The Norman Transcript

July 25, 2013

Study takes a look at city’s water quality

The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — The discussion about the quality and quantity of Norman’s long-range water supply continues. Earlier this year, the drought took its toll on Lake Thunderbird, the city’s primary source of drinking water.

Now that spring rains have replenished the lake to normal levels, the discussion has moved to water quality. The state’s Department of Environmental Quality has been measuring the amount of runoff pollutants absorbed into the lake and comparing them to the goals set by the federal Clean Water Act.

The watershed includes parts of Cleveland and Oklahoma counties. Fifty years of fertilizer runoff have taken their toll on the lake. Upcoming regulations will force cities to control the amount of pollutants discharged.

Norman is already taking steps to control runoff quality, but it’ll require more to bring the lake up to water quality standards.

There are still questions being raised about purported increased levels of chromium 6 in the city’s water supply. A study group appointed by the mayor has looked into the issue, but no action has been taken.

Long-range, the city will be looking at water quality and quantity. Potential issues include the reuse of treated water discharged from the sewage treatment plant and potential use of older wells with relatively high levels of arsenic.