Going Green: Casino water energy
YNN's Terry Ettinger examines the techniques that a popular resort and casino use in order to save money and energy.
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VERONA, N.Y. -- At a casual glance from the top of the Oneida Indian Nation's Turning Stone Casino Tower Hotel, all these ponds might seem to be pretty landscaping, or a place where a duck and her young ones can paddle through the reeds. However, these ponds do serve a purpose.
"All of the roof drains from the buildings and all of the drainage from the parking lots goes to ponds throughout the resort and these ponds are used for irrigation," explained Mike Vaccaro, director of facilities. "In addition, we use the reclaimed water from the city of Oneida, which is pumped up here, put in other ponds, and that water is used for irrigation on the golf courses."
Reclaimed water or recycled water is treated wastewater that is appropriate for use in sustainable landscaping irrigation. Vaccaro said that over the past five years, Turning Stone Resort cut their overall water consumption by 50 percent.
"The Oneida culture really stresses that we are good stewards of the environment. We want to keep things nature friendly and whenever we can, find something that lowers our cost, is good for the environment and is good for our guests. It's a no-brainer, we just do it," said Vaccaro.
At the top of the hotel, you are able to notice that some of the roofs are white.
"We have rubber roofs on all of our buildings and these roofs have a limited life span, anywhere from 10 to 15 years. These roofs need to be replaced so we went out and found a special type of coating, which extends the life of the roof another five to seven years," noted Vaccaro.
Those are the white sections of the roof, and therein lies the energy savings.
"It's a lighter color and it reflects the heat. It keeps that roof pretty much between 40 and 50 degrees cooler, which makes our heating a lot less," explained Vaccaro.
Eventually all of the roofs will receive the lighter coating.