Waterco filter system is playing a key role in keeping the penguin pool clean and clear at the ZSL London Zoo.

Located in the heart of London, the ZSL London Zoo is home to 755 different animal species. One of the most popular exhibits has been the penguin pool.

Maintenance was a problem in the previous enclosure and unfiltered pool, with overhanging trees dropping leaves into the enclosure and the pool needing to be emptied every two weeks and then refilled from the water mains.

ZSL London Zoo needed a long-term solution that would be built from the ground up, providing a larger pool and clear water for a healthy environment for the penguins while enabling them to be viewed through underwater viewing panels.

Spread across 1200sqm with a capacity to hold 450,000 litres of water, the new Penguin Beach is four times larger and three times deeper than the previous enclosure, with the pool being the largest in England.

The £2 million Penguin Beach has room for a 150-strong breeding colony, as well as a new pool and viewing area that includes a paddling pool for chicks, in addition to landscaping based on the penguins' southern hemisphere habitats, such as a stretch of rocky shore. The large underwater viewing platform enables zoo visitors to watch the penguins diving for food.

For the new filtration system at the Penguin Beach, ZSL London Zoo considered companies from mainland Europe. Working closely with specialist group Marine Aquaculture, Waterco was selected for its reputation, consistent quality of products, and reliability. Additionally, Waterco has provided a range of filtration systems to ZSL London Zoo for different enclosures.

Waterco recommended an integrated solution to meet the zoo’s specific requirements. The solution comprised of a chlorinated filtration system using four Waterco Hydrostar pumps designed for large commercial pools, and Hydro commercial strainers and Supa large capacity skimmers for managing leaves and other debris.

The water is fed into the pool using eight MultiCyclones plus six Micron SMD deep bed fibreglass media filters, before chlorination using two ElectroChlor salt chlorinators.

Tony Fisher, managing director of Waterco Europe explains that the ElectroChlors are ideal as they enable the chlorine level to be automatically maintained, thus eliminating problems associated with periods of very high or low chlorine levels. Fewer fluctuations in chlorine levels mean fewer fluctuations in pH levels, which ensure more stable, balanced water.

Reduced ongoing maintenance is a major benefit of the Waterco pool filtration system with no need for costly and time intensive fortnightly water changes. Waterco’s new solution has helped the zoo staff move away from a labour intensive system of enclosure and pool maintenance to be able to focus on the core purpose of ZSL London Zoo – conservation.

Fisher adds that the water is consistently high quality with only a backwash replacement required since the installation. All the filters have been fitted with multiport valves, making it easier for staff to use than valve batteries, and simplifying day-to-day maintenance.