Getting down and dirty in some gorilla moats

#topekatweetalong tagged along with our wastewater crew as they helped clean gorilla moats at the zoo

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  1. First and foremost: If you're thinking of naming your band The Gorilla Moats, you're too late.
  2. Now that that's out of the way, this week's tweet-a-long was a special treat.
  3. We got to see two departments -- two very different departments -- working together.
  4. The Zoo and Water Pollution Control (it covers wastewater and stormwater services for the City).
  5. What could our wastewater crew possibly have to do at the zoo, you ask? Well, until several years ago, really not much.
  6. Before WPC got involved, zoo staff spent an entire day manually heaving bucket after bucket after bucket of debris from the moats in the gorilla exhibit. I'll let Keeper Joe Hood describe it for you:
  7. Now, with the help of WPC and the big, bad Vac-Con, it takes about half a day, and very little manual labor.
  8. Some background.
  9. Our gorilla, 47-year-old Tiffany, used to be able to play around in the moats through a ladder system in her exhibit. She's a bit too old now, and her back would give out if she got down into the moats. (Her b-day is July 15, so mark your calendars!)
  10. So the moats are sectioned off now. But they still fill with leaves and mud throughout the year. We clean it twice a year -- so looks and smells nice for one -- but also so we can reduce the presence of mosquitoes.
  11. To clean the moats, we send in two of our Vac-Con trucks. If you've been following these, you already know a lot about the Vac-Con trucks that help keep our wastewater and stormwater lines clear.
  12. Here is what we started with Tuesday:
  13. Quick video of the crew preparing the Vac-Con truck:
  14. And we're off:
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