Whipsnade – The hidden depths…

Whipsnade tank

Buried deep below the ground at Whipsnade Zoo, is a hidden secret. Built nearly 100 years ago, two concrete tanks provide storage for the bore hole water which supplies potable water across the entire site. Very few people actually get the privilege to see inside these amazing historic structures.


We work closely with Pareto FM to support the continued safe-running of the numerous water systems at both Whipsnade Zoo and London Zoo. A decision was made that the time was right to drain down the bore hole tanks, each containing around 620,000 litres of water, and carry out a thorough clean and inspection before refilling and disinfecting the system.

Regardless of the size of the system, it is vital to ensure that any plant that stores, supplies and/or carries water is clean. As water is passed through the systems, sediments and debris which provide nutrients that helps Legionella to thrive, can accumulate. Managed Water Services’ qualified technicians can undertake a range of system disinfections under any planned preventative maintenance programmes in accordance with HSG 274 and ACOP L8 and our engineers are suitably trained to safely work at heights and in confined spaces.

What we did

Spanning over 5 days, three of our lucky engineers got to drain down these water tanks (with some advance help from the lovely staff at the zoo), flush away any debris and carry out some remedial works whilst they were there. The internal walls and base were cleaned and all fouling was removed. Once the tanks were clean, they were thoroughly disinfected prior to being re-instated.

This mammoth task required a high level of risk assessing and confined space awareness and equipment. The end result was a set of beautifully clean water tanks, ready to re-fill and supply water across the site once again.

Some happy customers

It would be rude of us to talk about the zoo without mentioning the animals. We couldn’t possibly list the thousands that are looked after around the clock by the talented and caring staff, but here’s a few images to feast your eyes on.

How can we help you?

Do you have a water system which has water-storage tanks? When were they last inspected or cleaned? Could your system benefit from a clean and disinfection? Are your staff unable to safely access any tanks or are they just too busy with their day job? If you’re nodding enthusiastically, then Managed Water Services may be able to help you. Email us (hello@managedwaterservices.co.uk) or give us a call (01245 362 366 / 01422 208 518) to discuss your requirements.