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Zebra mussels invade Norwalk reservoir; boating banned in lower reservoir

Scott Seitz2 • Sep 20, 2012 at 9:01 AM

The city of Norwalk water department discovered this week that there is an infestation of zebra mussels in Memorial Reservoir.

A preliminary investigation indicated there are no zebra mussels yet in Upper and Lower reservoirs.

In an effort to slow their spread, boating is prohibited in Lower Reservoir, effective immediately.

Zebra mussels were first discovered in the Great Lakes in the 1980s. They have since spread throughout the Ohio and Mississippi river valleys. They attach themselves to any hard surface, including boats. The infestation at Memorial Reservoir is most likely due to boat(s) bringing them from Lake Erie or some other infested water.

Zebra mussels create several potential problems for the water plant. The most immediate is their potential to block off the pipe that moves water from Memorial Reservoir to Lower Reservoir. There is no evidence that the pipe is being blocked yet.

Zebra mussels are attracted to running water and reproduce exponentially. One female lays about a million eggs. It's practically impossible to eradicate zebra mussels from a body of water.

Water plants along Lake Erie and at many other locations have had to retrofit their facilities to keep their intakes from clogging up with zebra mussels.

The water department is studying the various mechanical and chemical techniques to combat zebra mussels to determine what would be the most cost effective for the facilities here.

The city apologizes for any inconvenience, and appreciates boater's cooperation in keeping boats off Lower Reservoir in the mean time.

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