“The goal is to reduce water use for landscaping and to minimize irrigation use,” Greenlee said.
Greenlee said it’s important to test the soil before introducing new plants. She said outdoor living spaces can be created using native plants, boulders and permeable pathways. Besides being beautiful, using native plantings can be easier to maintain, Greenlee said.
Norman Environmental Services Coordinator Debbie Smith talked about gray water use and rain barrels.
The gray water ordinance was established by the city council recently and allows residents to use water from washing machines or showers, for example, to irrigate landscape and gardens. This may be most practical for new homes where the piping system can be installed when the home is built, but some older homes may be retrofitted.
“Gray water is untreated household wastewater that has not come in contact with toilet waste,” according to the city definition. Water from the kitchen sink or from laundry of soiled diapers, would not be allowed. More information is available on the city website, Smith said.
Smith also talked about the importance of irrigating landscaping, grass and gardens early in the day before heat causes the water to evaporate. Drip irrigation is more efficient and better absorbed than using a sprinkler.
Rain barrels can be used to collect and store runoff from the roof. One-tenth of an inch of rain across the expanse of a roof can fill up a rain barrel.
The full workshop is available for viewing online through the city’s website at www.ci.norman.ok.us. Click on the link to City Council and Planning Commission videos on the right side of the home page. The workshop will also air periodically on channel 20, said City Clerk Brenda Hall.