Invasive mussel control a key topic at National Association of Lake Managers meeting

Nov 4, 2019

Upcoming seminar and tour of Burlington water treatment plant will address the use of high-performance liquid copper for invasive mussel control.

BURLINGTON, Vt. – Invasive mussel control is on the agenda for the upcoming meeting of the National Association of Lake Managers (NALMS). The association convenes its annual meeting in Burlington, Nov. 10-15. The event will include a special session on invasive mussel control and a tour of the local water treatment plant.

Invasive zebra mussels were first introduced into nearby Lake Champlain in 1993. They quickly spread throughout the lake. Zebra mussels breed in massive numbers and grow in thick colonies on submerged surfaces. They are a special concern for drinking water utilities because they can severely restrict the flow of water through pipelines.

Burlington’s water treatment plant draws water from Lake Champlain and operates at a capacity of 3.6 to 4.4 million gallons per day. The plant struggled to control invasive mussels until recently. In 2015, the Burlington Department of Public Works started a program to treat the plant’s intake screens and pipelines with a high-performance, ionic copper solution called EarthTec® QZ.

“Burlington was one of the first cities in the nation to look at ionic copper for invasive mussel control,” said Dr. David Hammond, Senior Scientist at Earth Science Labs. “What they found is that  EarthTec QZ effectively controls zebra mussels and reduces disinfection by-products or DBPs. These are harmful chemicals that can occur when too much chlorine or other oxidizing disinfectants are used.”

Hammond will conduct a seminar on invasive mussel control at the upcoming NALMS conference. The seminar is scheduled for 10:55 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 12. Hammond will present the results of a first-ever project to eradicate invasive quagga mussels from an entire lake.

The conference will also feature a tour of Burlington’s water treatment plant. The tour will include a discussion of the plant’s history, its recent struggles to control invasive mussels and its success with EarthTec QZ. The tour is scheduled for Friday, November 15 at 10:00 a.m.

More information on NALMS can be found at

Earth Science Laboratories Inc. manufactures advanced water treatment products for use in municipal, agricultural and recreational waters. EarthTec QZ is an EPA registered molluscicide for controlling quagga mussels and zebra mussels in pipelines and open waters. It is NSF Certified to Standard 60 as an additive to drinking water. More information is available at