Originally native to Europe, brought the the United States and Canada in the 1980s. Infestation started in Lake St. Clair and spread rapidly throughout the Great Lakes
Zebra Mussels have been documented in over 600 lakes and reservoirs in the United States including the West such as Texas, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, and California. (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service).
Each female produces approximately 1,000,000 eggs per year
Veligers (free floating larvae) settle within 2-3 weeks and attach to any hard surface
Effect on Water Intakes
Both shallow and deep intakes are affected since Zebra Mussels generally colonize from two feet of the water surface to depths of 200 feet or more.
They can attach to a variety of surfaces including Metal, Concrete, Plastic and Teflon. They attempt to attach or connect to such surfaces and can colonize residential pipes and other intake systems, blocking the free flow of water. They have been known to form into mats or clumps up to five inches thick.
Power plants spend millions of dollars removing zebra mussels from clogged water intakes. Congressional researchers have estimated that the zebra mussel has cost businesses and communities over $5 billion since their initial invasion. Zebra mussels have cost power companies alone over $3 billion. (Wikipedia)