In the summer of 2021, Cincinnati Zoo broke ground on one of the biggest habitats in zoo history. The Elephant Trek Construction project is a leading-edge, 5-acre space designed to be home to a multi-generational herd of Asian elephants by the end of 2024. This means that elephant families can grow up alongside Cincinnati families who visit the zoo. Children and grandchildren can witness these magnificent, endangered species flourish in a spacious home filled with swimming pools, streams, overhead feeding stations and plenty of places to wallow in mud. It’s designed to provide these elephants with room to play, roam, live and breed in a way that feels natural to them.
Elements built into Elephant Trek include a storage tank system that will hold reclaimed water, helping the zoo reduce expenses and achieve its goal to be Net Zero by 2025! It also has plans to convert elephant poop, and the rest of the Zoo’s organic waste, to a soil supplement that will help it grow the food that the elephants eat!
These intentional conservation efforts have earned the Cincinnati Zoo it the title of “the Greenest Zoo in America.” As part of this, the Elephant Trek intentionally included several features to encourage a small carbon footprint while addressing the needs of the multi-generational herd of elements.
A DuroMaxx® steel reinforced polyethylene (SRPE) tank system manufactured by Contech Engineered Solutions was selected to provide the clean water storage component for the habitat as it fit within the allowable footprint while providing a watertight, welded coupler (WC) solution to store treated rainwater that could be used for ponds and waterfalls for the elephants to enjoy.
While the original design was approved, the final, installed system had to be altered slightly in the field to fit some site constraints that developed once excavation began. Fortunately, having selected a DuroMaxx storage solution, they were able to trim the header and two of the 120-inch barrels to address these unforeseen circumstances with relative ease, saving substantial time and money as a result. The final DuroMaxx® SRPE 120-inch tank system met all of the original design requirements, including the needed storage of filtered water.
Ultimately, the Cincinnati Zoo was pleased with the outcome as were the Asian elephants and all the families and friends who would soon come to visit these endangered animals.