The Norman Transcript

Headlines

May 17, 2013

City water customer says site identifying high water users is misleading

NORMAN — A social media website identifying Norman residents as high water users is factually misleading, according to one Norman homeowner who made the list.

A graphic posted by Casey Holcomb on the University of Oklahoma Department of Geography and Environmental Sustainability Facebook site lists the top water consumers in Norman based on city utility records. Holcomb said Sierra Club Red Earth Group chair Mike Givel made an FOI request for the information in January.

Norman Utilities Director Ken Komiske said he had no idea those numbers would end up on the Internet, but the information is a matter of public record.

Records may not lie, but they don’t always tell the whole story.

Fourth on the residential top user list is former Chamber of Commerce Board President and one-time mayoral candidate Trey Bates.

Bates said no one asked him why his water bill is so high before publishing his name on the Internet. In fact, Bates’ home shares a meter with another home because of unusual circumstances that unfolded in an area where most homes had private wells years ago.

“My real name is Russell Bates, and that’s what I list my accounts under,” he said. “Someone went through and changed it to Trey, which is what I go by.”

Bates said he believes the name change shows a deliberate attempt to identify him specifically.

“I share a meter with another family,” Bates said. “We have a well, so we actually use very little water. What we actually use is for bathing and for inside the house. We don’t use any city water for irrigation at all. The other family that’s on our shared meter does irrigate because they don’t have a water well, and they have a large piece of property.”

Bates said despite that, his family’s city water usage is much less than his neighbor’s. Dividing the amount in half makes the number look different.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Headlines
  • Braddy_1. Norman North teen struck by freight train recovering with therapy

    A Norman North teen struck by a freight train in May is on the road to recovery and ready to get back to school after spending most of his summer in a hospital. Harrison Braddy, 16, has been staying busy with rehab and physical therapy ...

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Storm victims face loan dilemma

    The tornadoes, flooding and hail that struck Oklahoma last year left hundreds of millions of dollars in property damage, causing many home and business owners to seek help in the form of low-interest federal loans....

    July 27, 2014

  • Teen critical after rescue

    A 17-year-old Yukon male was transported to the hospital Sunday after a near drowning incident at Lake Thunderbird in the Party Cove area. Emergency crews responded to the lake after a report of a possible drowning around 5:30 p.m. ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Migrant kids go to Mass

    The services have all the elements of a typical Sunday Mass — singing, scripture, a sermon, prayers, communion and worship....

    July 27, 2014

  • Injury accident reported

    Transcript Staff Emergency crews responded to an injury accident around 10:20 p.m. Sunday in the 1000 block of 80th Avenue Southeast where there were reports of someone pinned. Several reports indicated a vehicle struck a tree causing one ...

    July 28, 2014

  • Photo Slideshow: James Garner through the years

    Photos of James Garner...

    July 27, 2014

  • Prisons expand reach to bring training to more officers

    McALESTER — Joshua Drake once was offered the chance to be a corrections officer but turned it down because he didn’t want to leave his wife and aging parents for six weeks to train hundreds of miles away in El Reno....

    July 27, 2014

  • SWIMMER Aquatic center could serve many community needs

    Michael Yoch could have been the kid with asthma sitting on the sidelines — could have been, but wasn’t. Michael had trouble running because of his asthma, which made it difficult to play soccer and many other sports his friends loved. ...

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Director leaves decade of memories

    Maureen Dolan is giving up the post as director of St. Joseph’s Early Childhood Development Center, fondly called “St. Joe’s” by the many parents whose pre-school children have spent their weekdays under her care over the past 10 years....

    July 27, 2014

  • Health officials prepare for flu

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Following a flu season in which a record number of Oklahomans died as a result of the virus, state and county health officials say educating the public and general common sense are vital to reducing both the death rate and ...

    July 27, 2014