March 10, 2023

Lake Thunderbird IPR Pilot Program honored by ACEC Oklahoma and WateReuse

The Garver-led Lake Thunderbird Indirect Potable Reuse Pilot Program has recently been honored by two of the industry’s leading organizations. The collaborative effort between the City of Norman, Oklahoma, and Garver was named the top engineering project in the state by the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) of Oklahoma, while also earning an Award of Excellence in the Transformational Innovation category from the WateReuse Association.

Garver partnered with the City of Norman to implement temporary improvements and demonstration-scale pilot facilities at the Norman Water Reclamation Facility (WRF). The 15-month pilot demonstration is part of a multi-year, multi-step permitting process to eventually implement potential Indirect Potable Reuse (IPR) facilities that would augment Lake Thunderbird.

The City was driven by a critical need to expand its water portfolio and develop a resilient water supply for the future because of population growth and significant drought conditions. Garver leveraged its wastewater treatment and reuse expertise to deliver a proof-of-concept that operated within the available facilities/footprint and maximized use of existing infrastructure for pilot demonstrations without impacting existing operations and permit compliance.

“I’m honored that the ACEC and the WateReuse Association has honored this landmark project,” said Garver’s Oklahoma Water Team Leader Cole Niblett, PE. “In partnering with the City of Norman, this pilot study will set the stage not only for Norman, but for other future reuse projects in Oklahoma and throughout the region, paving the way for more sustainable and drought-resistant water supplies.”

The first-of-its-kind demonstration project in the state, it will provide the data needed for meeting Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality (ODEQ) benchmarks for safe drinking water standards within a future reuse full-scale design. The pilot study was completed in May 2022.

“The City of Norman is proud to always think outside the box to provide what’s best for our citizens, and it’s great to partner with firms who are able to do the same,” said Chris Mattingly, Norman Utilities Authority Utilities Director. “The City of Norman is excited for the future progress to come and to continue partnering with Garver on this landmark project.”

“For decades ACEC Oklahoma has an annual competitive Engineering Excellence Awards competition and the judges unanimously selected The Lake Thunderbird IPR Pilot Program for 2022,” said ACEC Oklahoma President and CEO Mike Thompson. “Congratulations to Garver’s team for winning Oklahoma’s prestigious Grand Conceptor Award.”

To learn more about what Garver’s Water and Wastewater Team can do for you, visit our Water and Wastewater services page.