Tioga Downs Casino Resort Wastewater Upgrade

Back in the mid 2000’s, a real estate executive decided to revitalize a defunct horse race track from the 1970s by building a casino. The response was so overwhelmingly positive that a decade later the owners decided to expand via a 160-room hotel with several restaurants. In addition to nearly doubling the daily flow rate, the owners were also faced with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s (NYSDEC) more stringent effluent standards that focused on enhanced nutrient removal required by all contributors to the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. At a price tag of $2+ million to upgrade their existing Siemens RBC system, Tioga Downs opted to research alternatives and eventually decided to turn to AquaPoint.

AquaPoint needed to design a treatment system that would integrate with the existing Rotating Biological Contactors (RBCs) & clarifiers, as well as accommodate both the increased flow and higher effluent standards (see below table for influent characteristics and effluent standards). The solution was a five-chamber AquaCELL Moving Bed Biofilm Reactor (MBBR). Consisting of aerobic and anoxic stages, the  process flow is primary settling –> flow equalization –> RBC  –> AquaPoint MMBRs –> final clarifiers –> UV disinfection –> final discharge. In addition, carbon, coagulant & alkalinity are also supplemented to help treat the effluent to permit standards. Not only was this the best option for dealing with the new standards set by the NYSDEC as well as the issues created by the new hotel & restaurants, but it also proved to be the most economical solution and saved the owners in excess of $1 million dollars in capital costs. The system went into operation in the Fall of 2017.

Design Flow:

.125 MGD

Performance Requirements:

Influent: 250 BOD / 250 TSS / 65 TKN (mg/l)  Effluent: 30 BOD / 30 TSS / 8 TN / 1 TP (mg/l)

BOD = Biochemical Oxygen Demand; TSS = Total Suspended Solids; TKN = Total Kjeldahl Nitrogen; TN = Total Nitrogen; TP = Total Phosphorous

*The above diagram shows basic process design, however the full system actually incorporates a dual train system where flow is split between two primary/flow EQ/RBCs into a single MBBR tank and then split again into final clarifiers and disinfection units.