The Norman Transcript

Government

March 21, 2014

Following the cycle of Norman's wastewater

NORMAN — Reuse of treated municipal wastewater (a.k.a. sewage)  is tough for some residents to wrap their heads around.

Maybe looking at it from the viewpoint of other organisms would help Oklahoma follow in the footsteps of other states and move forward on this issue. For certain species of microorganisms, Norman’s biosolids (what you flushed down the toilet this morning) are a veritable feast.

Since 1942, Norman’s sewer treatment plant has been located on 25 acres on Jenkins Avenue south of Highway 9. The plant has gone through a variety of name changes, reflecting the evolution of waste treatment through the decades.

Currently, Norman’s sewer plant is a Water Reclamation Facility because the wastewater it cleans is reclaimed for use.

“In earlier decades, they focused on what they were treating,” Utilities Director Ken Komiske said. “They were talking about sewage or pollution. The focus now is on the end product — reclaimed water that is used in the environment, in industry and businesses, and eventually for residential use.”

After treatment, Norman’s reclaimed wastewater is discharged into the Canadian River, which eventually runs to Lake Eufaula, where some of it is consumed by water customers in that area. The rest moves on to Robert S. Kerr Lake and then to the Mississippi River and eventually the Gulf of Mexico.

“Water is a never-ending cycle,” Komiske said. “It just keeps getting used and recycled.”

Raw sewage travels from all over Norman through the city’s sanitary sewer lines to arrive at the plant.

Plant Manager Steven Hardeman said preliminary treatment is where inorganic matter is removed from the sewage. That includes rags or trash that ended up in the system.

Hardeman, along with Superintendent Ryan Bart, described the process through which Norman’s wastewater is cleaned as primarily organic and environmentally friendly.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Government
  • Moore City Council paves way for Sam’s Club location

    MOORE — The Moore City Council approved a $5 million bond Tuesday to be repaid with sales tax and utility revenues. “A good amount of street improvements needs to be done,” Moore City Manager Steve Eddy said. “This will be paid for with ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Another brick in the Wal-Mart

    Norman could soon have five Wal-Mart stores, including three supercenters and two neighborhood markets. A proposal for the newest supercenter will come before the Norman City Council at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday via a request for a zoning change on ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Local group celebrates ruling

    A local group, Mothers of Many, expressed its elation with Friday’s 10th Circuit Court ruling striking down Oklahoma’s state ban on same-sex marriage....

    July 20, 2014

  • Leftover loss still hurting

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Cities, counties and school districts remain frozen out of a federal program that has sent millions of dollars worth of trenchers, trailers, semis, bulldozers, boats and forklifts and other equipment over the years....

    July 19, 2014

  • City and state briefs

    Transportation needs listed The White House released a new report this week from the Council of Economic Advisers and National Economic Council on the long-term economic benefits of transportation investment and why conditions in the ...

    July 17, 2014

  • Griffin Park 6 Proposal requests improving, expanding youth sports facilities

    Improving and expanding Norman’s youth sports facilities will generate revenue in tourism dollars, say advocates of Norman Forward, a grassroots initiative launched last week. The package proposed by Norman business leaders and community ...

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Norman sales tax slump not an indicator for FYE 2015

    Norman sales tax collections were disappointingly low this month, kicking off the new fiscal year below budget. The Oklahoma Tax Commission deposited $5,439,309 in sales tax receipts for Norman on July 9. The Public Safety Sales Tax ...

    July 11, 2014

  • Library tops city’s list of desired amenity

    Businessman Mike Fowler promised to lead Norman forward during his inaugural speech as the incoming Norman Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors chairman this year. Months before that declaration, however, Fowler and a group of Norman ...

    July 11, 2014

  • City briefs

    Inaugural 2014 Rookie Camp at Whittier Recreation Center The Inaugural 2014 Rookie Camp for ages 4-7 will take place from 10 a.m. to noon Monday through Thursday at the Whittier Recreation Center, 2000 W. Brooks St....

    July 11, 2014

  • Legacy Trails expected to be regional draw to TIF retail district

    The Norman City Council approved a Business Improvement District on Tuesday to pay for maintenance of Legacy Park. The park is expected to be a regional draw, enhancing the University North Park retail area and bringing people to the area ...

    July 9, 2014