To the Residents of Briar Chapel,
Here are the latest updates on wastewater in our community.
In this email you will find information about:
1. NCDEQ approves permit changes for odor control improvements to be added to the wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) expansion.
2. ONSWC changes operators at the Briar Chapel WWTP.
3. Industry feedback on pending Newland Communities acquisition.
4. Updates on the Tri-Party Agreement.
NCDEQ Approves Permit for Odor Control Improvements for Briar Chapel WWTP
On May 24th, NCDEQ issued a revised final permit for the Briar Chapel WWTP and spray irrigation system which approved the odor control improvements that ONSWC requested to include in the WWTP expansion currently underway. These odor control improvements include:
· Replace the static screen with the mechanical fine screen with conveyor/compactor and screening wash nozzles where washed screenings will be dropped into an “endless” plastic bag and into a dumpster.
· Current aerators and mixers which operate on the surface will be replaced with submersible diffused aeration and mixers.
· The screen, dumpster, and equalization basins will be enclosed and the air will be pumped into a two-stage odor control system. The first stage is a biofilter and the 2nd stage is a carbon filter.
These improvements are expected to be completed with the plant expansion before the end of the year. We hope that these improvements will make a notable improvement in the odor problems currently experienced by residents who live near the Briar Chapel WWTP. We note that this was not a regulatory requirement and we appreciate ONSWC/John McDonald’s commitment to this community to try to address this concern.
ONSWC Hires New Operator for Briar Chapel WW System
In late September 2020, ONSWC changed contract operators from William McLamm of Envirolink to Amanda Grenier of Greener EHS Solutions. Since taking on the job, Amanda and her staff have done a lot of catch-up maintenance on the WWTP and have gained our respect. ONSWC has announced that effective Friday, May 28th Chip White will assume responsibility for Briar Chapel’s WW system operations and will work directly for ONSWC.
Industry Feedback on pending Newland Communities Acquisition by Brookfield Residential
On May 5th Brookfield Residential announced that it has agreed to acquire Newland Communities. In addition to the acquisition of Newland, Brookfield Residential is also acquiring 5% General Partner’s Equity Interest in 15 of the 20 master-planned communities that Newland is developing. For more information on this acquisition.
We understand that when SCN announced the acquisition in our May 16th email, the BCCA had not been informed of the pending acquisition. At the May 19th BCCA Board Meeting, Tom Speer said that Newland is under a non-disclosure agreement and so the BCCA does not have any further information that they can share. The acquisition is expected to close by June 1, 2021. We hope that the BCCA/Newland will provide more information to residents once this acquisition is closed.
Brookfield Residential is a leading North American homebuilder and land developer. They are owned by Brookfield Asset Management which has $600 billion in assets under management, including extensive investments inland. While no further information has been published by Brookfield Residential or Newland, we did find an industry assessment that explains in more detail the potential benefits for Brookfield Residential of this acquisition. Industry assessment of acquisition.
April Non-Discharge Monitoring Report (nDMR)
NCDEQ posted the April nDMR for the Briar Chapel WWTP. This report showed that in April the Briar Chapel WWTP processed on average 239,167 gpd (in April permitted capacity was 250,000 gpd). The plant exceeded daily maximum and monthly maximum limits on total suspended solids (TSS) which will likely result in a Notice of Violation (NOV).
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:
· The force main bypass has not yet been put into operation. Additional pressure testing is being done and ONSWC will inform residents when they cut over to the bypass.
· Work on the wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) expansion is underway. ONSWC is using the existing permit, requiring expansion to 500,000 gpd. The permit has been approved to allow odor control improvements to be implemented as part of this expansion by the end of the year.
· On May 24th NCDEQ issued a revised permit that gives ONSWC a total volume of 318,539 gpd in permitted and certified spray irrigation.
· NC DEQ is reviewing two additional permit modification requests from ONSWC that would convert some existing spray irrigation from potable to reclaimed water (e.g., Encore residential homes) and allows the construction of some additional spray irrigation fields (area north and south of Western retention pond and in common areas within Encore and behind Cliffdale homes). NCDEQ has agreed to allow ONSWC to keep the trails in Package H and post signs warning the public of irrigation using reclaimed water. Based on the additional information requested and received by NCDEQ we would expect this additional irrigation to be approved soon. In the meantime, irrigation in Encore will start with potable water since conversion to reclaimed water has not yet been approved.
· BCCA and ONSWC are asking that residents report spills, odor concerns and irrigation issues to ONSWC at 877-511-2911. Note, only the name has changed, the phone number to call is still the customer service group and answering service located at Integra Water’s Birmingham, AL location.
· The Tri-Party Council met on May 11th, 2021. They have not yet posted the meeting notes for that meeting.
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 and spray irrigation issues. When you have a complaint, please call ONSWC’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 all the appropriate parties (ONSWC, NCDEQ, BCCA board, First Residential, Chip White), documented and tracked.
Total amount donated: $51,330.23 (501 families contributing)
Spent to date: $42,453.16 (Legal: $35,317.50, Engineering Expert: $6,142.00, Administrative: $993.66)
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 contributors taking into account the weighted average cost to contribution basis. Thank you again for contributing.
StopChathamNorth is an incorporated non-profit 501(c)(4) social welfare 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: www.stopchathamnorth.com