Casino Mops Up Grease Problem

Source: Big Dipper•Thermaco, Inc.

Cypress Bayou Casino Hits Jackpot!
The Argosy Casino & Hotel is located on the Ohio River just across the Indiana border from Cincinnati, Ohio. During an average year, Argosy can expect to accommodate over 7 million visitors while serving over 1 million meals.

Argosy originally opened for business in December 1996 and moved to its permanent facility in December 1997. The casino currently has approximately 2,200 employees, none busier than John Bailey. As the first shift Maintenance Supervisor, John oversees approximately six employees. Their expertise ranges from plumbing to mechanical to electrical work. In short, they handle anything in the facility that can malfunction. As such, they don't have a whole lot of time to worry about maintaining grease traps.

Unfortunately, the facility had experienced frequent back ups in the kitchen from the outset. "When we moved to our new location, we originally had a 20- gallon per minute passive trap handling the entire kitchen flow. This unit was simply too inadequate to service our kitchen needs. To address this issue, we installed a 120-gallon per minute passive grease trap. This interceptor did not work for us, either. We were pumping this trap on average twice a month at a cost of $500 apiece. We were also having to jet out our kitchen lines every quarter at $1,500 per visit. A lot of time was spent caring for the passive trap, but despite all of our efforts we were still having waste water backups one right after the other."

After two years of constant sewer line jetting and pumping of their inadequate passive grease trap, the mainte-nance & engineering staff knew it was time to act. So what could be done to solve this nagging problem?

"We had had enough of dealing with passive traps, so we wanted an alternative. Our chief engineer had become familiar with Big Dipper automatic grease and oils removal systems through a National Restaurant Association (NRA) show in Chicago in 1997. We did a little research, and the Big Dipper seemed like a viable option. In October of 1999, we installed two Big Dipper W-1000-AST automatic interceptors to service our kitchen waste water flows."

John states that the units have been working smoothly. "Since the installation of the interceptors, we've had no backups resulting from the kitchen effluent. We never knew just how much grease was being generated from some of our kitchen fixtures until we installed the Big Dippers and began their operation. We're removing the grease before it has a chance to get into our sewer lines, before it gets a chance to plug up our pipes. And we're removing quite a lot of grease, probably between 30-40 gallons per week per unit."

For Cypress Bayou Casino, it was a good news-bad news situation. The good news is their business is booming. The bad news is their on-site sewage treat-ment plant was significantly overloaded. The facility's treatment plant was operating at full capacity and needed to reduce the treatable load quickly and permanently. Facing imminent EPA reviews, the Building Superintendent, Mike Berard, concluded that the kitchen flows were the biggest part of the sewage treatment load.

Mike liked the solid and grease removal capabilities of the Big Dipper Superceptor series system. In January 1997, Cypress Bayou Casino installed their first Big Dipper Superceptor model S-2750. The results are impressive. The system is removing as much as two barrels of grease each week (approximately 800 pounds). But the real eye-opener is the nearly 80% reduction in BOD (Bio-Chemical Oxygen Demand) volume from the kitchen effluent. The effect is noticeable on the treatment plant. Cypress Bayou Casino is planning to install two more systems in the near future to handle two other kitchen operations.

Cypress Bayou Casino is owned by the Chitimacha Indian Tribe and is located in Charenton, Louisiana.

Big Dipper•Thermaco, Inc., 646 Greensboro Street, Asheboro, NC 27204. Tel: 800-633-4204; Fax: 336-626-5739.