A new city ordinance also allows Norman residents to use gray water for irrigation. Gray water is untreated household water from sources such as the washing machine or shower. The water must not be contaminated with toilet wastes. An estimated 32 percent of household wastewater can be reused for landscape watering, city sources say.
While retrofitting some older homes may be difficult or costly, new homes can easily be built to include pipes for gray water irrigation use.
Ongoing city projects focusing on Oklahoma Proven and drought-tolerant plants include Legacy Park, the Main Street Overpass landscaping project on the bridge deck and the Robinson Street project plant beds near the new overpass.
“None of these are being planted yet because of the drought,” Foster said.
The city is still in Stage 2 water conservation despite some relief brought from spring rains. Water conservation will likely remain an issue throughout the summer.