There’s a lot of water at the Vancouver Aquarium. A lot…
In fact, there are 9,913,000 litres of water in various gallery exhibit and behind-the-scenes reservoirs – that’s enough to fill 64,791 bathtubs!
Here’s the breakdown:
7,850,000 litres of seawater
63,000 litres of freshwater
2,000,000 litres in reservoirs
To break that down even further, all this water is contained in more than 400 exhibits serviced by 74 different systems – and that number will expand in the coming months.
As the Aquarium’s manager of water quality, it’s Skip Young’s job to make sure that the conditions are optimal for the tens of thousands of animals that live in various marine and freshwater environments at the Aquarium. For example, the live coral reef exhibit in Tropic Zone, which requires high temperatures and salinity, has different needs than a cold seawater exhibit in the Treasures of the B.C. Coast gallery.
A big part of what the water quality team does is obtaining and monitoring water quality samples from the different exhibits. If they find variations within an exhibit, they can adjust the conditions by adding more filters or balance the water chemistry with particular elements, like calcium or magnesium. Skips says, “A lot of what I do is problem solving.”
Water quality is one of the lesser known departments at the Aquarium – but it’s one we just couldn’t do without.
Written by Karen Horak, writer-editor, content and digital experience at the Vancouver Aquarium.