Aquascape and its network of Certified Aquascape Contractors (CAC), designed and installed a third, outdoor water feature at Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium in mid-August. Under the direction of Ed Beaulieu, chief sustainability officer for Aquascape, the pond, stream, and wetlands area was devised to serve as a hands-on training event for CACs to earn continuing education units.
“The design philosophy behind the pond and stream project is to mimic a native Illinois stream with the associated flora and fauna,” says Beaulieu. “This water feature is not merely decorative but will serve as one of the Shedd’s exhibits and is meant to educate visitors about the importance of native habitats and how we can all make a positive impact on our environment.”
The 30’x15’ pond includes a 1,500 gallon sustainable reservoir, which allows operation of the water feature for extended periods without rainfall. The 50-foot stream and waterfalls were created with large, weathered limestone, giving the feature an aged appearance while providing a role in water chemistry as the stream receives dissolved minerals from the stone. Two hydraulically engineered, 9PL energy-efficient pumps power the stream with a combined flow rate of 12,000 gallons per hour.
An oversized wetland was included in the design to serve as a large, aquatic planting bed to introduce native aquatic plants to the system. The wetland filter incorporates Aquascape’s Snorkel Vault and Centipede Module technology, thereby providing optimum water quality.
Visitors to the Shedd Aquarium can interact with the water feature, located at the bus drop-off location on Solidarity Drive. For more information on the Shedd Aquarium, visit www.sheddaquarium.org.