The Dallas World Aquarium (DWA) has become a sanctuary for wildlife protection, ranking alongside the Natural Aquarium of Australia and Marine World in California for housing the largest variety of endangered species in the world. To ensure healthy living conditions for these animals, it is crucial that the water remain at precise depth, temperature, pH and oxygen levels.
The water levels are maintained by a critical system of pumps, which are monitored by specialized equipment; however, the pump monitoring equipment the DWA had been using was unreliable, and an undetected pump malfunction could mean the loss of irreplaceable wildlife. After experiencing frequent false alarms and sensor malfunctions, the DWA found a more secure and dependable solution with RACO Manufacturing and Engineering Co.
Today, DWA uses RACO’s Verbatim remote monitoring system to measure the water level on the basement floor underneath the River Exhibit. A pump or seal break in the exhibit could cause 100,000 gal of water to flood the basement within 45 minutes, putting the animals at risk of injury or death. When there is any water detected on the basement floor, the Verbatim system calls a preprogrammed list of authorized personnel until one of the contacts answers and acknowledges the alarm. The on-call person can then reach the site quickly to turn off the malfunctioning valve and stabilize the wildlife.
The DWA also installed RACO’s Guard-It system to monitor pump flows in the Sacred Cenote Exhibit’s shark tank. Pump monitoring is essential for maintaining high oxygen levels that sharks require, as pump failure would stop the flow of water and prevent the oxygen generators from maintaining proper levels in the tank. Guard-It uses a notification system similar to Verbatim, alerting personnel immediately when an alarm situation occurs.
The security, reliability and alert sequence that RACO equipment provides has given the DWA confidence in the safety of their animals. In fact, that peace of mind recently allowed the aquarium owners to take their first vacation in six years. In addition to lowering stress levels, RACO equipment has also drastically lowered the aquarium’s costs since they no longer need personnel to monitor tanks around the clock.
The future of the DWA
The DWA is extremely satisfied with the dependability of RACO products and has plans to implement more systems. This includes expanding the monitoring of the Southern Australia Exhibit, home to the exquisite leafy sea dragons, and upgrading the shark exhibit to monitor dissolved oxygen levels, pH balance and water temperature.
The DWA understands the fragile relationship between these animals and their ecosystem, and has turned to RACO to help secure that balance.
Ralph Royall is RACO’s central regional sales manager. He can be reached at 510/658-6713 or by e-mail at [email protected].