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Water Monitor

We look at how a new piece of equipment is helping the state get a better look at our soil and what’s going into our groundwater.
Water Monitor

Water monitor

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Geo Probe

Show Dates

Show 0943: Water Monitor

Air date: October 25, 2009

 

Transcript

Rob:  Today, much stricter controls are in place to ensure that even the lowest level of contaminants are kept out of our water supply.  We visited a farm in northwestern Oklahoma to see how a device called a geo probe is helping the state get a better look at our soil and what’s going into our groundwater.

Rob:  The hogs may be harmless, but if the lagoon starts leaking, it could be a dirty problem.

Kenny Naylor:  You could have groundwater that wasn’t drinkable, or you could have a major fish kill in a pond, or a lake.

Rob:  Licensed drillers, like Kenny Naylor, go where ever water flows, even before they need to go.  Oklahoma Agriculture Food & Forestry’s Jack Carson says, it’s part of the state’s pledge to get to the bottom of any problem.

Jack Carson:  We take our job of protecting the environment, of regulating agriculture very, very seriously.

Naylor:  We use the geo probe to sample.  And if there has been a contamination, then we clean that up.

Rob:  The Ag department’s newest tool, the geo probe, has been a game-changer.

Naylor:  This machine pushes down.  It also has what we call a hammer.  It kind of hits it real hard, and vibrates it, and helps it push its way down to the soil.

Rob:  Going faster and further than ever before.

Naylor:  When we were using a hand probe, you were limited to how many samples you could pull a day; you know two or three in a hard clay soil that was, really you know, a hard long day.

Jim Shirazi:  If we don’t hit anything real hard, we can easily go up to 60 feet.

Rob:  Soil scientist, Jim Shirazi, gets the dirt on what’s in the soil.

Shirazi:  Once you know where the pollution is, you can take care of it.  Right here, this is heavy clay.

Carson:  We have some of the most qualified hydrologists, engineers, and technicians in the industry.  And this is a tool to help them do their job.

Rob:  With taking more samples comes an even better understanding.

Shirazi:  There’s no question.  You get the information on a science-specific basis; where the things are; how the geology is.

Carson:  If we have our ability to find a leak, like this, before it actually reaches the groundwater, we are that much better able to stop the problem before it really becomes something that will take years and years.

Rob:  Leading the way today, for tomorrow.

Carson:  We do promote agriculture.  And we are out there beating the drum for Oklahoma agriculture; not just here, but internationally.  But, we understand that if we’re going to continue to do that, we have to protect the environment.

Rob:  A simple drill, watching over our water supplies, by going underground.

Rob:  Well as you can imagine, we’ve only broken the surface of issues surrounding Oklahoma’s water supplies.  In the coming weeks, we’ll re-visit the issue, but in the meantime, you can see more on Oklahoma’s water resources, plus some of the full interviews from today’s stories.  Simply head to our newly remodeled website at OkHorizon.com and click on this week’s value added.