The Norman Transcript


May 8, 2014

More residents using rainwater to reduce water consumption



Homeowners can send the water into their irrigation system through their gutters, Vogel said, although he recommends having a first flush diverter before the rainwater goes into the system because of leaves and other debris potentially clogging drip systems. It also may be necessary to have a pump installed to make water pressure high enough to make the irrigation system functional.

He said it’s important for an above-ground rainwater catchment tank to be opaque, so algae growth won’t be a problem. Barrels can be painted on the outside to achieve opacity if they are roughed up a little on the outside and painted with plastic-friendly paint, Vogel said.

Below-ground rainwater tanks are more expensive to install but don’t have the same algae issues. They also solve the problem of some homeowners associations banning the above-ground version because of looks.

Some residents are using rainwater to wash clothes or to wash cars. It even can be used as drinking water.

Vogel said the water needs to be treated in some way if it’s to be potable. Some of the primary concerns are animals that have been on the roof like squirrels and birds and dust that accumulates, especially on homes near highways. Rainwater also can pick up small particulates from the roof, depending on the roof’s age.

“(Do) whatever you would do to well water,” he said.

A PVC pipe on the way into the system with a “weep tube” can act as the first flush diverter, catching the first items that come off the roof with runoff then going into rain barrels.

Residents who want to catch rainwater can find instruction and help on fact sheets on Vogel’s website,

Food-grade barrels can be found through industries that market food or at area hardware stores like Atwoods, he said. They need to be rinsed multiple times before being used as rain barrels.

“It goes to the same source, it’s just controlled,” Smith said.


Breaking news, severe weather alerts, AMBER alerts, sports scores from The Norman Transcript are available as text messages right to your phone or mobile device. You decide which type of alerts you want to receive. Find out more or to signup, click here.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Briarwood Elementary Briarwood, Plaza Towers buildings set to open for school year

    MOORE — Briarwood and Plaza Towers elementary students and teachers will no longer be visitors in the hallways and classrooms of their temporary schools this 2014-2015 school year. Displaced and forced to relocate after the May 2013 ...

    August 2, 2014 2 Photos

  • Cooler summer comes after dry spring statewide

    August made a gentle entry this year — no triple-digit temperatures or out-of-control wildfires. Instead, a bright sun slowly cleared the clouds and warmed the day back to summer weather after a few days of what had felt like an early ...

    August 2, 2014

  • Former teacher adores ‘Red Rudy’ Impala

    For some, transportation needs to be more than just a boxy vehicle that takes you from place to place. Former Norman High School Spanish language teacher Kelly Adams is one of those. In addition to her daily driver, a big SUV, she also ...

    August 2, 2014

  • Inmate health costs rising, forcing prisons to scramble for solutions

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Taxpayers forked over nearly $1 million last year to buy inhalers to treat asthma and emphysema among inmates in state prisons. In the meantime, the state also paid for 530,647 inmate prescriptions....

    August 2, 2014

  • Town changed, even with girls’ killer behind bars

    WELEETKA — Folks once settled in this sleepy central Oklahoma town to get away from the crime and hubbub of big-city life. Many residents didn’t bolt their doors or draw their shades at night. Most here never worried about people like ...

    August 2, 2014

  • Teachers from Spain begin arriving in Oklahoma

    TULSA — Teachers recruited from Spain by a Tulsa school district have started to arrive in Oklahoma for the new academic year. The Tulsa World reports ( ) four of the 11 expected educators arrived Thursday in ...

    August 2, 2014

  • Driver killed after container falls on truck named

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Police have identified the person killed after a shipping container was knocked from an Oklahoma National Guard vehicle and landed on a pickup truck....

    August 2, 2014

  • Fire chief in central Oklahoma city resigns

    EDMOND — A fire chief in a central Oklahoma city has submitted his resignation....

    August 2, 2014

  • Judge continues action in sexual assault case

    OKLAHOMA CITY — A judge has found probable cause to continue criminal proceedings against an Oklahoma man accused of sexually assaulting boys and girls in Kenya. Nineteen-year-old Matthew Lane Durham, of Edmond, is accused of sexually ...

    August 2, 2014

  • Trial postponed in Duncan baseball player death

    DUNCAN — The trial for a man charged in the fatal shooting of an Australian baseball player has been postponed until April....

    August 2, 2014