Norman is also reducing ... at least in water usage. The city council made the city’s mandatory even-odd water conservation strategy permanent earlier this year.
Reuse of water will also come into play if the city is eventually able to reclaim its wastewater by treating it to a high level and discharging it into a Lake Thunderbird tributary.
Coming upgrades to the city’s Water Reclamation Facility will pave the way toward future water reuse options.
Tuesday, Norman voters passed a sewer rate increase by a 75 percent margin. The new rates will go into effect Dec. 1. The increased revenue will fund bonds to help pay for improvements at the city’s southside wastewater treatment plant. Upgrades will include increased capacity, odor control, replacement of old equipment, and, most importantly, improvements to meet increasing Department of Environmental Quality Standards.
Those improvements bring Norman one step closer to improving wastewater reuse options.
“The facility is being designed so that the next level of treatment will not take up more space,” Komiske said. “We can go to the next level without changing the footprint of the plant.”
Once dubbed a sewer plant, then a wastewater treatment plant, the southside facility is now called a Water Reclamation Facility. The name change is an indication of future potential for reuse.
Currently, some of the treatment facility’s water is reclaimed and used at the University of Oklahoma Golf Course for the irrigation system on the fairways. Norman would like to take water reuse a step further in the future and discharge into a lake tributary to boost lake levels, but that will require a higher level of treatment.
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