Filtration system solves tricky issue at UK Birdworld

Sunday, 06 April, 2014 | Supplied by: Waterco Limited

1388964282 birdworld farham

With 26 acres filled with exotic bird life, Birdworld, located in the town of Farnham, is one of the largest bird parks in the United Kingdom. Although there are over 160 species of birds to be seen at the park, the most popular exhibit is Penguin Beach, a display featuring a beach and pool with a boat and jetty. This enclosure is home to a colony of Humboldt penguins that visitors can feed twice a day.

However, the clarity of the water in this exhibit was letting down the aesthetics of the display as the original filtration system was not built to handle the large quantity of unwashed stone and gravel in the pool. So a new system was commissioned to address this issue.

A tricky pool that required low chlorine levels with good water clarity and quality, Waterco offered a filtration solution for the project, which also had a strict budget and atypical construction.

“It was a new pool with unusual construction; built from bentonite clay liner with rock-filled gabions on two sides, and Supa skimmers built in,” says Tony Fisher, Waterco Europe managing director. “All pipework from the bottom drains and skimmers had to rise around a metre to the plant room and the budget was very tight, so it was a unique project that needed a more advanced filtration system that could handle the challenges of the initial design.

“For Birdworld, we offered a chlorinated filtration system using two pumps preceded by bottom drains and Waterco’s large capacity Supa skimmers for leaves and debris,” says Fisher.

Two Hydrotuf 300 pumps were used for security; in case of a pump failure, one pump would manage in the short term. These pumps were selected as they have good-sized strainer pots to cope with bird feathers etc.

“We also installed non-return valves at water level to help with priming as the plant room was higher than the pool. The water was then fed via two MultiCyclones to remove debris from rock and gravel,” Fisher added.

“MultiCyclones were selected as a lot of heavy debris was expected from the large amount of rock on the base of the pool. It is important to remove this before it enters the filters as it would dramatically shorten the life of the glass filter media. Flow rates per filter were 18 to 25 m per hour each.”

For extra clarity, the water was also fed through SM900 fibreglass filters, filled with glass media, and then chlorinated with an erosion feeder before being returned to the pool. This solved the issue of poor water quality that was presented by the large amount of gravel in the water.

“The SM900 filters were chosen as they are a tough, economical filter ideal for this job, easily backwashed with a multiport valve and not too challenging for media change. Erosion feeders for chlorine are a practical solution for animal keepers with limited experience in water maintenance as it enables them to work with chlorine in a relatively stable tablet form with manual control of chlorine levels, without the complication of electronic control and ‘bunded’ chemical containers.”

The system has been so effective that the pool has not required complete water changes since its installation, only needing the occasional backwash. Most importantly, the client has had no complaints about water clarity, saying there hasn’t been “a single bad water day” since the new system was put in place.

“According to the installer, he wouldn’t have done anything differently; budget constraints and the pool design dictated many of the decisions made on the equipment used, but the Waterco pumps and filters are able to cope with all eventualities,” Fisher says.

“The system needed to be user-friendly and reliable, given zookeepers generally have no experience of water maintenance and need to be up to speed with routine maintenance in a very short period of time. Therefore, the equipment chosen was with this priority, so that the keepers are confident and able to carry out regular maintenance tasks easily, ensuring good water quality and long life of equipment.”

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