2014-03-01 11:06:03 -
A small freshwater mollusk called the zebra mussel, has been steadily invading America's rivers and lakes. Zebra mussels originated in the Balkans, Poland, and the former Soviet Union. Zebra mussels get their name from the striped pattern of their shells, although not all shells bear this pattern. They're usually about fingernail size but can grow to a maximum length of nearly 2 inches. Zebra mussels live for 4 to 5 years and inhabit fresh water at depths of 6 to 24 feet.
Young zebra mussels are small and free swimming, and can be easily spread by water currents. Older zebra mussels attach themselves to hard surfaces by an external organ called a byssus, which consists of many threads. The mussels
may attach to boats, pilings, water-intake pipes, and other hard surfaces, as well as to crayfish, turtles, other zebra mussels, and native mollusks.
Zebra mussels upset ecosystems, threaten native wildlife, damage structures, and cause other serious problems. Millions of dollars are spent each year in attempting to control these small but numerous mollusks.
Zebra mussels are filter feeders. An adult zebra mussel filters up to a quart of water per day, which multiplied by millions of mussels means that the mussels may be filtering all the water in a lake or stream in a day. The animals and algae that are the food of zebra mussels are also the food for larval fish and other native species, so a large zebra mussel population may cause a decline in other animals, including native fish, mollusks, and birds.
Water and environmental management agencies are working to protect endangered native species from the threat of zebra mussels.
Zebra mussels will attach to almost any hard surface, either natural or manmade. On boats, they may attach to the hull, motor, or any item immersed in the water. Both large and small boats can be severely impacted by increased drag caused by thousands of mussels. Small zebra mussels may get into engine cooling systems, causing overheating and other damage.
Zebra mussels pose a threat to navigational buoys, piers, docks, and other structures in the water. Navigational buoys have been sunk under the weight of attached zebra mussels. Wood, steel, and concrete are all damaged by prolonged attachment of the mussels.
In United States, researchers have estimated that the mussel’s damage cost the power industry $3.1 billion in 1993-1999; in New York, 1994 caused $5 billion; in Canada, Ontario hydro department has reported zebra mussels caused damage worth $ 376,000.
Great Lakes officials estimated that as much as $5 billion was spent in 10 years on zebra mussel control.
Many chemicals are used to kill zebra mussels, but these exotics are so tolerant and tough that everything in the water would have to be poisoned to destroy the mussel. Most commercial water users rely on chemicals such as chlorine, filters, or mechanical scraping to remove mussels from their intake pipes and facilities.
Physical barriers and chemical coatings are used to prevent zebra mussels from attaching to structures. Removal is accomplished with mechanical scrapers, hot water, air, chemicals, and sound; new methods are constantly under investigation. There is no single, ideal solution for all affected facilities.
To prevent from the damage of zebra mussels C Tech Corporation provides a solution which is based on green chemistry.
Combirepel¢ is a non-toxic, non-hazardous and eco-friendly insect and pest aversive. As its work on smart technology it will not kill the zebra mussel but will keep them away from the applications. Its life span is 25-40 years depending on the end application.
Combirepel¢ is available in masterbatch as well as in lacquer forms and can be easily applied on the surface of the application and also can be incorporated in the wire and cables, pipes in the processing itself. Combirepel¢ lacquer can be added in paints used to protect boats, plastic objects as well as other objects immersed in water including specialty applications such as ship bottom.