Lawrence reducing zebra mussels in water transmission main

Published: Feb. 27, 2018 at 1:25 PM CST
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Lawrence city officials say new practices significantly reduced the number of invasive zebra mussels in a line that brings water from Clinton Lake to a water treatment plant.

Last spring, workers found a zebra mussel colony that extended 2,000 feet within the pipe. The city voted to buy $80,000 worth of the copper ion generation equipment to control the mussels.

The equipment passes an electrical current through a copper plate, releasing positively charged copper ions that discourage the mussels from attaching to the line's walls.

The Lawrence Journal-World reports if left unchecked, the mussels can choke off the pipes and require costly repairs.

Utilities Treatment Manager Steven Craig says the treatment process is going well and no mussels have been found at the plant itself.