Email Blast - March 3rd 2021


To the Residents of Briar Chapel,

Hope all of you are well. Here’s our latest updates on the Briar Chapel wastewater system.

BCCA Organizes Town Hall on Wastewater Issues

On February 19th SCN sent a request to our BCCA board members requesting a virtual Zoom meeting to discuss the persistent sewage odor concerns surrounding the WWTP. Our intent was to discuss the root causes of these sewage odors and then focus on a range of options that could be considered to reduce these odors. In response to our request, we were notified to participate in the Town Hall.

The Tri-Party Town Hall is scheduled for Monday, March 8th at 7pm to address Briar Chapel’s wastewater issues. Panelists will include John McDonald (Owner of Integra Water/ONSWC) and Amanda Grenier (ORC/Lead Operator of the WWTP) of ONSWC, Tanya Matzen (VP of Operations for Newland) of NNP Briar Chapel, and Jerry Cole, Cathy Washburn, and Tom Speer of BCCA.

The agenda for the meeting will be:

7:00 – 7:15pm – ONSWC Presentation

7:15 – 7:45pm – Panelist Q&A

7:45 – 8:00pm – Public Q&A (Residents can submit questions)

Advance registration is not required to attend this event. Please use this link to join the webinar: . Please submit any questions you may have in advance to by Thursday, March 4, 2021.

Unfortunately, this format limits residents opportunity to raise questions and express concerns. We appreciate the opportunity for resident Q&A and hope that the panelists will consider extending the time beyond the limited 15 minutes and allow for two-way dialogue. It is important for residents to have a voice in these important issues. SCN will be submitting the following questions and hope to hear responses during the Q&A session:

· What measures are being taken to mitigate sewage odors for those residents surrounding the WWTP?

· Over the last three years, we’ve heard many reasons given for what is causing the sewage odors near the WWTP: deferred maintenance, broken equipment: aerators, blowers and pumps, high sewage levels in the equalization basin, sludge hauling, wind, heat and humidity. We’ve been told that the sewage becomes anoxic and anerobic (increasing the sewage odor) due to the time it spends sitting in the collection pipes before it is pumped uphill to the WWTP. We’ve heard from NCDEQ and Chatham County Commissioners that the WWTP was built too close to homes. What do you believe is the cause of the odor and are you committed to finding a solution before the expansion is completed?

· Our understanding is that Tetra Tech did an engineering survey of the Briar Chapel WWTP. What were their findings on the odor control measures currently in operation at the plant? Based on TetraTech’s assessment, are these odor control measures adequate?

· Construction has started on the WWTP expansion and is expected to be completed by the end of 2021. Will ONSWC be doing any plant upgrades as part of this expansion to address the sewage odors?

· Several solutions have been raised for improving odor control around the WWTP: bioxide feed, biofilters, and a physical berm around the WWTP. Is ONSWC planning to move forward with any of these ideas? Are there other ideas under consideration?

· During the last HOA Board meeting, you mentioned that the spray irrigation system is increasing to 600,000 GPD. We understand the WWTP is expanding to 500,000 gpd, so why is the irrigation system being expanded to 600,000 gpd? It is expensive to install and expensive to maintain so why install and maintain more than this community could ever possibly need?

· Recently you published test results for the spray irrigation for 2020, that showed that of the 590 tests performed by ONSWC, 17% exceeded daily maximum levels set by NCDEQ. Of the 63 tests performed by AWT, 3% exceeded daily maximum levels and 3% were at daily maximum levels. How did you conclude that the spray irrigation is not harmful to human health with this volume of exceedences?

January Non-Discharge Monitoring Report

ONSWC is required to file a monthly monitoring report showing results of testing of the reclaimed water generated by the WWTP. The January nDMR Report shows a number of issues:

· WWTP exceeded the monthly flow (volume that is permitted to be processed) and exceeded the dail flow limits on 1/6, 1/8-1/13, 1/15-1/20, 1/22-1/25, and 1/27-1/31

· BOD (degree of organic pollution in water) exceeded the monthly limit

· TSS (total suspended solids) exceeded the monthly limit and the daily maximum limit on 1/7 and 1/26

· Turbidity (measure of cloudiness of water) > 10 NTU on 1/25 and 1/27

· Numerous issues were reported with RAS pumps, EQ pumps and sand filter repairs.

New Spray Field is Overirrigated

ONSWC has recently been permitted to use a new spray field located on the walking trail that goes along the power easement off Briar Chapel Parkway across from the Sports Courts. Shortly after being permitted, a resident encountered overirrigation resulting in standing water on the walking trail. (Picture 1, Picture 2)

Status Update on Tri-Party Agreement

Here’s the latest information we have on the status of the work outlined in the Tri-Party Agreement:

· Construction of the forcemain bypass was announced to begin on February 8th and is estimated to take 60 days. Equipment has been staged and the area marked off, but work has not yet begun. The pipeline bypass will run from Pump Station A (on Great Ridge Parkway by the dog park) along Great Ridge Parkway to the SD-East force main (located behind the homes on Tyner Loop).

· Work on the WWTP expansion is starting. Equipment and materials have been staged. ONSWC is planning to utilize the existing permit, requiring expansion to 500,000gpd using extended aeration. Our understanding from Mr. McDonald is they expect construction to be completed by end of 2021.

· NCDEQ is reviewing three additional permit modification requests from ONSWC that would convert some existing spray irrigation from potable to reclaimed water (e.g. Encore residential homes, homes in the Wildwind area and Sports Courts) and allows construction of some additional spray irrigation fields (area north and south of Western pond and in common areas within Encore and behind Cliffdale homes). If approved, this would increase our spray irrigation capacity to 521,454 gpd.

· The Tri-Party Council met on February 9th 2021. The minutes for this meeting have been posted. The next meeting is scheduled on March 9th 2021.

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 We will make sure your complaint is shared with all the appropriate parties (Integra Water, NCDEQ, BCCA board, First Residential, Amanda Grenier) and documented/tracked.


Total amount donated: $49,472.58 (483 families contributing)

Spent to date: $42,340.16 (Legal: $35,317.50, Engineering Expert: $6,142.00, Administrative: $880.66)

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.



Mission Statement

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. 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: