Water treatment plants controlling zebra mussels and cyanobacteria through chemistry

Environmental chemist will present an effective solution for eradicating zebra mussels and controlling cyanobacteria at annual meeting of Pennsylvania water experts.

STATE COLLEGE, Penn. – Zebra mussels are in the news again. While Austin, Texas, continues to grapple with a foul-smelling infestation, Pennsylvania water experts will learn how to stop the tiny invaders from fouling their own pipes. The annual meeting of the Pennsylvania Rural Water Association (PRWA) will include a seminar by a national expert on controlling zebra mussels.

The seminar by environmental chemist Dr. David Hammond will address two problems that plague water treatment plants: zebra mussels and harmful algal blooms (HABs). As a Great Lakes State, Pennsylvania lies at the epicenter of these issues. Zebra mussels were first introduced into Lake Erie in 1988. Large and potentially dangerous cyanobacteria blooms began appearing annually in Lake Erie in the mid-2000s.

Smaller lakes that provide drinking water to rural communities are vulnerable to the same problems, Hammond says. “Rural water treatment plants sometimes lack the resources to tackle zebra mussels and cyanobacteria blooms at once. Fortunately, there is a single, cost-effective and environmentally-friendly solution. An advanced liquid copper formulation can control zebra mussels and cyanobacteria with minimal impact on fish. This is important for communities that use their lakes for drinking water and recreation.”

Hammond should know. He supervised a recent project to eradicate quagga mussels from the historic Billmeyer Quarry in Lancaster County, Penn. Quagga mussels are cousins of zebra mussels and equally invasive. Billmeyer Quarry is the largest and deepest lake from which invasive mussels have ever been eradicated. Hammond will present recent data from this project at the PRWA Annual Conference on March 26.

More information on the Pennsylvania Rural Water Association Annual Conference is available at: https://www.prwa.com/annual-conference.

David Hammond is Senior Scientist with Earth Science Laboratories Inc. ESL manufactures EarthTec® for cyanobacteria control and EarthTec® QZ for killing zebra mussels and quagga mussels. Both products are EPA registered and NSF Certified to ANSI Standard 60 for use in drinking water. They are approved for use in open waters and in pipelines. Information, case studies and data are available at earthtecwatertreatment.com and earthtecQZ.com.