To the Residents of Briar Chapel,
Hope all of you had a pleasant holiday. As promised, here are the latest updates on our wastewater system.
Large Spray Irrigation Spill
On December 29th at 8:15 am we were alerted of an active spill located behind Hill Creek in the area where many of the force main breaks have occurred. We reported the spill to Integra Water. When we arrived, there was a 6’ geyser of water spraying out of a hole. The geyser was located at a top of a rise and was draining in three directions (two into the creek at the base of the hill and a third into the storm water pond on the other side of the hill). The operators arrived about 9:15 am and concluded that the spill was from a major irrigation line. They cut off the pump to the irrigation system about 10:00 am. ( Video1, Video2, Video3, Video4)
We reported this spill to First Residential (HOA Board) and NCDEQ. Integra Water sent an eNotice out the day after the spill notifying residents of the spill and saying the leak has been repaired. The BCCA has not sent out information to residents alerting them of the spill or advising residents to stay away from the area. As of 1/8/2021, there is still a large hole, uncovered with no caution tape alerting residents to the open area. (Picture) According to NCDEQ, runoff from reclaimed irrigation water into open surface waters is a violation of ONSWC’s permit.
Many residents have voiced concerns regarding the reclaimed water and potential health risks. ONSWC and the BCCA have conducted testing of the reclaimed water. The results from this testing have not been published to residents.
Status Update on Tri-Party Agreement
In last month’s email, we included a link to the first published minutes from the Tri-Party Council meeting held on 11/18/2020. The BCCA has since removed these minutes from the Briar Chapel Life website. We were told this was done because not all of the involved parties had approved the minutes. The Tri-Party Council met again on 12/8/2020 and have their next meeting scheduled for 1/12/2021. Minutes from these meetings have not been published.
On 1/4/2021, we sent a letter to our HOA Board with a list of questions that we asked them to address on behalf of residents at their next Tri-Party Council meeting. On 1/6//2021 our HOA Board sent out an overview on the Tri-Party Council which clearly states that only signatories will be included as members of the Tri-Party council. Residents are not currently included on the council. In addition, the BCCA sent out a status update on the Briar Chapel wastewater system. There are several items we’d like to highlight in this update:
· Briar Chapel Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions Pg. 61, Section 16.3.a discloses that wastewater systems in the community may release odors detectable by members of the community. Further, this document states that Newland, the builders, the BCCA (HOA) will not have any duty to abate these odors and will not be liable for any claims of damages arising from these odors. These convenants were put in place by Newland in 2007.
· We believe the focus on catching up on maintenance done by Amanda Grenier’s team at the WWTP is a step in the right direction; however, note that we have continued to receive a high number of odor complaints since the catch-up maintenance was completed. Since 12/20/20, we have received 20 additional odor complaints from residents about odor conditions near the WWTP, Boulder Park area, Beacon Ridge area and Landover Circle. All of these complaints were reported to Integra Water and our HOA Board.
· The forcemain bypass has been approved by NCDEQ, but they are still awaiting approval from Chatham County. 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 been delayed and will likely start in February 2021 with construction expected to be completed by end of 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.
· Finally, the Infrastructure Task Force (group set up by HOA of resident volunteers) who have been working on resolution of spray irrigation issues and testing of spray irrigation was dissolved in December. For those involved in this group, we thank them for the assistance they’ve provided over the last year.
Capacity vs Actual Volumes at WWTP
Our WWTP is currently permitted and constructed to handle 250,000 gpd. Our spray irrigation system is currently permitted to discharge 199,900 gpd. Based on the monthly monitoring reports ONSWC provides to NCDEQ, the Briar Chapel wastewater system has processed an average of 204,658 gpd over the last 12 months (December 2019 – November 2020).
Documenting our Concerns
We are extremely thankful for the information shared with us by BC residents. 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: $48,309.74 (467 families contributing)
Spent to date: $41,999.27 (Legal: $35,317.50, Engineering Expert: $6,142.00, Administrative: $539.77)
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