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Sycuan Casino saves water by reclaiming it

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EL CAJON, Calif – Arid Southern California conditions come with warnings to conserve water at all costs. “Avoid running sprinklers or hoses during the day,” citizens are told. But this is something Sycuan Casino doesn’t worry about, it practically makes water, and it has an abundance of it. This is not saying the facility is wasteful, in fact, it’s the complete opposite. It conserves every drop of water that flows through its sinks and bathrooms, nothing is discarded. Ernesto Reveles and his colleagues at Sycuan’s Water Works Plant make it happen.

“It’s easy and efficient,” said Reveles, the facility’s supervisor.


Photos courtesy Sycuan Casino The fountains and landscaping at Sycuan Casino use reclaimed water processed by Sycuan’s state-of-the-art filtration system.

Here’s how it works. Every time someone drains or flushes water, it is captured in tanks that can hold up to 200,000 gallons. Using nothing but compressed air, the water is stirred in the tanks to separate the bacteria, which settles at the bottom of the containers. Gentle pumping takes place to take the water at the top into another filtration tank, killing whatever bacteria might be left. A sophisticated computer system runs every phase of the process – within a few hours the water is as clean as ever.

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“We run this cycle three times a day, generating tens of thousands of gallons of ‘new’ water. This water is clean and safe, we use it for irrigation all over the property,” Reveles said.

This clean H2O is also filtered back to Sycuan Casino’s bathrooms and sinks. The fountain in front of the main entrance runs on the water as well.

“Every drop meets Environmental Protection Agency standards,” Reveles said. And every one of those drops is put to good use.