Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2015NV205B

Testing the Mortality and Settlement of Quagga Mussel Veliger Under Various Chemical Treatments

Institute: Nevada
Year Established: 2015 Start Date: 2015-03-01 End Date: 2016-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $23,648 Total Non-Federal Funds: $48,223

Principal Investigators: Kumud Acharya

Abstract: The quagga mussel (Dreissena bugensis) is the most serious invasive biofouling pest in North American freshwater systems. It has the ability to tolerate a wide range of environmental conditions, is extremely adaptable and has very high growth and reproductive rates. It has the potential to significantly alter and degrade water delivery systems. It has been agreed by the researchers and water managers that the invasion of the lower Colorado River is a big challenge as these are the first large reservoir systems invaded by quagga mussels in the Western United States. Experts predict that the explosive nature of growth of the quagga mussel population will deplete the natural food resources currently being utilized by endemic zooplankton. At the same time, there will be an accumulation of large quantities of quagga mussel pseudofeces at the sediment surface adversely affecting water chemistry. As the population continues to grow, it can transform the shoreline into numerous dead shells and requiring increased maintenance and costs. However, the scientific community is nowhere near a breakthrough to stop these mussels either at the source or from spreading to other water bodies. On top of that the issue of quagga mussels has been even more urgent in the Southwestern United States especially in the wake of record drought in Southern California and precipitous decline of Lake Mead level. Therefore the primary goal of this research is determination of quagga mussel veliger mortality and settlement under various chemical treatment conditions that can be deployed at the water treatment pumping stations. Specifically, under the proposed research plan we will study 1) ozonation; 2) potassium permanganate; 3) copper sulfate solutions to kill and prevent settlement of quagga mussel veligers. This research is expected to lead to development of containment strategy of this invasive species for water treatment plants. Each of the techniques we propose has advantages and disadvantages. Identifying which technology is best suited for various systems is important for reducing O&M cost for managers and also minimizing impact on ecosystem.