Zebra mussel control a hot topic in Alabama and Mississippi

Jul 15, 2019

Earth Science Laboratories will present an effective solution for controlling zebra mussels at annual meeting of water treatment experts in the South.

MOBILE, Ala. – The Mississippi River is a zebra mussel highway. The mighty river has carried the invasive mussels from the Great Lakes to the Gulf states. Its tributaries have brought zebra mussels east and west. This month, water treatment experts from two southern states will learn how to stop the tiny invaders.

The WaterJAM conference convenes in Mobile on July 28. The annual event is a joint meeting of the Alabama and Mississippi chapters of the American Water Works Association (AWWA). The agenda includes a session on controlling zebra mussels in water treatment plants. These hardy mussels breed in massive numbers and attach themselves in thick mats to submerged equipment. Physical removal can be time consuming and costly because pipelines must be shut down.

“Fortunately, there is a better way,” said Dr. David Hammond, Senior Scientist at Earth Science Laboratories (ESL). “Zebra mussels are susceptible to small doses of ionic copper.” The approach Hammond refers to utilizes EarthTec® QZ, a copper-based solution injected directly into pipelines and intake structures without shutting them down. EarthTec QZ creates no disinfection by-products and does not harm fish or other non-target species at labeled rates. It is also NSF certified to ANSI Standard 60 for use in drinking water.

These features make the molluscicide ideal for water treatment plants that draw from recreational lakes and reservoirs. It disperses rapidly and holds copper in solution until it is ingested by zebra mussels. No copper remains in the environment.

Hammond will lead a seminar at WaterJAM on controlling zebra mussels with this rational use of copper. The seminar is scheduled for 8:00 a.m. on Wednesday, July 31. More information on the WaterJAM conference is available at https://almswaterjam.com.

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 earthtecqz.com.