Killing zebra mussels important topic at annual conference in Southwestern US

Sep 28, 2017

Killing zebra mussels through advances in the chemistry of copper is the subject of an upcoming seminar in Oklahoma City.

OKLAHOMA CITY – Killing zebra mussels will be a key topic at an upcoming gathering of water management professionals in Oklahoma City. The annual meeting of the Southwest American Water Works Association (SWAWWA) will feature a seminar on advances in the chemistry of copper that improve its effectiveness in killing zebra mussels. The invasive mussels attach themselves to hard surfaces such as water intake screens and pipelines, sometimes forming thick mats.

Zebra mussels have infested 20 lakes in Oklahoma, according to the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation (ODWC). The list of infested lakes includes Lake Hefner, one of six reservoirs that supply water to Oklahoma City’s population of 638,367. Killing zebra mussels to prevent clogged intake structures and pipelines in such reservoirs is critical to the drought-stricken region’s water security.

“The Southwest has experienced abnormally high temperatures and persistent drought conditions for much of the past two decades,” said Dr. David Hammond, national zebra and quagga mussel expert for Earth Science Laboratories. “Under these circumstances, zebra mussel infestations can devastate stressed water systems. Lake managers and water treatment plant operators are naturally looking for effective and environmentally conscious ways to control zebra mussels and prevent further infestations.”

Hammond will lead a seminar on controlling zebra mussels at the upcoming SWAWWA meeting. His presentation will focus on delivering copper efficiently at low concentrations to kill zebra mussels without harming native plants and animals. The presentation will include case studies involving EarthTec® QZ, a federally approved, copper-based molluscicide.

Hammond will also be on hand to discuss the newly launched Zebra Mussel Emergency Response Program. The program provides onsite consultation and recommendations for reservoirs, water treatment plants, and hydropower facilities on measures to prevent and control zebra mussels. It currently includes zebra mussel control projects in five states.

More information on the SWAWWA annual conference 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 for use in drinking water. Case studies and information on the Zebra Mussel Emergency Response Program are available at