A non-partisan, neutral perspective supporting diversity in the color of water

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Greywater Glitz

No trip to Macau would be complete without a visit to their casinos.  The buzz on the street is that 20 million visitors per year come to Macau compared to 40 million to Las Vegas.  But the square footage of casino space is apparently double that of Las Vegas.

One thing I observed while walking around downtown Macau was that the casinos are pretty classy.  None of the roller coasters or pyramids found in Las Vegas, just flashy lights, beautifully adorned buildings, very polite workers in the casinos, and Steve Wynn's most elaborate facility yet, Wynns in Macau.  I was working in Las Vegas when Steve Wynn was building the Mirage, costing something like $1B in the late 1980s, and if you believed the word on the street, destined to fail because of the costs.  But the Mirage is what started all of the megaresorts in Las Vegas.  And Wynn moved on to bigger, and more classier, establishments, complete with water fountains that are artwork unto themselves.

I observed the Wynn Macau fountain in action, and the thought that kept going through my mind was what a great application of greywater reuse.  Here is a video of the Wynn Macau fountain.  I observed the fountain as the theme song to The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly played.  It brought tears to my eyes for many different reasons. One of the reasons is that this is an 800,000 gallon tank, with a couple of thousand jets, costing about $50 million.  The other reasons is that I like the song, but not in Macau.

What is the connection to greywater?  I don't know about the Macau fountain, but apparently there was some news that the fountain at the Las Vegas Bellagio, another Wynn property, used greywater (and Patricia Mulroy has apparently alluded to Las Vegas fountains using greywater despite her rant against greywater in previous postings).  This article dispelled the myth, indicating that the property had a well left over from the historic golf course days in Vegas.

But the use of greywater for ornamental ponds for large buildings is what the LEED-certified building in China incorporates into their "green" living as described in previous posts.  And recalling the aeration of kitchen sink wastewater in Zen Rainmain video (see sidebar) as a means to treat the water to make it safe for later use, imagine how much aeration the water in these ornamental ponds must undergo for the regular water shows.  So, the Greywater Gadget of the Week is awarded to Wynn resorts for their hyperaeration treatment systems, regardless if the rumor of greywater reuse is true or not.  What a show!

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