Three years after zebra mussels were first confirmed in North Texas, a U.S. Geological Survey monitoring program is keeping tabs on the population to help prevent the pipe-clogging invaders from disrupting drinking water supplies, according to a recent report from the agency.
Zebra mussels were first discovered in North Texas in April, 2009 in Lake Texoma, a reservoir in the Red River Basin. A few months later, the mussels were found in a reservoir in neighboring Trinity River Basin. Amid concerns that a reproducing mussel population in the Trinity River Basin could interfere with drinking water supplies for Dallas-Ft. Worth area, the USGS launched an early-detection and monitoring program in 2010.
The program includes SCUBA divers who survey intake pipes and other submerged structures, lab analysis of water samples for juvenile mussels, and a water-quality sampling regime focused on water properties linked to mussel growth and reproduction.
Image credit: David Jude via Wikimedia Commons.