The Land Doctors – Episode Six – Working With Nature

The Land Doctors – Episode Six – Working With Nature



Welcome to this week’s
episode of the Land Doctors. So it’s been snowin’ here. It’s been cold for days. I’ve been cooped up in the
house with the wife and kids but unfortunately I’ve
got a job to do down in Costa Rica. I’m flyin’ out first
thing in the morning. It’ll be 80 or 90
degrees tomorrow. I’ll be in a Hawaiian
shirt and shorts and flip flops and it’s a tough job but
somebody’s gotta do it. ♪♪ ♪
This program is sponsored
in part by the Oklahoma Energy
Resources Board. The OERB is voluntarily funded by Oklahoma’s Oil
and Natural Gas Producers and Royalty Owners and their funds are being used
for well site restoration and student education
all across the state. Since 1993, the OERB has
restored more than 13,000 orphaned and abandoned
well sites at no cost to the landowners or taxpayers employing Oklahoma contractors
all along the way. The OERB is proud to serve
the state of Oklahoma. ♪♪ ♪ Daddy, where did those come
from? Well, let me tell ya. ♪ Great Planes Kubota, your
Oklahoma Kubota dealer and proud sponsor of
the Land Doctors. Kubota. For Earth. For life. This program is sponsored
and produced by the Land Doctors
Management Group. We all know that Oklahomans
belong to the land but even the best of us need a
little help from time to time. If you’ve got a spot
of land that you love but would like to
make it even better, we’re here to help. Whether its wildlife,
water management, natural resources management,
environmental cleanup, or even real estate development these doctors are always
on call. I love the smell of
fresh dirt in the morning. Smells like victory. [Laughter] ♪ ♪ I need the Oklahoma wind
to run ♪ ♪ open through my veins. ♪ ♪ I need the Indian grass
to cut right through ♪ ♪ these long and
lonesome days ♪ ♪ homeward bound. ♪ ♪ I’m homeward bound. ♪ ♪ I hear the scissortail calling
me from the Redbud trees ♪ ♪ I hear the top water roar ♪ ♪ in the still of the
days, ♪ ♪ as the bass enjoy
their feast ♪ ♪ homeward bound. ♪ ♪ I’m homeward bound. ♪ ♪ Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh. ♪ ♪ I recognize that
front porch light ♪ ♪ from a mile away. ♪ ♪ Oh-oh-oh ♪ ♪ This is a place that for all
my life I have come to stay ♪ ♪ where I want to stay. ♪ ♪♪ So this is a dramatic
improvement over the ice and snow that I just
left yesterday. I think I’ll stay
here for a while. ♪ This week I hop on a
plane in Oklahoma City, fly to Dallas and
then over Mexico, Belize, Nicaragua and
finally to Costa Rica. As I’m flyin’ in
I’m surprised to see the extreme
elevation changes. In my mind I thought this
place would be flat but I’m seeing
mountains, deep gorges, and huge expanses
of rain forest. Someone mentions
to me they found part of Jurassic Park here and I
don’t know if it’s true or not but I can certainly believe it. A local points to a
volcano in the distance and it truly sinks in that
I’m not in Oklahoma anymore. I soon find out that Costa
Rica has 6 active volcanos and over 60 inactive ones
and I silently pray that they stay that way
until I get outta here. And, oh, by the way,
they have earthquakes almost every day but I’m assured
that they’re just little ones. But if you can get
past all of that, Costa Rica has become
one of the most stable, prosperous, progressive
nations in Latin America. Although this country
only has a fraction of a percentage of the
world’s land mass, it contains 5% of the
world’s bio-diversity. Amazingly, 25% of this
country’s land area is in protected national
parks and protected areas. Costa Rica has
successfully managed to diminish de-forestation
from some of the worst rates in the world from 1973 to
1989 to almost 0 by 2005. That’s important because
these forests are homes to 4 different
kinds of monkeys, including the
White headed Capuchin, the Mantled Howler,
Geoffrey Spider monkey, and the Central
American Squirrel monkey. Over 840 species of birds
have also been identified in Costa Rica, including
the Resplendent Quetzal, the Scarlet Macaw,
Three Wattled Bellbird, Bareneck Umbrella Bird
and the Kill Bill Toucan. Costa Rica is also a
center of biological diversity for reptiles and amphibians including the world’s
fastest running lizard, the Spiny Tailed Iguana. What truly amazes me about
Costa Rica is the water. The color and the
sheer amount of water plus the waterfalls
are breathtaking. People come from all over the
world to experience the beauty and thrill of Costa
Rica’s water first hand. Some do it by
trekking the waterfalls, others by
lounging in hot springs, and there’s always someone
rafting down a pristine river. Eco-tourism has become a
large draw for those who want to view truly
unique wildlife including the beautiful,
yet deadly, poison frogs and absolutely
gigantic insects. Costa Rican resorts have
taken things a step further by offering unique
lodging opportunities, such as jungle tree
houses that places you right in the middle
of the action. It may not be the Garden of
Eden but it’s really close. Unfortunately, it
wasn’t always this way. Historically Costa Rica
was treated as a colony by other countries and by large
international businesses. Banana plantations once
dominated parts of the country. These operations required
the clear cutting of the bio-diverse
jungle to make way for banana monoculture. Although this
industry produced jobs, it took a heavy toll
on the environment. Over time, Costa Ricans
retook their country and set for themselves a goal
of environmental excellence. Today, this little
country is considered the epicenter of the budding
eco-tourism industry. Now let’s hear from a Costa
Rican developer, Rob Jacks as he tells us how he intends
to protect the wildlife and environment in his
5 star eco-resort. So there are 3
species of monkeys, uh all the way from
the big Congo monkeys, the howler monkeys if you
will down too little small white face, uh, monkeys. There’s sloths and as you
remember from yesterday’s walk around the parks, we
happened to find a sloth hanging in the tree. Yeah. So we’ve got
uh, butterflies, hummingbirds, uh,
there are snakes, lizards, uh th-the whole gamut
of animals you would expect to find in the rainforest. It is so, there are so
many animals here for us to deal with and
part of our plan is we will have our own forestry. We will have our own game
wardens to help us manage all the different
animals that are here. One of the
things that’s really, um, an interesting
opportunity for us is how we are going to
deal with rain. Costa Rica gets an
abundant amount of rain. In addition to that you can
imagine of all of the things I just described, the
amount of water usage we are going to require
and the amount of waste that we’re
going to create. So we can
work on a plant, construct a waste treatment
water reuse facility that is going to take in that waste and
give us back basically clean, pure water that we’ll
add to the creeks, we can use it in
our water features, we can make very good
use of that water so that we’re minimizing what
we have to pull from the city and what we might
have to drill for. In addition to that we’re
not flushing any waste back into the system. All of it
becomes biodegradable. It is removed from
the site and taken to the appropriate
disposal facilities, um, out away
from the resort. Costa Rica’s known
around the world for its incredible fishing. Understandably they want
to protect this unique, natural resource and
consequently great importance that’s placed on
protecting water quality. That’s why I’m here. My goal is to tailor an advanced
wastewater treatment system to our site needs. In short, the system needs
to be capable of accepting a concentrated sewer inflow
that is then consumed by bacteria in a
biological reactor. After this, the treated
water will be pulled through a high
tech filter. This filter will remove
any remaining particulates and produce crystal clear
water that is so clean that it can be safely reused on
site for landscape irrigation and water features. Now let’s meet Matt Stapleford
of General Electric and learn more about
this treatment system. What’s impressed me is, is the
awareness and the importance they’ve put on their on
their natural eco-system. It’s, it’s quite
impressive actually. Um, more often than
not people have the “not in my backyard
philosophy,” saying, “you know what as long
as it’s not in my way I don’t have to worry about it.” But, they’ve done a very
nice job defining how they want to keep their water,
water systems pristine. They don’t want to
ch-chop down the forest, they want minimal impact. So GE water process
technologies basically is a collection of
different technologies that GE has acquired over the
years to give a full portfolio of products for any sort of
water treatment solution that uh,
government agency, a private agency, any-any
industry would really need. GE’s MBR system utilizes
two different stages and when we say MBR or
membrane bio-reaction we tend to say them
all at once but there’s two
discrete phases. One is the bio-reactor
and that’s pretty standard compared-compared to
conventional treatment; and other MBR
technologies um, it’s just basically
suspended biomass and it will do the
job of degrading as much organic material,
um, as it can in that
time design it and you can design it
for nutrient removal by nitrogen and phosphorous and
then ultimately what you’ve got is you’ve literally
got a tank of-of what looks like muddy,
muddy, muddy water and now the question is how
do you settle that out? Well in this case we
use a UF membrane. Um, a UF membrane is
literally suspended right in the tank of this
liquid and we simply draw a small vacuum to pull the
water to permeate through these membranes and of
course what happens is you get salts accumulation
on the membrane because you’re pulling this dirty
water in and what we do is we aerate the membranes
periodically with different techniques
and what that does is creates a nice mixing
and a cross-flow and then we just take the
concentrated mix liquor as we call it and we send it back
to the bio reactor in a big loop
all the time. So really the, those,
there’s no real waste from the technology, um
except for occasionally a waste sludge to
keep the biomass or the bio population
under control. It’s a very
straightforward process. So UF is the range, ultra
filtration is the range of .01 to .1 microns so
that was the-the cutoff between where something
would be rejected and where something would
pass through the membrane. I-I tend to tell people
that the good rule of thumb is if it’s dissolved it
will pass through the membrane and if, its
suspended particle, something that’s not dissolved
in the water itself, a UF membrane will typically
remove it completely. That includes
viruses and bacteria. Bacteria in general
are large enough, uh, it’s very safe
to say you can get a six log removal
of bacteria. Some of the viruses are
a little bit smaller and there, there they
fall in the same range as ultra-filtration, uh
depending on the virus you can get anywhere
from 2 to 4 log removal. It’s a tag team effort right so
you have dissolved material in waste water that
you’ve gotta treat and you’ve got
suspended material in waste water
you’ve gotta treat. The membrane kinda
helps in both categories. First of all, it’s just
gonna filter out anything that’s particulate
in waste water and the other thing we do
is we combine a membrane with a biological
treatment process, just a suspended growth of
bacteria and their job is to eat and process all
the dissolved stuff. The problem is with a
conventional technology that does very much
the same thing you’ve still gotta actually
retain all that bio mass, you’ve gotta capture it
or separate it out again and what the UF membrane
does is it allows you to actually keep all the
bacteria where you want so they can do their job and
eat all the dissolved stuff and then the membrane
stops anything that’s particulate that
was in the waste water and it keeps all the
bacteria in the biomass where you want it and you have
absolutely nothing afterwards. So, it-it’s a very stark
contrast between mixed liquor which is doing the
biological work and you can go through
one tiny little membrane and the water comes
out crystal clear. Although I absolutely love
working in Costa Rica, you don’t have to go all
the way to Central America to witness people
trying to protect and improve the
environment. We have a large number of
OERB cleanup projects occurring here
in Oklahoma. They use the same biological
treatment processes as those that we just learned
about at the resort. The only difference is that
here we’re using bacteria in the soil to
consume oil residues at abandoned oil
production sites. So we’re here west
of Maud today with Rodney Troglin of
Beacon Environmental and we’re looking at a
site that they’re going to bio-remediate and
clean up the oil that’s been released
to the surface here. Now Rodney, if you
would start us out with a little history
of this site. Well this site was
turned in to us, um and we had a uh,
an old pit, uh it was an oil pit and
it sat back over here on the on the
hillside and the um, uh, this is a process in
which we use to remediate, uh, oil and-and paraffin
and that sorta thing that we find in these old pits. Lotta times they’ll
be tank bottoms and real thick heavy
oil in these pits that, that just well set
there for years and years and decades, uh and
not treat itself, uh but when we uh are able to-to
find a piece of-of property that we can use uh a
land farm sell on we can u-usually
bio-remediate these in about uh, um 12
months to 2 years. Ok. No-now you mentioned
2 things that some people may
not be familiar with. One was paraffin and the
other was tank bottoms. What are those? Well the tank bottoms is just the uh, the old heavy
oil that i-that is been over the years and
it’ll have sand and uh, other heavy materials
that fall out of the oil and it settles in the
bottom of the tank so it’s a real waxy uh,
thick material that uh, uh that is not useful for um, umm refining
or such as that and the paraffin’s
the same way. It’s a waxy substance
found in oil and it uh, uh settles into
the to the tank bottoms or uh, and that-that’s where
they try to get rid of this at is an, an old pits
and that sorta thing. So when you find the old pits
they’re just like small ponds that have this material
in the bottom of it? Yeah, we find ’em
in different uh, different states. Some of them will have
fences around them where they tried to keep the
cattle fro-from wading out into the oil and
getting stuck uh, some of them will just
be covered over with uh, with a foot or two of-of
soil where they’ve tried to, to you know cover over
the material and get rid of it thata way but it
still just encapsulates it and it sets there for
decades without being uh, u-remediated. So you come in once you
find one of these spots, you dig that up and
then you spread it out on adjoining property? Well this is uh, this is
the area that we selected on this property and you
can see this is burned, uh, so to-to uh, uh
eliminate any runoff that might go into the
surface waters uh, but what we do is we bring
that out of the pit and we apply it in 3 to 4 inch
lifts within the land farm sale and uh, within that
uh land farm sale we also add um, soil
amendments to, uh expedite the
remediation process. What kind of
amendments do you add? Well on this
site here we uh, we added uh wood chips,
uh we added um urea and uh, um often
times we use hay uh, instead of wood chips and
then we also use manure which helps to uh, speed
up the bacterial growth and break down the oil
into its components. So as you add soil amendments
it gives some body to that oil and it
also gives a way for the water and the uh,
sunlight to penetrate and to uh,
remediate the site. So if we look at this
soil on the ground here in front of us, what we can
see is these larger chunks now this-these I guess
this is the tank bottoms? Yes that would be the uh,
oil and tank bottoms and its uh, uh has been has
been tilled uh several times to it-it’s beginning
to break down you see it’s when we put it in
here the consistency is, is something like
uh, uh pudding or uh, you know a heavy grease. Really? So uh, you can see that
uh as we uh mix this with the soil and
with the amendments it begins to form uh, a
substance similar to soil. Well I notice it’s
still a little shiny when I break it open,
you can see it’s still a little bit moist. Right we have some
active oil in there. This site is, is not quite
uh, uh complete. Um, we’re going to add some more amendments
in the future. Yeah. To uh, to help uh break
this site on down uh, uh a little better. Do you ever come out and water
the, the, the land farm or do you just let
it naturally. No, we, we usually
just allow natural uh, processes to take
place there uh, we’re not in
any-any hurry. Right. To speed this along,
I mean we have time working on our side and
usually the, the warmer and moister the summers are
the faster it remediates. So how does the
urea or the manure help speed the process up? Well the, the-the urea
and the manure just uh, helps feed the
microbes in the soil. Yeah. And the microbes
in the soil uh, will break the
fertili-will break the, the oil down
into fertilizer um, you know if-if it’s a,
it’s a oil base product. Right. So oil is really uh,
one of the easier uh, things that we treat
because it will break down in the grasses and things
we use it for fertilize. So you said 12
months to do this, do you ever see it go
any faster than that or? It can go
faster than that uh, depending upon the uh total
petroleum hydrocarbons that’s in the tank bottoms uh, and in the, in the pit
itself it can go faster than that if it’s a, if
it’s a reduced rate or the, it also has to
do with the consistency that we pull out of the pit. Sometimes we just
have some sandy uh, soil that is impacted with
oil and you put that on the surface and
it treats quicker. Yeah. But if you have something
such as this which is a heavy tank bottom
paraffin and uh, and the uh, thick uh
waxy substance it takes a little longer to treat. A lot longer. Now I’ve been on sites
where I’ve seen this kind of material that’s
been leaked out over the years and it almost
looks like asphalt. Yeah, that’s uh, you know
obviously that’s what uh is utilized uh, in asphalt
is-is uh some used, some used old oil um, and
rocks and that sorta thing so as it sets there on
the surface it combines with the uh, the sand and
the rocks on the surface to create a substance that’s
very similar to asphalt. Now they also used to,
I think and correct me if I’m wrong but they used
to put the tank bottoms on some of the
roads didn’t they? Yes and uh, often
times uh you can still uh, get permitting to do that. You can? Yeah on lease
roads and uh, on county roads
that are sandy and that sorta thing. I-it makes a great
road material because uh, it does stay put uh, if
you get it packed in it’s not going away. Uh, that’s why we
have to-to fluff it. Yeah. And get it, get it with
all the amendments to get it to go away. Now when we’re
finished, it’s one of the most productive
areas of their pasture. So you’re basically
building the soil back up? Yes. Putting carbon back
in to the soil but you’re breaking
it down to uh, to a useful, a useful carbon that the
grass can actually use. You’re adding nutrients
which also helps. Right. So once, once you’re
done then they can run cattle on this or do
w-anything they want to? Anything they
want to with it. Very interesting. Well Rodney, we really
appreciate you for coming out today. Thank you. Thanks. Thank you for your time. Everyone’s familiar
with pathogenic bacteria. Those are the bacteria
that make us sick; however we often
overlook the multitude of beneficial bacteria
that assists us as humans in maintaining our
level of lifestyle and our environmental
quality. In today’s episode, we’ve
seen two different examples of bacteria and how
they’re used to remove undesirable contaminants
from both water and soil. We hope you enjoyed today’s
show and don’t forget, go to LandDoctors.com for more information on
this and other shows and as always, hang
around after the credits for a little land yap. ♪ ♪ I need the Oklahoma wind
to run ♪ ♪ open through my veins. ♪ ♪ I need the Indian grass
to cut right through ♪ ♪ these long and
lonesome days ♪ ♪ homeward bound. ♪ ♪ I’m homeward bound. ♪ ♪ I hear the scissortail calling
me from the Redbud trees ♪ ♪ I hear the top water roar ♪ ♪ in the still of the
days, ♪ ♪ as the bass enjoy
their feast ♪ ♪ homeward bound. ♪ ♪ I’m homeward bound. ♪ ♪ Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh. ♪ ♪ I recognize that
front porch light ♪ ♪ from a mile away. ♪ ♪ Oh-oh-oh ♪ ♪ This is a place that for all
my life I have come to stay ♪ ♪ where I want to stay. ♪ ♪♪ Are you a land doctor? Do you have a beautiful
piece of property that you’d love to
share with the world? If so, drop us a line
as LandDoctors.com. We’d love to hear from
ya and maybe even include you on a future show. ♪ Everywhere you go in Costa
Rica you hear people say “Pura Vita.” That literally
translates to pure life but the way that they
use it’s more like this is really living or this
is the only way to live. And I tend to agree
with ’em I found myself enjoying Costa Rica more
than I ever imagined that I would, from the friendly
people to the great food to the beautiful,
beautiful natural setting. I couldn’t imagine
anything any better and after I got finished
with my business activities and looking at the site that
we’re going to develop, I had to take advantage
of the fishing and we went out for a
day long fishing trip. If you get a chance,
go to Costa Rica and enjoy it for yourself. Pura Vita. Costa Rica baby! Ha ha ha that
is a big sail. That’s not a sail. That’s a moor, no
that’s a sail. Hang on hang on. Ha ha. Yeah. Costa Rica Baby. ♪♪
Ha ha. ♪
The Land Doctors
would like to thank GE Water and
Process Tecnologies for our use of the
ZeeWeed graphics ♪♪
in this program. ♪
This program is sponsored
in part by the Oklahoma Energy
Resources Board. The OERB is voluntarily
funded by Oklahoma’s oil and natural gas producers
and royalty owners and their funds are being used
for well-side restoration and student education
all across the state. Since 1993, the OERB
has restored more than 13,000 orphaned and
abandoned oil sites at no cost to land
owners or tax payers employing Oklahoma contractors
all along the way. The OERB is proud to serve
the state of Oklahoma. ♪♪ ♪ Daddy where do
those come from? Well, let me tell ya. ♪ Great Plains Kabota, your
Oklahoma Kabota dealer and proud sponsor of
the Land Doctors. ♪♪
Kabota, for
Earth, for life. ♪
This program is
sponsored and produced by the Land Doctors
Management Group. We all know that
Oklahomans belong to the land but even
the best of us need a little help from
time to time. If you’ve got a spot
of land that you love but would like to
make it even better, we’re here to help. Whether its wildlife,
water management, natural
resources management, environmental cleanup, or
even real estate development these doctors are
always on call. I love the smell of fresh
dirt in the morning. Smells like victory. ♪♪
Captioning by
Critical Mass Productions www.CMPedge.com

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