Monroe County, Seneca Park Zoo Aquatic Animal Exhibits


ACEC-NY Engineering Excellence Award: Gold

The Rocky Coast Exhibit at the Zoo in Rochester, NY consists of aquatic animal habitats serving the penguins, polar bears and sea lions. The water systems were originally designed to maintain water quality though the use of ozone contact and degassing systems, and the ozone systems were no longer functioning. To maintain the proper hygiene in the water, chemical treatment has been used, which is not desirable or consistent with the guidelines of the American Zoological Association.  Some portions of the exhibits were also experiencing water loss due to leaks in the gunnite lining of the walls of the water portion of the exhibits. The circulating pumps serving the exhibit were original to the system, and in poor condition.

Pathfinder evaluated the existing infrastructure of the ozone treatment systems and compared their capabilities with present standards. Pathfinder provided mechanical, electrical, plumbing, structural and zoological architecture for the improvements. Design included the following systems: water filtration and treatment; ozone contact and degasification; pumping for all exhibits; water flow and turnover rates to ensure compliance with most recent standards; power distribution to support new equipment; emergency power, where required; and mechanical room exhaust and ventilation. A subconsultant supported the development and design of the specialty habitat and life support system design.

Pathfinder also provided design for the process control system to operate the exhibit water systems.  Pathfinder investigated the integrity of the water habitats to identify leaks and where remedial action would be required.

Pathfinder also provided a design to provide “cooling” to the Sea Lion Exhibit.  During the summer, the water in the sea lion pool became too warm for these animals who are used to a polar environment.  A process chiller was provided to chill and cool the water in the sea lion pool to maintain the climate at a more desirable temperature.