Anna Francis

Creation of water treatment reedbed system and associated Native Wildlife Habitat

On 2008 Twycross Zoo reached a point where improvements were necessary to the existing water treatment systems.

Old systems were starting to fail and expensive tankering had become the only way to dispose of waste water and effluent safely.

The Zoo assessed a number of options from connection to mains sewage to installation of a new mechanical plant to development of a native reedbed system. The creation of a reedbed system was not only the cheapest option in terms of set up but also maintenance. In addition this option had a number of other benefits including enhancement of the site in terms of native biodiversity and education.

The total project cost £640,000 (with an additional £140,000 for visitor experience elements) compared to an estimated £900,000 for a similar sized mechanical system. It also had the added benefits of lower maintenance costs and reliable carbon emissions through use.

The project has led to a reduction on costs related to water treatment of 37% and a reduction in related carbon dioxide equivalent emissions of 28%.

In addition, the site has seen and additional 252 species of plant and animal between 2008/9 and 2012/13 including nine locally important (BAP) species.

The project has also provided the Zoo with a new exhibit and educational facility that is currently enabling us to engage with over 19,000 people per annum on sustainability and native species issues.

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