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Wastewater Reuse

In 2012, the State passed the Water for 2060 Act, which requires no more fresh water can be used in 2060 than was used in 2012. Also, Oklahoma, specifically the western parts of the state, recently witnessed a five-year drought, the worst conditions since the drought of record in the 1950s.

That’s why Oklahoma City, along with other communities, is making plans to reuse highly treated wastewater effluent from wastewater treatment facilities. Reused water augments water supply lakes during times of low rainfall and will help ensure a more reliable water supply.

Every day, customers use about 93 million gallons of water and return about 63 million gallons of it as wastewater to be treated at Oklahoma City’s wastewater treatment plants then released into water sheds.

Purple pipes are used to distinguish reuse water.purple-pipes

There are two configurations of potable reuse:     

IPR – indirect potable reuse
Treated wastewater is conveyed to an environmental buffer – a lake or river – before undergoing treatment
from the water treatment plant.

DPR – direct potable
Treated wastewater goes directly to the water treatment plant. Oklahoma City will use the IPR configuration in which highly treated wastewater will be pumped into Lake Hefner for storage before treatment again as high-quality tap water. The reuse project requires in-depth research on treatment processes and planned to unfold in the next several years.   
The video shows the water cycle with an additional step in the treatment process.


Lake Hefner Recreation Development              

Lake Hefner

From time to time the Oklahoma City Water Utilities Trust receives unsolicited proposals to lease or purchase a portion of Lake Hefner property. In February 2014, an unsolicited proposal was received to purchase land along Northwest Expressway for commercial development.  

Trustees determined it would be more beneficial to consider a long-term lease instead of a sale. A lease could provide income to maintain existing recreational facilities and potentially fund new recreational amenities.

The Trust invited local architects to submit professional services proposals for commercial development and recreational improvement plans along Northwest Expressway.

On May 5, 2015, the Trust approved a contract with Mass Architects, Inc. for a conceptual study of 93 acres along NW Expressway, east of Meridian.  

Mass Architects, Inc. is responsible for soliciting and incorporating community-based design concepts into its alternative plans for consideration by the Trust. Stakeholder input is an essential component of the development plan.

No commercial development is contemplated along South Lake Hefner Drive. The commercial development area is generally along NW Expressway, between Meridian Avenue and a restaurant in the vicinity. Recreational amenities are being contemplated along South Lake Hefner Drive.

The studied enhancements include features that support:     DSC_0047

  • Renewal of existing recreational amenities

  • Family friendly destination

  • Exercise & sports

  • Entertainment & concerts

  • Restaurants (Northwest Expressway only)

  • Limited mixed use (Northwest Expressway only)

Stakeholder Input

Mass Architects held a charrette-style meeting Nov. 10 and 12 for residential and recreational stakeholders. Attendees spoke up and staff listened. Their input included:

  • Improve traffic flow

  • No commercial development north and west of Edgewater and Lakepoint neighborhoods

  • Protect wildlife, natural environment and water quality