The Norman Transcript

Opinion

July 3, 2014

Reuse, close to home

NORMAN — The municipal water supply in Wichita Falls, Texas, is on pace to run dry by 2016. Climatologists don’t expect any break in the drought for at least another decade, so city leaders are making technology work for them.

The city, about the size of Norman, built a $13 million pipeline from the wasewater treatment plant back to the water treatment plant in hopes of being able to mix the two water supplies. They’ve been testing the treated water for months.

Texas state regulators this past week gave conditional approval for mixing the wastewater back into the municipal water supply. It’s something Norman officials have been considering for years and are now able to pursue after lawmakers approved the concept, which is already used in other communities outside of Oklahoma.

The city of Norman bond issue this past year contained money to enhance the treatment process as the first step in water reuse. Oklahoma City is now looking at water reuse as part of its long-range supply strategy.

The Oklahoman’s William Crum reports that the water utilities trust approved a $1 billion program that would pipe water from the Deer Creek wastewater treatment plant back into Lake Hefner through a pipeline and the canal between Lake Hefner and Lake Overholser.

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