The Norman Transcript


January 19, 2014

EPA webinar highlights Norman for environmental accomplishments



One of the most remarkable accomplishments was the gray water ordinance. Norman was the first city in the state to adopt a gray water ordinance to allow residential water reuse from showers, tubs and washing machines for irrigation purposes. Now, the city is working on an educational campaign to teach plumbers and others how to run piping for gray water use.

This month, the city approved year-round odd/even watering as a water conservation measure.

Water reuse continues to be at the top of the city’s agenda. Currently, the University of Oklahoma golf course uses reclaimed water for irrigation and reclaimed water is used at the southside water reclamation facility, but Norman wants to use reclaimed water in more applications, including on its compost.

Public education initiatives include Water Wise workshops, poster contests in coordination with local elementary schools, tips in the newspaper and more.

Recycling initiatives and hazardous waste collection events help residents live a more environmentally friendly lifestyles.

A new lighting ordinance saves energy and reduces commercial light pollution while the city’s installation of LED traffic signals and street lights is racking up even more savings. Two brand new LEED certified fire stations are more energy efficient, and the greenbelt commission and tree board work to protect green spaces and trees within Norman, while the Bicycle Advisory Board has increased the number of bike lanes and is updating the Bicycle Master Plan. Norman has been recognized as a tree friendly and bicycle friendly city.

Coming soon, the Southside Water Reclamation facility will be upgraded as it enters the Phase II design which will add UV disinfection, odor control, and replacement of equipment that has been in operation since 1965.

Komiske said UV disinfection will use more power, but the cleaner discharge will be better for the environment. A public hearing on the proposed Phase II upgrades of the Water Reclamation Facility is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Tuesday at city hall, 201 W. Gray.

Joy Hampton




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