Cyclone Separators to Mitigate Mussel Shell Debris

Project ID: 8169
Principal Investigator: Bryan Heiner
Research Topic: Invasive Species
Funded Fiscal Years: 2016 and 2017
Keywords: None

Research Question

Can cyclone separators be used to effectively remove and manage mussel debris at Reclamation
facilities?

Need and Benefit

Quagga mussels were first noticed in the Lower Colorado River at Lake Mead on January 6, 2007.
Directly following this discovery, the Bureau of Reclamation's Lower Colorado Region began to
monitor and gather as much information on the mussel's spread, survival, and the extent to
which it can affect water supply and power generation facilities. Even with this knowledge,
Reclamation is still challenged with managing the impacts of this species at infested facilities.
In particular Parker Dam, on the border of California and Arizona has seen extremely large
populations of quagga mussels. In early 2008, mussel colonies affected generator seals and
plugged the dam's domestic water intake. In addition, large numbers of mussels can be found
on gate structures and trashracks. These problems have been compounded by larger than
normal aquatic weed loads and increase debris loading in piped systems.
With the infestation in the Lower Colorado Region, operations and maintenance have been
impacted by a significant increase in mussel shell debris. Mussel shell debris is entrained in
various piped systems within the facility either during normal operations or following
dewatering for maintenance. To date, most facilities manage this increased debris load using
conventional strainers and manual cleanout. However, strainer capacity can be easily exceeded
by the added amount of shell debris.
Reclamation would benefit greatly from having a self-cleaning method to remove large and small
shell debris more effectively.
All regions dealing with mussel debris will benefit from this project.

Contributing Partners

Contact the Principal Investigator for information about partners.

Research Products

Bureau of Reclamation Review

The following documents were reviewed by experts in fields relating to this project's study and findings. The results were determined to be achieved using valid means.

Cyclone Separators to Mitigate Mussel Shell Debris (final, PDF, 2.4MB)
By Joseph Kubitschek, Sherri Pucherelli, Bryan Heiner
Research Product completed on September 30, 2017

This research product summarizes the research results and potential application to Reclamation's mission.

Cyclone Separators to Mitigate Mussel Shell Debris (final, PDF, 2.4MB)
By Joseph Kubitschek, Sherri Pucherelli, Bryan Heiner
Research Product completed on September 30, 2017

This research product summarizes the research results and potential application to Reclamation's mission.


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Last Updated: 4/4/17