To the Residents of Briar Chapel,
We hope everyone is staying healthy and are finding creative ways to deal with the heat. Here’s our latest updates.
Thank you to all of you who took the time to send in letters to the Chatham County Board of Commissioners (CC BOC). Unfortunately, the CC BOC has decided to move forward with plans to hold both the quasi-judicial hearings (3 of them) and the public hearings for Williams Corner rezoning request at their next CC BOC meeting on August 17th. It will be a long night.
Williams Corner (owned by Bold Development) is proposing development of 540-apartments and commercial development on the corner of Lystra Rd and 15/501. They have a rezoning proposal before the CC BOC that includes a commitment from ONSWC (Briar Chapel WWTP) to provide Williams Corner with offsite wastewater treatment and discharge. Williams Corner is the first of three new developments that are planning to propose use of the Briar Chapel WWTP for their wastewater treatment.
The public hearing for Williams Corner will operate under a new remote meeting protocol, that allows those who wish to speak to choose between 1) in person in a remote socially distanced room, 2) online via webinar or 3) via voicemail. Speakers must sign up ahead of time and designate which of these methods they wish to use. All speakers are limited to no more than 3 minutes.
We will send out more details on how to sign up for the public hearings in our next email. Also, we will provide draft letters for those of you who prefer to email or write to your CC BOC. It is important to speak out if you disagree with this proposal.
New Section of Briar Chapel Force Main Pipeline has Three Sewage Spills
Historically, many of the sewage leaks/spills that have occurred in Briar Chapel have occurred on the section of the force main that runs from Great Ridge Parkway (by the dog park) behind the homes on Hill Creek Blvd and Serenity Hill cul-de-sac that backup to the easement. In June ONSWC/Envirolink hired a contractor, Carolina Civil Works, to replace a 1000 ft section of this area of the force main with HDPE (high density polyethylene pipe). The installation was completed and inspected on June 22, 2020. On July 9, 2020, NC DEQ posted three sanitary sewage overflow (SSO) reports for three sewage leaks/spills that occurred on June 22, 2020:
· SSO Report – at 4:30pm there was a spill of 100 gallons that did not reach surface waters that occurred at Lift Station B due the pump being turned off too long at Lift Station B after a pipe disruption at Lift Station A
· SSO Report – at 7:00pm there was a spill of 5,000 gallons in which 4,000 gallons reached Pokeberry Creek, the spill occurred at a manhole behind Lift Station A and was due to a weld failure; pump and haul was required due to the volume of this spill
· SSO Report – at 10:00pm there was a spill of 2,000 gallons in which 2,000 gallons reached the wetlands by Pokeberry Creek, the spill occurred at a manhole behind Lift Station A and was again due to a weld failure
Fearrington Village WWTP Receives Another Notice of Violation
On July 14th, 2020, the NC DEQ issued another Notice of Violation (NOV) for the Fearrington Village WWTP (Permit #: NC0043559). Since Envirolink took over operation of the Fearrington Village WWTP, the plant has received a total of 20 Notices of Violation. This Notice of Violation was for exceeding their daily maximum limit for BOD (biological oxygen demand which measures the degree of organic pollution in water). Treated wastewater from the Fearrington Village WWTP is discharged into Bush Creek, a tributary of the Haw River and Lake Jordan.
ONSWC Announces Integra Water will take over Customer Billing & Customer Service
Effective immediately, Integra Water will be taking over customer billing and customer service from Envirolink. Their customer service number is 877-511-2911. Integra Water is located in Birmingham, Alabama. When you place your service call to Integra Water, they will take your complaint, put in a work order and send it back to Envirolink to execute.
Integra Water, owned by John MacDonald, owns 95% of ONSWC. They are based in Alabama where they currently own three WWTPs: Integra Water Creola, Integra Water Vinemont and Integra Water Madison County. All of the other WWTPs listed on Integra Water’s website belong to ONSWC here in North Carolina. We looked into Integra Water’s track record in Alabama. The Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM), similar to our NC DEQ, has documentation online that shows Integra Water has received:
· 97 Notices of Violation/Deficiencies/Non-Compliance
· 15 Sanitary Sewage Overflows
· 3 Compliance Inspections with Findings
· 1 Special Order by Consent
Spray Irrigation Has Started
On June 15th, ONSWC received approval from NCDEQ to add a sodium hypochlorite (chlorine) injection to our spray irrigation. ONSWC requested this back in January as a deterrent to odors in the spray irrigation. We’ve been notified that ONSWC needed to order equipment to complete the install. The chlorine injection is expected to begin by the end of July.
ONSWC/Envirolink has started irrigation within most of the common areas of Briar Chapel. Residents have been very helpful in reporting incidents of overirrigation and runoff of irrigation water into storm drains and creeks which is a violation of their permit. When we get these notifications from residents, we notify NCDEQ and pass the information to the BCCA Infrastructure Task Force who is working with Envirolink to try to resolve these issues.
Please contact us at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org if you experience any strong odors, discolored irrigation, oversaturation, pooling of irrigation water, runoff of irrigation water into storm drains/ponds/creeks, running of the irrigation system during inclement weather, or sinkholes caused by the irrigation system. Video and pictures are helpful.
It’s time to Document our Concerns
Thank you for documenting your complaints, concerns or questions to Envirolink. We have been surprised at the volume of complaints we have received since early February. The number of complaints has significantly exceeded the number of complaints reported by ONSWC/Envirolink in their response to testimony to the NCUC. While we regret that our residents are experiencing these issues, we believe this documentation will make a difference in showing that Briar Chapel residents have serious concerns that have been underreported.
It’s important to document any concerns or complaints that you personally experience with the Briar Chapel wastewater system (odor, runoff, spills, spray effluent pooling). Just a simple email works. If your concern can be documented with a picture (e.g., spills, spray effluent pooling), please attach any pictures you’ve taken of the incident to your email. It is imperative that we continue this effort. We also know that you experience some of these conditions over and over (i.e., odor) but again it is important to document these concerns each time you experience them.
When you have a complaint, Integra Water asks that you call their customer service number 877-511-2911. Please do so. To make sure your complaint is documented, we ask that you also email your concern to us at STOPCHATHAMNORTH@gmail.com. Your concern will only be tracked if you send the email.
Total contributions to date (as of 7/22/2020): $32,503.50
To date we have spent: $11,539.07
Total number of contributors: 349
We’d like to thank everyone who has already donated towards the cost of legal representation. These funds will be used to pay for our attorney’s representation at the NCUC hearing through to final decision. If you haven’t had a chance to make a donation yet, please consider doing this.
You can donate via PayPal by using this link:
If you prefer not to use PayPal:
You can write a check to: STOPCHATHAMNORTH and mail it to: STOPCHATHAMNORTH in care of Liz Rolison, 1900 Briar Chapel Parkway, Chapel Hill, NC 27516 or simply drop the check at Liz’s house.
We are maintaining a full accounting of these funds and will return any unused funds to all homeowners who contribute on a prorated basis. Thank you again for contributing. If we all work together, we have a better chance of achieving our goals.
StopChathamNorth is an unincorporated non-profit association representing concerned homeowners within Briar Chapel. StopChathamNorth does NOT support a regional wastewater treatment plant within the residential community of Briar Chapel. We are aware that there are a number of new communities surrounding Briar Chapel that are planning to utilize our WWTP, in addition to the current proposal to add Fearrington Village to our WWTP. We are opposed to all of these plans to expand Briar Chapel’s WWTP for uses outside of the Briar Chapel residential community. We also believe that the WWTP and ONSWC must be fully compliant with all governance and regulatory guidelines to ensure operations do not create nuisance, unhealthy or hazardous conditions for Briar Chapel residents.
For more information: www.stopchathamnorth.com