Since the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska in 1989, the Hollywood star has been concerned with preserving the environmental security of the world’s oceans. Costner has spent US$ 24 million on developing centrifugal separators that have the ability to spin and separate oil from water, and BP is now testing six of these machines in the hope that they will provide a solution to the continuing devastating oil spill.
Costner’s work on designing the centrifugal machines began when he was filming Waterworld in 1995, and was inspired by his character’s use of a device to purify seawater. He then moved to fund a company, headed by his brother, to develop water separators. There are now a number of the centrifugal machines available. Each one is capable of handling 200 gallons of water a minute, and can separate 97% of oil from the water, and are manufactured by Costner’s company: Ocean Therapy Solutions, based in Louisiana.