San Diego Zoo WWTP Design

San Diego, CA

Project Description:

The San Diego Zoo Safari Park, is an 1,800 acre zoo in the San Pasqual Valley area of San Diego, California. It is one of the largest tourist attractions in San Diego County. The park infrastructure, including an onsite wastewater treatment plant (WWTP), was originally built in 1972. After years of maintaining the original, conventional treatment system, the decision was made to upgrade the system and relocate it to a different part of the park in order to maintain park operations during the construction process. Wallace Group reviewed the initial design plans and consulted on an alternative strategy to include a packaged membrane bioreactor system installed at the original WWTP site, with modifications to the existing infrastructure, that would allow the original system to remain in operation during construction, saving the park millions of dollars and compressing the construction timeline. Site constraints included space, access, budget, and influent characteristics. Although the wastewater treatment plant’s main purpose is to process domestic sewage from the park’s guests and staff, the design had to account for large quantities of disinfection chemicals used before, during, and after surgeries on the larger animals in the park’s veterinary hospital. Wallace Group was part of a design-build team led by a general contractor to provide a turn-key engineering/permitting/ installation solution to the client.

Project Highlights:

  • Serves over 1.5 million visitors per year
  • Title 22 recycled water for park irrigation
  • <5 months for construction


San Diego Zoo

Services Provided

Civil & Transportation Engineering
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