A Brooklyn-born construction worker and scuba diver transplant to Whidbey Island is working to save the waters he loves.
"One day I just put numerous things together and realized I have something here," said Tony Frantz.
Frantz has patented process to suck toxic contaminants from below the water's surface without disturbing the surrounding ecosystem.
He created a contraption called a "creosote piling and sediment extractor," which is currently at work at the Greenbank Farm pond sucking up 300,000 gallons of goose poop.
Air jets loosen sludge on the pond's floor which is then sucked into a tank - leaving other organisms untouched.
"It's just bubbles of air," Frantz explained. "It's no different than having a glass of milk and a straw with the chocolate on the bottom, and you want to bring it up. It's that principle."
In conjunction with American Piledriving Equipment, Frantz recently deployed a much bigger system at a dock in Port Orchard. A huge cylinder was placed over creosote-soaked pilings, extracting them in-tact without releasing chemicals into the water.
Standard removal methods create a toxic plume.
"Creosote is designed to kill everything," said Frantz. "So, all the fish eggs get killed. They sink to the bottom and are eaten by crab, salmon, which are eaten by the orcas and sometimes make it to our tables, too."
The invention could go a long way toward removing the thousands of contaminated pilings currently leaching into Puget Sound.
For now, Frantz is just happy to be making a significant improvement in a small pond.
"Forty years ago I swam here," Frantz said pointing to the Greenbank pond.
"When asked if he would swim in it now, he replied, "After I clean it I would!"