by a N.C. Licensed Plumber or an itemized store receipt for the parts that were used for repair.
3) In order to qualify for an adjustment the billed consumption must be at least twice as much as the average monthly consumption comprised by the surrounding 12 months, unless 12 months data is not available.
4) Customer shall pay the 12 month water consumption average plus, one-half the amount over the 12 month average and Craven County Water will absorb the remainder.
5) Only one adjustment shall be allowed in a consecutive twelve month period.
6) Bill must be at least $50.00.
If you live in the James City towards the Harlowe areas you may have noticed a slight difference in your water. We began using our new Water Treatment Facility in October 2017.
We formerly pulled all of the water from the Black Creek Aquifer. This is a great aquifer that does not need a complex treatment process, but simply needs to have chlorine added. We were notified by the State of North Carolina well over a decade ago that we would need to begin to reduce the amount that we pulled from that aquifer. The Craven County Board of Commissioners, the former Craven County Manager, and the Craven County Water Superintendent started making plans to build the Water Treatment Facility. We did additionally start pulling from the PeeDee Aquifer to reduce the demand on the Black Creek while we were constructing our facility. We now pull water from the Castle Hayne Aquifer which is lower quality water before treatment. After treatment, the quality of water very similar. It is the same aquifer that the City of New Bern uses as well, but our plant treats the water using a membrane system.
No. Many water users are concerned about this. Hard water requires more soap and synthetic detergents for home laundry and washing. Hardness is caused by compounds of calcium and magnesium, and by a variety of other metals. Our treatment facility removes the majority of these elements. As water moves through soil and rock, it dissolves very small amounts of minerals and holds them in solution. Calcium and magnesium dissolved in water are the two most common minerals that make water "hard". The water from the Black Creek Aquifer was extremely “soft”; in fact we have had some customers complain that the water made it difficult to remove soap. That water was rated as 1 grain of hardness, whereas the water from the Water Treatment Plant is rated between 2 and 3 grains of hardness .Water is not considered “hard water” until it reaches 7 grains of hardness. We have done the best job possible to comply with the state requirements and provide our customers with adequate water supply.
The reason your water may have a slight odor of chlorine is that our goal is to ensure that all customers have safe, quality drinking water. This means the customer at the end of the line has a slightly different residual than customers at the beginning of a line. To make sure that all of the water reaches all of our customers within the correct levels, we are adjusting and testing the water on a daily basis. Upon initial start-up we slightly overfeed the chlorine so as to have a sufficient residual at the ends of the distribution system. Since day one we have been adjusting the feed rate down to lower levels while checking the residual. We have to do this at a slow pace so we do not feed lower than what our actual chlorine need is. Customers that live closest to the water plant may notice this for a longer period of time due to their close proximity to the water plant, whereas before, the water they were getting came all the way from Cove City. The water is SAFE and within state standards, even with the slight odor. We are working towards a perfect balance for all of our customers. We thank you for your patience while we ensure you have the best water possible.
We test the water at the plant on a daily basis. This ensures that it there are any issues with water quality we will know about it BEFORE it enters the distribution system. We additionally test 30+ random sites throughout our entire service area every single month. We also have homes that we test for lead and copper. These results are published in our Annual Water Quality Report. We are confident that our water meets or exceeds the State Standards.
We do not test water at specific customer’s homes.