El Paso Zoo, Chihuanhuan Desert serves as home to animals from one of North America’s largest deserts. Satchell Engineering & Associated provided the design of the water filtration for new recreated arroyo. The arroyo, a dry riverbed, which in nature floods with water during heavy rains. SE&A designed the effects of a flash flood in the slot canyon. Exhibit water for the flood comes primary from a main channel with additional water flowing down the walls of the exhibit slot canyon in the main channel.
The water flows from an upper basin located at the top of the exhibit 23 feet above the water level and travels approximately 70 feet into the lower exhibit. There approximately 12,000 gallons of freshwater used in the flash flood exhibit. The flash flood effect is operated in 5-minute intervals to reveal the power and dangers of storms in nearby deserts.