HDPE Piping Supports Fort Worth Zoo's Vision for African Savanna Exhibit

HDPE piping and fittings were chosen for the Fort Worth Zoo's $100 million African Savanna exhibit

A New Vision
The Fort Worth Zoo in Texas has a wild vision: A $100 million plan to add new features and attractions, to house an even wider variety of animals from around the world. One of those exhibits is an African Savanna. Guests will be able to see giraffes, zebras, ostriches, antelope, and birds to name a few.

Hippos will drift, float, and swim along a lazy river, mimicking African streams and waterways, in a hippo, rhino, and flamingo exhibit. Hippos spend most of their time underwater, so the zoo built deep pools with underwater viewing areas.

The zoo is working with Longhorn Organics to install a life support system for the water features. The Forney, Texas-based company offers water filtration construction services. They specialize in aquatic design and build
services for the themed entertainment industry.

Creating a Life-Support System

Of course, it was of critical importance that the piping system feeding these water features be maintenance free. Imagine trying to repair a pipe with a hippo looking over your shoulder. Not ideal.

The zoo water supply system needed to reliably provide water for a host of animals that count on it for comfort and survival. System failure is not an option.

Choosing the Right Pipe

Engineers turned to ISCO to provide high density polyethylene (HDPE) pipe and fittings for the project. “We had a great crew out here from ISCO,” explained Chris Faucet, the sales and production manager for Longhorn Organics. “We’ve always worked with PVC, this was our first PE project that we’ve done. Working with ISCO’s support and expertise really took the pressure off of us.”

HDPE was chosen for the underground piping due to its maintenance-free properties. It offers a system that will remain leak-free, corrosion-free, and offer cathodic protection for decades. Specifically, ISCO provided 7,000 feet of two- to 18-inch IPS DR17 pipe and more than 500 HDPE fittings.

Over the span of only a few months, ISCO fabricated complicated manifolds and headers. They were built either on site at the zoo or in one of ISCO’s plants and shipped to the site.

As the system was laid out, ISCO provided several fusion technicians on site to work on the complicated fabrication and assure that all the parts and pieces were measured and made to fit perfectly. The end result is a maintenance-free habitat for the animals to call home for years to come.

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