Email Blast - November 19th 2021

StopChathamNorth (SCN)
To the Residents of Briar Chapel,

In this email you will find information about:

  1. Latest updates from the Tri-Party Council.
  2. Chatham County Board of Commissioner’s (CCBOC) meeting regarding Fearrington Preserve applying for development under the Compact Community Ordinance (CCO) and its potential impact on Briar Chapel’s wastewater system.
  3. Appointments to the Wastewater Study Commission (by Chatham County Board of Commissioners).
  4. Recap of the presentation “Living with a WWTP and Reclaimed Water,” offered at Breakaway on November 14th and again on November 21st from 4-6 pm.

Updates from the Tri-Party Council

Following are notes recapping the Tri-Party Council meeting from Oct 12th, 2021:

  1. Update on the Sept. 28th sewage spill: This was due to a cracked 2” PVC clean out pipe off the force main. This has likely been a problem since the bypass was installed but was not detected during their testing. 900 gallons of sewage was spilled but did not go into surface waters.
  2. CEO of ONSWC, has advised that the SD East Pump Station is still unfinished. He has indicated there may be a delay in the plant expansion. Mr. McDonald has not signed off on spray irrigation permit. He has also hinted that there might be some delay in the plant expansion; he has not signed off on spray irrigation permit (and appears to be holding off until Newland gets confirmation of at least 450,000 gpd capacity). As a result of this, Encore is still being watered with potable water.
  3. No update on the aerial sewer pipes – awaiting report from structural engineer.
  4. One more irrigation system test at intersection of Saxapahaw Run and Briar Chapel Pkwy. Testing of Ammonia Nitrogen, BOD and Fecal Coliform was within accepted NCDEQ limits.
  5. BCCA is starting to raise issues with Newland at these meetings. In September, the BCCA mentioned landscaping deficiencies in the property that has been transferred to the BCCA. Newland said that it was not their responsibility. This month the BCCA raised the issue of sidewalk completion and repair. No response was noted from Newland.
  6. ONSWC raised the issue of improper trail maintenance resulting in ponding and muddy conditions during irrigation. Tom Speer agreed that BCCA and TORC will meet to find a solution to the problem. Meeting notes say that the agreement between BCCA and TORC makes TORC responsible for the design and upkeep of the trails.

November 15th Chatham County Board of Commissioners (CCBOC) Meeting – Fearrington Preserve

At the November 15th CCBOC meeting, Fearrington Preserve’s application for a map amendment to the Compact Community Ordinance (CCO) was presented for final approval. Approval of this application would allow Congruus to apply for development under the CCO – which encourages them to use existing wastewater systems in their surrounding area (i.e., Briar Chapel). The CC Planning Dept recommended approval and the CC Planning Board (made up of resident volunteers) recommended denial.

In the November 15th CCC meeting, residents were granted the right to speak out despite recent rule changes regarding Public Input on these types of proposals. During public input section, there were four speakers from Briar Chapel (Liz Rolison, Rusty Field, Jennifer Drake and Stacey Donelan), three from Fearrington Village (Rose Krasnow, Tony Carroll, and Vickie Shea) and two others from neighboring communities who spoke in opposition to the proposal.

In addition, there were 36 written letters of opposition sent in to the CCC (22 from Fearrington Village, 8 from Briar Chapel and 6 from other communities).

When the Congruus application for the CCO map amendment was voted upon, the motion to approve did not pass (2-3) {Mike Dasher and Jim Crawford voted for; Karen Howard, Diana Hales and Franklin Gomez voted against}. A motion was then made to deny the amendment and it also did not pass (2-3) {Karen Howard and Diana Hales voted for; Mike Dasher, Jim Crawford and Franklin Gomez voted against}.

Franklin Gomez has asked Congruus to provide responses to the concerns/issues raised by the Planning Board noting that the Planning Board voted to deny the application. We would expect that Congruus will work to address Mr. Gomez’s concerns and will be back before the CCBOC in the next few months.

We are extremely thankful for everyone who showed up at the meeting, spoke in opposition and submitted written comments. This public action did and does make a difference.

Wastewater (WW) Study Commission

The appointments for the NE Chatham County WW Study Commission were announced. This WW Study Commission would analyze and provide counsel on options for the future of WW Treatment for NE Chatham county. The CCBOC received 13 applicants and we are pleased that they recommended that all 13 be appointed to the commission.

Members of the WW Study Commission:

  • Perry James (Briar Chapel: BC)
  • Jim Flood (BC)
  • Lee Bowman (BC)
  • Liz Rolison (BC)
  • Scott Peck (BC)
  • Jason Welsh
  • Denise OGorham-Nowak (sp?)
  • David Higgenbottom (sp?)
  • Vic D’Amato
  • David Moreau
  • Robert Paul Waldrop
  • Hal House
  • Fran DiGiano (Fearrington Village)

County Planner Dan LaMontagne will be reaching out to this list of individuals in the immediate future to set up an initial meeting.

Living with a WWTP and Reclaimed Water
An interactive information session titled “Living with a WWTP and Reclaimed Water: What I Should Know and Why I Should Care” took place at 4:00 p.m. on 11/14 at the Breakaway Café. The presenters included Dr. Hal House (a local environmental scientist), Rich Hayes (a local soil scientist) and Liz Rolison (StopChathamNorth) with Amy Coughlin moderating these discussions.
Questions addressed and discussed included:

  • How does a wastewater system work?
  • What have been the problems with the Briar Chapel wastewater system and what can we learn from them?
  • What can the residents of Chatham County do to advocate effectively for responsible wastewater management?
  • What role has politics played in Chatham County wastewater issues?

This first session was full, so if you were not able to attend, there will be a second session at Breakaway from 4-6 pm on Sunday, November 21st from 4-6 pm. These sessions are open to residents throughout NE Chatham County.
If you would like to attend, please RSVP to:

We appreciate the expertise and insights of the speakers and would also like to thank the organizers and Breakaway Café for making this informative session possible.

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 and press “1” for customer service. 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 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.

Mission Statement
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 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: