Use of Copper Ion Generators for Mussel Control at USACE and Reclamation Hydropower Plants

Project ID: 21101
Principal Investigator: Sherri Pucherelli
Research Topic: Invasive Species
Funded Fiscal Years: 2021, 2022 and 2023
Keywords: None

Research Question

This project is no longer proceeding.

Invasive quagga and zebra mussel settlement in piped systems at hydropower plants can increase maintenance and result in unplanned outages. Options for the control of mussel settlement in piped systems is limited. Copper is a known toxicant to invasive quagga and zebra mussels and has been found to be an effective and relatively inexpensive method for settlement control. The most common methods for application include commercially available formulations of liquid copper and copper ion generators.

The goal of this research project is to partner with the USACE to monitor the effectiveness of the copper ion generator at Big Bend and to gather information about their experience with the discharge permitting process, and other factors that will address Reclamation's concerns about the treatment. The results of this study will be provided as a reference for Reclamation hydropower facilities that must consider mussel mitigation strategies.

Need and Benefit

Previous Reclamation investigations into copper ion generators for mussel control include a literature review in 2009 and a pilot scale study at Davis Dam in 2013. While both of these studies did find benefits of the treatment, they both raised concerns that need to be addressed. The goal of this research is to build on this previous work and in partnership with the USACE, examine a full-scale case study on mussel control with a copper ion generator.

Contributing Partners

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Research Products

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Last Updated: 6/22/20