Repico® couplings assist in repairing water supply to ice bears at Zoo am Meer

At Zoo am Meer in Germany, leaks occurred in the piping of the water treatment plant. Repico® repair couplings ensured a durable but easy repair.

The water treatment plant of Zoo am Meer in Bremerhaven, has 3 systems: a system for the robben, one for the ice bears and one for the penguins. The total pumping capacity is 1230m3/h. 

Leaks due to sagging pipes

The piping of the water treatment plant is carried out in pvc (PVC-U PN10-16). When the water treatment plant was built, flexible hoses with a length of approximately 2 meters were installed in the piping, which comes out of the concrete and continues in the terrain. This is to be able to absorb light subsidence in the terrain, so that the rigid pvc does not immediately break or tear off. 

It seems like the construction of the building has started to work in recent years, or the ground has started to sink. Because of this part of the pipework has sunk so far that the flexible connections could no longer cope with this. The result was several leaks in the total of 6 pipes of 280 and 225mm, which were bundled together under the pavement in the passageway of the zoo. These leaks were in the suction and discharge pipes to and from the basins. 

Durable and reliable Repico® repair couplings

The leaks have been noticed because a lot of water was lost from the systems. Installer Hellebrekers, who works for the zoo for many of years, was asked to solve this problem carefully. The repair of this piping was only possible if the basins were empty, and the animals had to be temporarily moved to other basins. Because of the time pressure a reliable system for the repair of these pipes was crucial. Hellebrekers contacted AVK to inquire about the Repico® repair couplings. These couplings met all requirements (see below) but the delivery time was also very important. Even though the delivery times in the market were under enormous pressure during this time, AVK was able to deliver the 12 couplings a week prior to the repair. The piping has been professionally repaired, the basins have been filled again and no leaks occurred afterwards. In short, everyone is very satisfied with the result.

That is why Repico® couplings have been chosen:

  • Available in larger and special sizes, in this case 225mm and 280mm
  • Flexible and not tensile, due to many further subsidence
  • Pressure range up to 42 bar due to suction and discharge pipes
  • Stainless steel 316L and bolts coated with PTFE 
    (due to placement in the ground and possibly salt water)
  • EPDM gasket for durable seal because of chlorides (saltwater)
  • Angular rotation of 2 degrees because of staggered piping in the ground
  • Compact coupling due to little space between the pipes


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