Controlling zebra mussels key topic at invasive species conference

Oct 9, 2017

Controlling zebra mussels and quagga mussels with a rational use of copper will be discussed at International Conference on Aquatic Invasive Species in Florida.

FORT LAUDERDLE, Fla. – Controlling zebra mussels and their cousins, quagga mussels, will be a key topic of discussion at an upcoming gathering of invasive species experts. The 20th International Conference on Aquatic Invasive Species (ICAIS) will convene in Fort Lauderdale this month. The conference draws participants from over 30 countries to share research and collaborate on solutions to issues raised by invasive species.

Zebra mussels have spread to 31 of 50 states, according to the Nonindigenous Aquatic Species database (NAS) operated by the United States Geological Survey (USGS). The Columbia River basin, straddling Montana, Idaho, and the Pacific Northwest, is the last major watershed in the lower 48 states currently free of zebra mussels. Conservative estimates place the annual cost of controlling zebra mussels at water treatment plants and power generation facilities between $30,000 and $44,000 per site.

“Using ionic copper to control zebra mussels and quagga mussels is reliable and cost-effective,” said Dr. David Hammond, national zebra and quagga mussel expert for Earth Science Laboratories. “Advances in chemistry allow us to deliver copper more efficiently at lower doses than ever before. This is an economically and ecologically sensible approach to keeping critical water systems mussel-free.”

Hammond will lead two seminars at ICAIS on controlling invasive species such as zebra mussels, quagga mussels, and colonial hydroids. Each seminar will include case studies on controlling invasive species with EarthTec® QZ, a copper-based product that does not harm native species or leave disinfection by-products. Hammond will also be on hand to discuss the newly launched Zebra Mussel Emergency Response Program. The program offers free consultations on quickly controlling zebra mussel and quagga mussel infestations.

More information on ICAIS can be found at

Earth Science Laboratories Inc. manufactures advanced water treatment products. EarthTec QZ is an EPA registered molluscicide for controlling zebra mussels and quagga mussels in open waters and in pipelines. It is NSF Certified to ANSI Standard 60 as an additive to drinking water. Visit to learn more about the Zebra Mussel Emergency Response Program.