Zebra Mussels

zebramusselThe zebra mussel is an aquatic invasive species which has taken hold in both Otsego and Canadarago lakes. Impacts from the zebra mussel include a foul taste and smell in household water, clogged pipes, obstruction of foot-valves, and increased corrosion of steel, iron, and copper pipes, as well as debilitated sprinkler systems. Zebra mussels can attach to a variety of surfaces including metal, concrete, plastic and Teflon. They attempt to attach or connect to such surfaces and can colonize residential pipes and other intake systems, blocking the free flow of water. They have been known to form into mats or clumps up to five inches thick.

Horvath zebra mussel study will continue this year. Working in conjunction with the Village of Cooperstown Zebra Mussel Committee, Dr. Tom Horvath, director of environmental sciences at SUNYOneonta, conducted a study in the summer of 2009 on the zebra mussel population in Otsego Lake. Objectives of the study were to: 1) determine the spatial and temporal aspects of larval zebra mussels (veligers) in Otsego Lake; 2) provide a management plan that will dictate when control measures can be effectively deployed; and 3) introduce a student researcher to the basics of sound scientific monitoring practices and advanced microscopy techniques. Horvath and colleagues Amanda Wolfe and Dr. Daphne Monie, in a subsequent report to village officials titled “Zebra mussel monitoring in Otsego Lake: Applications for municipal use of lake water,” recommended that the village continue to “pig,” or clean out, its raw water intake pipe to remove any adult mussels in the line. Based on the timing of the veligers appearing in the water column, a minimum of two cleanings is suggested – in August and late October – with an early spring cleaning if the budget allows. The report reads, “Residents of Cooperstown and the surrounding towns should be alerted to the possibility that their water intakes are particularly susceptible to fouling by zebra mussels. Homeowners should consider filters all year round, and inspections of their pipes at least yearly. The OCCA website provides a nice source of information for standard household water users.” In an e-mail to OCCA, Horvath reported, “The work we carried out this past summer would suggest that continued monitoring is necessary. Equally important is beginning some intensive studies on the adult zebra mussel population.” To read Horvath’s final 2009 report to the Village of Cooperstown, click here. OCCA contributed $2,500 toward the 2009 study, with an additional $2,500 in funding allocated for 2010. To read Horvath’s final 2010 report, click here. To read Horvath’s final 2011 report, click here.

Bruce Hall Home Center carries Primär Filtration permeable ceramic filters for seasonal use, manual back-flush, year round use, automatic back-flush and submersible pump applications, including screening out zebra mussel veligers. The device, manufactured by Primär Filtration of Penn Yan, goes by the name of the Shredder. According to John Long, Primär’s founder, the Shredder has been in use for 15 years in the Finger Lake and the Lake Champlain regions of the U.S., as well as in Canada. The filter is four inches in diameter and 17 inches long and is made with a high grade steel fired at 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. A Primär informational sheet provides the following description: Each filter can accommodate a minimum flow rate of 80 gallons per minute and will not be affected by strong system back-flushing; The Shredder’s reusable filter cartridge design allows for uninterrupted, low-cost  protection of residential water systems; Annual recycling of the cartridge ensures maximum efficiency and keeps maintenance costs at a minimum; Because the Shredder is an offshore installation, zebra mussels never even enter the water system, eliminating repair costs and cleaning expenses which often occur when zebra mussels have colonized in household plumbing. The Shredder retails at $399. For more information and/or literature on the “Shredder” reusable filter cartridge, visit Bruce Hall Home Center at 206 Main Street, Cooperstown, 607-547-9961 or visit www.primarfiltration.com.

Haggerty Ace Hardware is stocking Team filters. The pleated, cleanable filter, which is part of the pump’s foot valve, “polishes” the water to a very fine 25-micron absolute. These filters remove sand, silt, zebra mussels in their larval stage, spiny water fleas, and schistosomes, which are a tremadode worm parasite. “The half-horse power Team Zebra 90 is most in demand because it’s for a submersible pump and year-round use. It costs about $375,” said store owner Jeff Haggerty. Two other sizes of the filter are available – the Team Zebra 40, which is designed for more limited use (a jet pump at a seasonal camp, for instance) and the Team Zebra 170, which is for households using a great deal of water. Alex Milne Associates, the manufacturer, claims that the pleated filters allow up to 10 times the flow of old-style, flexible cloth filters and that they maintain their filtering accuracy for up to 10 years. The filter may be easily cleaned with a brush. It must be pulled and cleaned once a year. A spray cleaner for this task is also available at Haggerty’s establishment. According to Haggerty, the product, which originated in Canada, has been available for a number of years and has been government-tested. Alex Milne Associates has been in business for approximately 30 years. Haggerty pointed out that the filter does not prevent bacteria from entering the water system. Only chlorination or ultraviolet light will eliminate bacteria. For more information and/or literature on Team filters, visit Haggerty Ace Hardware at 5390 State Highway 28, Cooperstown, 607-547-2116, or visit www.alexmilne.com.


• “Control of Zebra Mussels in Residential Water Systems

• “Zebra Mussels and Fire Control Equipment



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