creative • integrated • sustainable
Rosamond Gifford Zoo
Syracuse, NY

Rosamond Gifford Zoo

Waterfowl Pond Treatment/Storm Water Wetland
  • The waterfall pond which contains approximately 105,000 gallons of water has to be drained and cleaned about every two weeks.  The water was dumped to the sanitary system and the pond was replenished from domestic water, putting a tremendous load on the already taxed municipal treatment plant.  Additionally, there was a cost to refill the pond with domestic water on a continual basis.
  • A re-circulation system was designed that continually pumps the waterfowl pond water to an upper level in the zoo.  The outflow at this upper level is designed as a cascading waterfall to a wetland pond.
  • The cascade aerates the water and the wetland aids in settling out suspended solids.  Additionally, wetland plantings aid in cleansing the water.  This is the "primary treatment".
  • From this primary treatment wetland the water flows through a series of small cascades, again to aerate he water, and then flows through a reed bed.
  • The reed bed plantings plus beneficial bacteria in the planting medium and around the root system of the plantings further cleanses the water prior to flowing back into the waterfowl pond.  The reed bed essentially provides secondary treatment.
  • The system is designed to be a zoo exhibit of a natural, sustainable system for treating water.  A boardwalk was installed through the reed bed for zoo patrons to observe the reed bed system and the wildlife it will support.