Ardurra staff designed the life support systems for SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment’s Discovery Cove, located next to SeaWorld Adventure Park in Orlando, Florida.
This 33-acre resort park is a tropical paradise with multiple interactive exhibits, animal experiences and opportunities to be up close with marine mammals, fish, rays, sharks & various bird species. Highlights of this lush tropical park include dolphin interactive pools totaling 2.4-MG, a swim through coral reef exhibit totaling 1.1-MG, tropical river for floating or adventuring through the aviary & resort pool systems totaling 825,000 gallons.
This relaxing park offers a break from the typical theme park frenzy with unforgettable hands-on adventures. Bathers can relax on multiple beaches, float down the Lazy River and through Explorer’s Aviary, sun bathe in the resort pool, snorkel through the tropical reef with exotic fish and swim side by side with graceful stingrays.
The artificial saltwater and freshwater environments feature specialized treatment systems for carefully handling, treating and circulating water, providing exceptional water quality, clarity and recovery. The systems utilize treatment trains that draw from a central basin, collectively treating the water as it moves through.
Treatment processes employed include sand filtration, foam fractionation with protein skimmers, ozone contact & deaeration, various chemical feed systems including chlorination, temperature control utilizing thermal storage, an innovative backwash recovery system with minimal chloride discharge, saltwater storage/makeup and reverse osmosis for brine recovery. These systems are also automated for timely backwashing of the filters and rinsing of the fractionators, resulting in more efficient run times and consistent performance.
Grand Reef. Ardurra staff provided the conceptual and detailed design services along with construction administration for Discovery Cove’s latest attraction the Grand Reef. This 1-million gallon saltwater reef is truly an immersive experience; guests spend the day lounging on the beach, snorkeling through the reef or taking an underwater walking tour on the “ocean” floor in the Sea-Venture diving helmet.
The design of the life support system takes into account the previous facility’s lessons learned by incorporating a unique and effective sand settling basin which slows down the flow and removes the sand before it can damage expensive equipment.
Previously suspended carbon used for water polishing is now efficiently supported and contained with an ozone-resistant, flow-through apparatus. The water is carefully introduced to the exhibit through an intricately designed piping supply system; which allows for excellent mixing, pristine water quality and subtle inflows so as to not to disturb the fish, the Sea Venturers or the naturalistic sand bottom.
The LSS equipment is located directly adjacent to the “resort” so strict space and height requirements forced the design team to creatively blend form with function. Sand filtration, 100% backwash recovery and re-use, foam fractionation, automatic control, vacuum water re-use, ozone contact and sludge removal round out the rest of the systems that make Discovery Cove’s LSS a unique blend of traditional equipment and cutting-edge innovations.