Saint Paul, Minnesota

Como Park Zoo located in the City of Saint Paul Minnesota renovated their Aquatic Animal Building. From conceptual design through construction administration, Satchell Engineering & Associates provided LSS design services for the new Aquatic Animal Building. SE&A supported the client and architect to make the environments for the animal compatibility with the display and husbandry needs of the staff. Exhibits included in the new renovated building include Octopus Caverns, Caribbean Reef with Lionfish, Hawaiian Reef – Dragon Eels, Mangrove Lagoon – Mudskippers, Seahorse Habitat, Indo Pacific Reef – Coral Bleaching, Sea Grass – Garden Eels, and Shark and Ray Habitat.


The new updated aquatic animal building had nine new habitats that required specialized life support systems (LSS). Each exhibit’s LSS is an innovative design for the recirculation and treatment of the exhibits water to maintain water quality for each animals’ health and underwater viewing. Treatment processes included filtration, protein skimming, UV disinfection, temperature control, and saltwater makeup. Each LSS accounts for management of exhibit wastewater discharge to sanitary sewer as well as provide a connection for exhibit makeup water. The LSS design criteria and process developed for each exhibit is a function of the desired water quality for underwater viewing and depended on each exhibit’s water volume, aquarium configuration, environmental influences, food loadings, and animal species.