Lawrence finds zebra mussels in water transmission line

Zebra Mussels (KSN File Photo)

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) – Lawrence officials approved the purchase of special equipment after utility workers found a thick coat of zebra mussels in one of the city’s water transmission mains.

The Lawrence Journal-World reports an inspection found a nearly 2-inch thick layer of mussels stretching about 2,000 feet in the main. Utility officials say if the mussels are allowed to grow unchecked, they could choke off pipes and intake openings.

The infested transmission main moves water from Clinton Lake to the Clinton Reservoir Water Treatment Plant.

In response, city commissioners this week approved the purchase of about $80,000 worth of copper ion generation equipment to manage the mussels. Philip Ciesielski, assistant director of utilities, says the equipment will put low doses of copper ions into the water, eventually killing the mussels.