The New England Aquarium contracted with Aquatic Environments, Inc. to design and install Life Support System (LSS) upgrades for the Giant Open Ocean exhibit (GOT).  This project was completed in June of 2010.  The primary filtration for the GOT was large gravity sand filters located in the basement with an aeration/degassing tower housed on the 4th floor.   

Because of the deterioration of the concrete walls of the filter bays and associated rebar, these filter bays had out lived their useful life and needed to be taken off line.  The new LSS design now utilizes more efficient protein skimmers, pressurized rapid sand filters, and a large bio filter and sump to improve the water quality of this exhibit.  Once the filter bays were repaired they were then utilized as small filtration rooms for the LSS equipment.

 Access points were cut into the front of each bay and Aquatic Environments, Inc. built a custom fiberglass platform with stairs and railings to allow operator’s access to the new LSS.

 Space limitations are a common problem for LSS upgrades in older facilities. For this project restricted building access meant all piping, pumps, rapid sand filters, and protein skimmers needed to be designed to fit through the narrow corridors of the basement where all the mechanical systems are located. The ozone generator was dissembled and brought into the LSS bay in sections to facilitate the installation of the ozone skid.  Factory personnel then reassembled the ozone generator in place.   

 Because of the a high turnover rate of the LSS, two large 4’ diameter Protein Skimmers were chosen to match the new higher design flow rate.  The protein skimmers were delivered in sections to fit through the tight building access.  The protein skimmers were then assembled and bonded in place. Close-coupled FRP pumps were also chosen because of their reduced footprint.

 As part of the GOT LSS upgrade a total rework of the 12” FRP trench piping was required.  While making the new LSS connections, Aquatic Environments, Inc. lowered the pipe profile, which in turn made lowering the catwalk 12-18” possible.  With the catwalk lowered, overhead walking clearances improved dramatically in this critical pathway.

 Aquatic Environments collaborated with the New England Aquarium facilities staff to develop a new sequence of operation for the LSS controls of the GOT.  These new controls were integrated into the existing building systems.  New operator protocols were developed to ensure the systems would be operated and maintained properly.

Design • Development • Installation
Woburn, MA. 01801
Tel:(781)935-8877 Fax:(781)938-0004