Everyone loves the hippopotamus exhibit at an amusement park or a zoo, especially if they have underwater viewing areas to watch the hippos move around effortlessly in their environment. For the best visitor experience, the water needs to be crystal clear and Atlas-SSI has supported the development of several sustainable exhibits with their water intake screen solutions.

Despite its power, awesome appearance, and aggressiveness, the hippo is a herbivore and can consume up to 150 pounds of hay and grass per day which in turn produces about 500 pounds of waste – most of which remains in the water. This does not make for ideal viewing conditions and can present several challenges to the filtration system.

Atlas-SSI was contacted by a large amusement park that was having issues with its hippo exhibit filtration system as they had to shut it down 2-3 times per week for maintenance during park hours. The exhibit was using stationary perforated plate screens and sand filters for its water treatment system. The operations manager of the system had previous experience with traveling water intake screens and reached out to Atlas-SSI to design a system that would effectively remove the hay/fecal material out of the water before it reached the sand filters. The traveling water screens were engineered with a fine mesh to ensure that the sand filters could cycle with no issues. In addition, the traveling water screens were manufactured of 100% stainless steel and non-metallic components as opposed to bronze and other metals that could impact the health of the tropical fish in the exhibit.

To simplify operation, Atlas-SSI designed the traveling water screens with an automated control system that ran on timers as well as the differential pressure across the screen. The Atlas-SSI water intake screen solution eliminated the emergency shutdowns of the sand filters which saved the park thousands of dollars and restored uptime at the exhibit. The traveling water screens have now been in operation for 15 years with almost zero maintenance cost. As a result of this project, Atlas-SSI water intake screens have been incorporated at several additional large-scale hippo exhibits in the United States and Mexico.