Dramatically increase the operating costs of drinking water plants, power plants, dam maintenance, and industrial processes

With the expansion of these harmful, nonnative species like zebra mussels, many industries have had to develop costly control methods to maintain their water intake systems. The costs incurred from these control methods are eventually passed onto consumers, like you and me.

The Great Lakes region of the United States provides a good example of the extent of aquatic invasive impacts. Water users in the region spend tens of millions of dollars on zebra mussel control every year. The zebra mussel attaches to hard surfaces and colonize on structures like those used for power and municipal water treatment plants. These industrial plants have reported significant reductions in pumping capabilities and occasional shutdowns. Here are some figures that underscore these impacts:

  • Affected municipalities and industries, using large volumes of Great Lakes water, have spent approximately $360,000 per year on zebra mussel control;
  • Small municipalities averaged $20,000 per year on control efforts.
  • Nuclear power plants averaged an additional $825,000 of additional costs per year for zebra mussel control.