To the Residents of Briar Chapel,
In this email you will find information about:
1. Chatham County approves launch of Wastewater Study Commission for Northeast Chatham County.
2. Updates on the upcoming October 5th Chatham County Planning Board meeting, which includes Fearrington Preserve, Vickers Village and Herndon Farm. Fearrington Preserve has not yet finalized its plans for wastewater but hopes to request a contiguous service area extension to connect to either Briar Chapel’s or Fearrington Village’s WW system.
3. Updates on the Tri-Party Council.
Wastewater Study Commission for NE Chatham County
On Monday, September 20th the Chatham County Board of Commissioners (CCBOC) approved the formation of a Wastewater Study Commission to investigate and explore options for management of wastewater in NE Chatham County along the 15/501 corridor. The 2017 Chatham County Land Use Plan designates the area surrounding Briar Chapel for growth as compact residential. There has been a growing effort involving Briar Chapel, Fearrington Village and other surrounding communities to encourage Chatham County to take leadership in organizing a commission of public and private sector experts and stakeholders to explore the options for providing long term, sustainable wastewater management for this area of the county. With the volume of new development currently being proposed and/or planned together with problematic wastewater systems in existing developments, we feel that a viable plan for wastewater management needs to be developed for our region of the county.
Since 2015, Briar Chapel’s wastewater system was viewed by many (including Chatham County) as the solution for meeting the planned growth of this area. As long as there is no other viable solution, Briar Chapel will remain a target for regionalization. That makes the outcome of this Study Commission very important to us.
Members to serve on the Study Commission will be proposed to the CC BOC at their October 18th meeting (10-12 members are expected to be appointed). Chatham County plans to have Charles Archer of Freese & Nichols (an engineering consulting firm) assist in this study. CCBOC specifically asked that representatives from SCN, Briar Chapel and Fearrington Village be included on this commission. In addition, there will be representatives from the owners of the existing WW systems in our area to include ONSWC, Aqua and Fitch Creations. The goal is to have a final report from Phase I completed by Jan/Feb 2022 recommending the viable options identified by the Study Commission and proposing the scope for Phase 2 which will be the development of a final report and recommendations.
October 5th CC Planning Board – Fearrington Preserve, Vickers Village and Herndon Farms
The October 5th CC Planning Board meeting is going to include several new development projects and proposals:
· Application for Fearrington Preserve to expand the Compact Community map to include all of the Fearrington Preserve property. Fearrington Preserve has not yet finalized its plans for wastewater but hopes to request a contiguous service area extension to connect to either Briar Chapel’s or Fearrington Village’s WW system. This request has already been recommended for approval by the Chatham County Planning Department. (Map)
· Application for first plat for Herndon Farms a 55+ community planned just north of Briar Chapel on the east and west side of 15/501. (Map) This community is proposing to build their own WWTP that will serve only their community and will be located adjacent to Briar Chapel, north of the power line easement near the bike skills park and Veranda.
· Application for Vickers Village rezoning request and first plat. This is a compact community with residential and commercial property located between Jack Bennett Road and Vickers Road up to 15/501 across from Briar Chapel’s entrance. Vickers Village is proposing to build their own WWTP that will serve only their community. (Map)
Fearrington Preserve, Herndon Farms and Vickers Village are contiguous to Briar Chapel property. This is important because if the owner of the Briar Chapel WW system (ONSWC) were to decide to expand service to these contiguous areas, it is a relatively easy process to get approval from the state (NC Utilities Commission).
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:
· At the August 17th Tri-Party Council, BCCA reported on their recent opposition at the August 16th CC BOC meeting to a proposal from Fearrington Preserve to request a contiguous service extension to Briar Chapel’s WW system. SCN Comment: There is no indication in the meeting notes of any further discussion or position from ONSWC.
· Work on the wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) expansion to 500,000 gpd is on schedule and expects to be completed by the end of the year. NCDEQ has approved the permit to allow the odor control improvements to be added as part of this expansion.
· NC DEQ has issued the permit approving additional spray irrigation packages H, I, and J which when constructed, certified, and fully operational will provide up to 552,806 gpd capacity to our spray irrigation system. Construction for Package H has begun and covers property around the Western retention pond and near the end of Logbridge Rd. This area will be heavily irrigated and will not allow trails in these spray irrigation areas. Packages I and J include: conversion of Encore homeowner irrigation from potable to reclaimed water, Encore common areas and the woods surrounding Encore, behind Cliffdale/Whispering Wind and the Sports Courts area. SCN Comment: The permit does not allow year round irrigation for some zones within the community and does not allow use of the irrigation system during major rain events or during freezing temperatures. It also discourages the growth of edible crops: vegetables, herbs and fruit trees in areas that are irrigated with reclaimed water unless they are thermally processed before consumption.
· Over the last six weeks, SCN has seen an increase in the number of odor complaints surrounding the BC WWTP. According to the August 17th TPC meeting notes, ONSWC did not have a specific explanation, but surmised it had to do with the very hot weather and increased winds.
· The BCCA published their first two tests of the irrigation system this year: July 14th at Boulder Park and on July 28th at traffic island, BC Parkway and Serenity Hill. They tested for ammonia-nitrogen, BOD and fecal coliform. Both tests were within contaminant limits for effluent at WWTP set by NCDEQ.
· ONSWC verified that the encasement pipe on the aerial sewer lines over Pokeberry Creek extends for 100 ft in one direction and 200 feet in the other direction. A structural engineer is now being engaged to determine what actions should be taken to assure the integrity of the pipe.
· Work on the SD-East Pump station was scheduled to be completed in August 2021. This pump station will be used by the commercial areas under development by Newland east and west of 15/501 near Taylor Road.
· Meeting notes were posted for the August 17th meeting. The last meeting of the Tri-Party Council was on September 14th. Meeting notes are not yet available from that meeting. The next meeting of the Tri-Party Council is scheduled for October 11th.
Documenting our Concerns
We are extremely thankful for the information shared with us by BC residents. To date, residents have reported over 500 complaints about spills, odor conditions, irrigation and other 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 documented and shared with all the appropriate parties (ONSWC, NCDEQ, BCCA, First Residential, Chip White).
Total amount donated: $51,966.85 (507 families contributing)
Spent to date: $42,603.06 (Legal: $35,317.50, Engineering Expert: $6,142.00, Administrative: $1,143.56)
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 of 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