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Water Works:  Where Our Water Comes From

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Education | Volunteering

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Staci

Roughly 12,500 Pacific Ocean animals representing almost 500 species reside here at the Aquarium. No matter what their differences in appearance or habitat, all of them rely on one very important ingredient in their daily lives: seawater. Though the Aquarium is located on the picturesque Rainbow Harbor, a closer look at the water and all the trash floating in it would make you think twice about putting that water into a beautiful, healthy exhibit! Where, then, does the Aquarium of the Pacific get its water?

A company called Catalina Water supplies our water, and they bring it in from the Pacific Ocean. Contrary to what the name implies, however, this water does not come from Catalina Island. Instead, they have a facility located on the Los Angeles Harbor where they draw the water through a small inflow pipe reaching about 40 feet out. The water that is collected is then treated using several types of filtration to remove particulate matter as well as removing or breaking down any toxic chemicals. It is then brought to the Aquarium via large trucks and pumped into one of our 125,000-gallon reserve tanks.

In all of our exhibits combined, we have a total of about 1.1 million gallons of water. Of that 1.1 million gallons, the Aquarium filters approximately 1,000,000 gallons of salt water per hour, which is the equivalent of about 55 swimming pools per hour! In a future post, I hope to go into detail about our three main types of filtration: chemical, mechanical, and biological. Until then, thanks for stopping by and stay tuned! And if you can’t wait (or simply want to check this out in action, book a Behind the Scenes Tour on your next visit!).

Water Works:  Where Our Water Comes From
One example of mechanical filtration.  | © Staci Peters

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MarineDepot's avatar

MarineDepot

Friday, May 09, 2008 10:52 AM

As a saltwater aquarium owner myself, I look forward to your chemical, mechanical and biological filtration post. I’m about to start a second, smaller tank and would be interested in the practices of the Aquarium of the Pacific. I’m wondering if you use the same types of products and brands that we smaller-scale aquarists use ...

Staci's avatar

Staci

Sunday, May 11, 2008 02:50 PM

Hi there!

That post is in the works.  I had to do a little extra homework, but I’ve learned that filtration is quite interesting.  I hope you find the upcoming post informative, and if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask!

~Staci

All blogs and comments represent the views of the individual authors and not necessarily those of the Aquarium.

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