Members of the Senate Gaming Committee were caught off-guard yesterday when the Commonwealth Casino Commission brought up the subject of alleged sewage overflow troubles at the casino in Garapan.
CCC executive director Edward Deleon Guerrero told Saipan Tribune in an interview last week and yesterday that the matter has been “taken cared of” by Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC, which runs the Imperial Pacific Resort.
Saipan Tribune learned that the overflow was not the first instance it has happened.
According to a casino employee who asked not to be named, leaks have been plaguing the facility—some of which have a rancid stench and unpleasant color. This was his/her fourth experience with the leaks. The worst incident happened earlier this week.
“The smell was really bad,” the employee said, referring to a liquid-like substance on the floor of the men’s locker room.
He/she described the liquid as “brownish” and believes it to be human waste due to its appearance and smell. The area’s floor is made up of white tiles, which made the color of the liquid even more noticeable.
There are leaks in the VIP room area as well, the employee said, although not to the degree of that in the men’s underground locker rooms in terms of odor and appearance.
“Maintenance personnel need to use a vacuum and a blower just to clean it up,” said the employee, adding that it is suspected the liquid runs down the walls onto the floor.
Members of the Senate Gaming Committee that attended yesterday’s meeting with the casino commission expressed shock about the leaks.
Sen. Arnold I. Palacios (R-Saipan) said the situation as a “big concern” due to sanitation and public health that could arise should it be confirmed that the leak is indeed wastewater.
“Something like this shouldn’t have happened,” he said, particularly since IPI executives have already assured the casino commission that they have already addressed the situation.
According to Deleon Guerrero, the Division of Public Health informed the commission last week of a leak in the facility.
He said the manual setting of a pump behind a locked door caused the leak. The drainage pump reportedly has two settings: manual and automatic.
Deleon Guerrero attributed the leak to a failure to set the pump to automatic.
IPI executives reported to the casino commission that they have already addressed the issue of the leak last week as soon as they were informed of the matter by the commission.
CCC chair Juan Sablan told IPI executives to address the issue as it is a health hazard to both employees and guests.