The zebra mussel is a filter-feeder (similar to clams and oysters) and lives in fresh water lakes and river systems. Since its introduction into the Great Lakes around 1988, the species has spread throughout North America in canals and rivers, as well as inland lakes. Zebra mussels are making their way into more bodies of water in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana.
The zebra mussel’s ability to mass reproduce makes eradication difficult and the potential damage becomes more costly to owners of freshwater structures.
Industrial and municipal water users experience problems with zebra mussel infestations on external structures such as intakes as well asinternal piping. Zebra mussels can attach to intake screens, trash racks, valves, gates and pumps. They can also accumulate in canals and balancing reservoirs which can serve as breeding grounds for further infestations.