NORMAN PROJECT FACILITIES AND OPERATION
Water stored in Lake Thunderbird, the reservoir produced by the construction of Norman Dam, is pumped into two pipelines, one serving the city of Norman directly and the other leading to the relift pumping plant where separate pipelines serve the communities of Del City and Midwest City, both suburbs of Oklahoma City. The reservoir adds greatly to recreation facilities in the vicinity.
Norman Dam is located at the confluence of Hog Creek and Little River about 13 miles east of Norman, and about 30 miles southeast of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The dam is a zoned earthfill embankment with a volume of about 3 million cubic yards. The crest of the dam is 30 feet wide, 7,263 feet long, and about 144 feet high. The spillway is located in the left abutment and has a morning-glory inlet with an ungated crest of 22-feet 4-inch diameter.
Water stored in Lake Thunderbird behind Norman Dam has been pumped from the pumping plant at the reservoir into two pipelines since February 1966 and continues to do so presently. One pipeline serves the city of Norman and the other leads to the Relift Pumping Plant, which serves the cities of Del City and Midwest City. The Norman pipeline is 8.4 miles long. The pipeline to the Relift Pumping Plant is 12.5 miles long. The pipelines from the Relift Plant to Del City and Midwest City are 6.3 and 3.6 miles long, respectively.
The reservoir pumping plant has eight vertical shaft, turbine type pumps. Four of the pumps are driven by 250-horsepower motors and each have a capacity of 7.35 ft3/s at 228 feet of total head. These pumps provide 29.4 ft3/s capacity in the Norman Pipeline. The other four pumps are driven by 350-horsepower motors and each have a capacity of 7.35 ft3/s at 320 feet of total head. These pumps provide the capacity through the Midwest/Del City pipeline to the Relift Pumping Plant. The Midwest/Del City design capacity is 29.4 ft3/s to the Relift Pumping Plant, at which point the capacity is divided into 21.1 ft3/s to Midwest City and 8.3 ft3/s to Del City. Significant upgrades to both pumping plants were performed in 2009, which included variable frequency drives and backup power generators.
The Relift Pumping Plant has eight centrifugal pumps. Four units are driven by 100-horsepower motors providing water to Midwest City. Each has a capacity of 5.27 ft3/s at a total head of 138 feet. The four remaining pumps provide water to Del City. Two of these pumping units are driven by 40-horsepower motors and have a capacity of 2.49 ft3/s each; and two units are driven by 30-horsepower motors and have a capacity of 1.66 ft3/s each. Total head for the water going to Del City is 104 feet.