Underwater Imaging for Intake Trashracks at Glen Canyon to Assess of Mussel-Related Impacts
Are there inherent limitations to invasive mussel fouling on power penstock intake trashracks and can underwater imaging technologies be used to assess those limitations for guidance on O&M requirements to minimize impacts?
Need and Benefit
Need: Information regarding the characteristics and extent of mussel-related impacts on trashracks and associated headlosses is needed to determine how significant the problem is, to inform maintenance requirements, and to assess overall mussel-related impacts to water and power facilities. The results are expected to have applicability to all Reclamation hydropower projects exposed to zebra and quagga mussel infestations.
Benefit: An improved understanding of mussel related impacts to power intake trashracks can inform the need for corrective action, including cleaning. For most Reclamation powerplants, trashrack cleaning has been unnecessary and provisions for cleaning have not been considered. However, exposure to an invasive mussel infestation potentially changes those requirements. If mussel related fouling of trashracks is inherently limited, there may be no need for cleaning or it may be minimal . On the other hand, if fouling is extensive with significantly increased headlosses, project management will be better positioned to justify retrofit for cleaning and development of maintenance schedules to minimize impacts to power generation capacity.
Urgency: Reclamation can of course continue to operate and maintain facilities as they've always done, even reactively in the presence of mussels. Furthermore, the only Reclamation facilities that are significantly impacted at the moment reside along the lower reaches of the Colorado River. Nevertheless, if invasive mussel continue to spread, more facilities would be impacted on some level.
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