To the Residents of Briar Chapel,
The last few days have been amazing, so many of you have reached out with kind words, encouragement and the financial support we need to continue to represent and champion resident’s concerns with the Briar Chapel WW treatment system. We sincerely thank you for your response.
We are firmly committed to moving forward with four priorities:
· Represent Briar Chapel residents in opposing Newland’s final plat approval requests at the November 16th Chatham County Board of Commissioners (CCBOC) Meeting until operational conditions with our WW system are stabilized/resolved (odor, spills and capacity)
· Serve the Briar Chapel community by keeping residents informed on Briar Chapel’s WW issues
· Monitor and oppose any development plans outside of the Briar Chapel community that are proposing to use Briar Chapel’s WW system
· Keep our utilities attorney, Dwight Allen, on retainer in case any future applications are filed with NCUC involving either a transfer of ownership of Briar Chapel’s WW system to a new owner or a request to expand the service area for Briar Chapel’s WW system
Chatham County Board of Commissioner’s (CC BOC) Meeting (November 16th 2020)
At the October 19th CC BOC meeting, Newland, ONSWC and our HOA Board announced they had signed a Tri-Party Agreement. As part of this agreement Tom Speers, our HOA Board President, voiced his support for Newland’s final plat approvals. Several Briar Chapel residents made statements on their personal experiences with sewage spills and odor issues. Our attorney presented our case, making them aware of the history and motivations of the principals involved and asking for a delay on these final plats until the system capacity, sewage spills and odor conditions near the WWTP are addressed. The commissioners decided to postpone their decision.
The final two plats have been rescheduled for decision by the CC BOC on Monday, November 16th at 6pm. During the Public Input, SCN will ask the CC BOC to delay approval of these final plats until the system capacity, sewage spills and odor conditions near the WWTP are addressed. Our attorney will be submitting a legal brief on the basis for making this decision.
This meeting will be a remote format meeting and we will send out the information for signing up for the remote Webinar (as soon as it becomes available). In the meantime, we encourage residents to write letters or make phone calls to their CC commissioners. It is important for our CCBOC to hear directly from residents on this issue.
The key message to get across is:
Briar Chapel residents do not want additional development added to our WW system until the system can be stabilized (implementation of force main bypass to prevent/resolve sewage spills), additional spray irrigation capacity is permitted and constructed, and implementation of an odor control system.
CC Commissioners: [Note: Chatham County government recently had a cyberattack and all of their emails have been disabled. The Chatham County Clerk has set up a temporary email address that can be used to send letters to the CC Commissioners: firstname.lastname@example.org . You can also mail letters to P.O. Box 1809 Pittsboro, NC 27312.
Karen Howard (Phone: 919-626-5799)
Diana Hales (Phone: 919-663-2372)
Mike Dasher (Phone: 919-530-9511)
Jim Crawford (Phone: 919-933-9858)
Andy Wilkie (no phone number available)
Update on October 30th/31st Sewage Spill
Last Saturday we reported another sewage spill caused by a pipe break in our forcemain going from Pump Station A to the WWTP (area where most of the spills have occurred). It occurred right on the edge of the dog park and then flowed across the park, down the sidewalk to the walking trail and into Pokeberry Creek. (Video of the Spill)
The spill started on October 30th and was first reported to Integra Water at 6:27pm by a resident. An operator responded to the call the next morning about 8:30am. The spill continued for several more hours as the operator had to bring in equipment/men to make the repair. NCDEQ tells us that ONSWC self-reported the spill at 5,000 gallons with only 300 gallons flowing into Pokeberry Creek. Our understanding is they have asked ONSWC to verify this information. Typically, after spills we see lime put down and sometimes straw or mulch. In this case, we saw no sign of lime being applied, but did see straw applied to the grassy area outside of the dog park and mulch on the walking trail. There appeared to be no remediation done within the dog park. We recommend avoiding this area with your pets. We have alerted our HOA management company about this oversight.
This is our 30th sewage spill in the last four years and our 12th sewage spill this year, totaling over 85,000 gallons spilled in Briar Chapel, most of which flowed into Pokeberry Creek.
September 30th was the last day Envirolink’s William Lamm was the ORC (Operator Responsible in Charge) on our WW system. On October 1st, Envirolink was replaced by Rodney Horne as the ORC. In mid-late October, Rodney Horne was replaced by Amanda Grenier of Greener EHS Solutions as the ORC.
We understand that Amanda has acknowledged that routine maintenance on our WW system had been deferred and needs to be addressed. ONSWC recently announced that they would begin weekly cleaning cycles at the WWTP that will continue for the next month. During the cleaning, they have warned us that odor conditions will increase. These cycles are expected to continue through most of November.
Documenting our Concerns
We need to continue to document resident’s complaints/concerns. Since February 2020, we have documented over 325 resident complaints, with more than 225 involving odor complaints in the area around the WWTP. 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.
When you have a complaint, please call Integra Water’s customer service number 877-511-2911. To make sure your complaint is documented, we ask that you also email your concern to us at STOPCHATHAMNORTH@gmail.com. We will make sure your complaint is shared with our HOA, reported to NCDEQ and documented/tracked.
Total amount donated: $45,387.60 (448 families contributing)
Spent to date: $38,789.27
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 several 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 a nuisance, unhealthy or hazardous conditions for Briar Chapel residents.
For more information: www.stopchathamnorth.com