Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

`Bugs' Vastly Improve Pollution Cleanup

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

`Bugs' Vastly Improve Pollution Cleanup

Article excerpt

Using "bugs," or microorganisms, to clean up pollution on site can save as much as 60 percent over the cost of conventional methods, a new Oklahoma City distributor asserts.

"We're able to do remediation in place without having to dig up the dirt and haul it off to dispose in a landfill," said John Birdwell, vice president of Apace Inc. Environmental Services of Oklahoma City.

"We bore holes and treat the dirt underground with the anaerobic bugs that we have and save 40 to 60 percent over the cost of digging it up and disposing of it elsewhere." Apace now has only two employees, but anticipates growth in the increasingly busy environmental service industry. Laboratory testing is contracted, as well as boring holes to inject microorganisms.

"We feel like we'll probably be doing four or five or six jobs a month in the very near future, and it will just increase from there," Birdwell said.

Apace was formed in about August, but has been involved with bioremediation of oil field pollution for about 2 years, Birdwell said.

"We've been around the oilpatch for many years. We just eased over to it," he said.

"The environmental aspect is so very important, and people are becoming more conscious of it. We saw that it's an area where it's a very lucrative business, but we can help people with their problems and save them a lot of money." Covering about three quarters of Oklahoma with the right to go anywhere in the nation, Apace is a distributor for Bio-Rem Inc. of Indiana.

Applications for this type of cleanup, Birdwell said, spans from hazardous spills, leaking underground storage tanks, seeping wellheads to sludge areas, pipelines and more. A partial list of pollutants attacked are benzenes, toluene, xylene, napthalene, esters, phenols, pesticides and cyanide.

"We can bioremediate on top of the ground, or we can do it underground, or spills into water. Once they (the microorganisms) eat it all up, the only thing left is what's called a biomass, and they're (the microorganisms) just dead," Birdwell said. …

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