Hoover Dam: Quaggas in the pipes

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From The New York Times (Scott Streater):

The organisms, which grow to about [20 millimetres], are clogging water lines that are used to cool the 17 massive hydropower turbines at Hoover Dam and have already forced dam operators to temporarily shut down the power plant that supplies electricity to 1.6 million people in southern Nevada, Arizona and California.

The mussels have caused similar problems at the downstream Davis Dam in Lake Mohave and Parker Dam in Lake Havasu, both of which provide electricity for thousands of people in Arizona and California. The mussels have also threatened to clog water intake lines in Lake Mead operated by the Southern Nevada Water System that supply water to more than 2 million people in the Las Vegas area.

“We’re very concerned,” said Fred Nibling, a Reclamation biologist in Denver who is helping lead agency efforts to combat the mussel invasion…

So the bureau has applied to U.S. EPA for an exemption waiver that would allow it to use an experimental pesticide that contains the freshwater bacteria Pseudomonas fluorescens, which in laboratory tests has shown great promise to kill quagga mussels, and their invasive cousins zebra mussels, without harming other organisms.

More invasive species coverage here.

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