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Water Re-Use

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Water Re-Use

The Water, Environmental and Engineering Group at the Oklahoma Geological Survey is especially interested in water re-use and recycling projects after sustained droughts have left Oklahoma with limited water supply. Research on water re-use and recycling is more important than ever for us to be prepared for the future. We believe that indirect potable reuse (IPR) (treated effluent that is transferred to an environmental buffer) is one sustainable solution to solve Oklahoma‚Äôs water supply issues. 

Water Sampling at Lake Thunderbird
Water Sampling at Lake Thunderbird

Water Sampling at Lake Thunderbird with Kimmerer Sampler
Using Kimmerer Sampler

The City of Norman is considering an indirect potable re-use project at Lake Thunderbird, and our Water Group at the OGS has been working on this since June 2016. Prior to implementing an IPR system, it is critical to evaluate baseline water quality in the environmental buffer (in this case, Lake Thunderbird). The Water, Environmental and Engineering Group is currently working on identifying contaminants of emerging concern (CEC) in Lake Thunderbird for four quarterly sampling events. Contaminants of emerging concern include industrial products, pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) and pesticides. This project is being funded through the Central Oklahoma Master Conservancy District (COMCD).

This project includes:

  • Quarterly sampling of 6 different sites at Lake Thunderbird (Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer)
  • Analysis of CEC concentrations (testing done by a third party lab)
  • Analysis of nutrients (testing done by an internal lab at the University of Oklahoma)
  • Quarterly progress reports for the COMCD and City of Norman

For more information, please contact us at