To the Residents of Briar Chapel,
Status Update on Tri-Party Agreement
Based on input from NCDEQ and John McDonald (Integra Water) we have the following updates from the Tri-Party Agreement:
· Permit request for forcemain bypass has been approved by NCDEQ, but they are still awaiting approval from Chatham County and Duke Power. The route of the bypass has been relocated along Great Ridge Parkway. Once approved, expect 3-4 weeks for construction.
· The WWTP expansion is still in design stages. ONSWC is planning to utilize the existing permit, requiring expansion to 500,000gpd using extended aeration. Construction has slipped and will likely start in February 2021.
· NCDEQ is continuing to review the permit modification to allow the Western pond to be used to store reclaimed water. Expansion of the spray irrigation is delayed. NCDEQ has made three site visits and requested additional information for the spray irrigation expansion and conversion requests.
· Amanda Grenier, the new operator, has been catching up on maintenance at the plant to address odor control. Evoqua is also working with ONSWC on tuning of the odor control system, though the odor control system is not yet implemented at all of our pump stations. We continue to receive odor complaints, but we have seen some decline in the volume of complaints since Thanksgiving.
· The Tri-Party Council had their first meeting on 11/18/20 and their second meeting on 12/8/20. Here’s the minutes from the first meeting. Note, they have not included any resident representatives on this council. In addition, ONSWC discontinued testing of the spray irrigation. To date, no results from the ONSWC or HOA testing of the spray irrigation system have been shared with residents. We feel testing should continue until the data clearly shows that the spray irrigation is safe.
NCDEQ Posts another NOV
On November 17th, NCDEQ issued a Notice of Violation for the October 31st sewage spill that occurred at the dog park on Great Ridge Parkway. ONSWC self-reported the spill as totaling 6,167 gallons of sewage spilled, with 300 gallons flowing into Pokeberry Creek.
Another sewage spill was reported on 11/9/20, along the SD East forcemain behind Beacon Ridge about 50 yds from the storm pond. ONSWC self-reported the spill as totaling 100 gallons with none flowing into surface waters. NCDEQ will not be issuing an NOV for this spill.
This brings us up to 31 sewage spills with a total of over 86,000 gallons of sewage being spilled onto Briar Chapel property, most of which flowed into Pokeberry Creek. To date, ONSWC has received 21 Notice of Violations for the Briar Chapel WW system.
Is Regionalization a Dead Issue?
At the November 16th CCBOC meeting the commissioners alerted us to regionalization still being on the table for Briar Chapel. This was confirmed by the county attorney. As a result we have been researching what is involved in expanding Briar Chapel’s WWTP to cover a broader service area (beyond Briar Chapel).
First, we looked at the current defined service area. NCUC provided us with a service area map (dated 10/22/2009) that was provided when the original Certificate for Public Convenience was issued by NCUC to Briar Chapel Utilities. When the WW system was purchased by ONSWC (October 2014), the certificate was transferred and a new map was provided to NCUC, which included two new service areas: US Steel (parts of Cliffdale, Whispering Wind and Encore) and Willow Oaks Montessori. NC regulations requires ONSWC to file a Notice of Contiguous Extention with NCUC 30 days prior to extending service to a contiguous property outside of this service area. On December 14th, Newland started construction on another new service area (Firmage – 15 homes) and ONSWC has not filed a service area extention for this addition to the WW system.
According to NCUC Public Staff, as long as ONSWC files a Notice of Contiguous Extention and meets the requirements the service area is extended. Only if the property is not contiguous (such as Williams Corner) or is covered by another service area certificate (such as Fearrington Village), does it require an application and approval.
Next we took a look at the property that is contiguous to Briar Chapel:
· Newland currently owns five properties totaling @ 233 acres contiguous to Briar Chapel
· Durham Farms (107 acres) is currently for sale and is contiguous to Briar Chapel
· Vickers-Bennett owned by Vickers-Bennett Group LLC (26 acres clustered residential property on the corner of 15/501 and Jack Bennett) is expected to come before the CC Planning Board in 2021. This property has a small area that is contiguous to Briar Chapel
· Property for Sale on Andrews Store Road (AKPAR 94240) – 24 acres
· Property for Sale on Andrews Store Road (AKPAR 65019) – 45 acres
Chatham County regulations support adding new development to existing WW treatment systems where there is sufficient permits and capacity as determined by NC DEQ.
Our research has confirmed that ONSWC/Newland could move forward with expanding the Briar Chapel WWTP service area without needing approval from NCUC, as long as they have the necessary permits and capacity as determined by NCDEQ. This is one of the biggest reasons for us to remain vigilant - we need to ongoingly monitor these requests and be prepared to challenge.
Documenting our Concerns
We need to continue to document resident’s complaints/concerns, particularly odor issues. 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: $48,198.68 (465 families contributing)
Spent to date: $41,999.27
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.
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