The existence of Zebra Mussels in Minnesota lakes should come as no surprise to lake home owners, however, there are implications to the infestation you may not be aware of.

Irrigation by Design is a trusted irrigation service provider to many clients who use lake or river water to supply their irrigation systems. Because of our dedication to them, we are following this issue closely.

The Zebra Mussel is a small, non-native mussel originally found in Russia. In 1988, this animal was transported to North America in the ballast water of a transatlantic freighter and colonized parts of Lake St. Clair. In less than 10 years, zebra mussels spread to all five Great Lakes and into the Mississippi, and many inland lakes in Minnesota. They reproduce and colonize extremely quickly on and in any submerged structure.

Colonies collecting on the surface of boats, docks, and irrigation intake lines are not the only hazard that we face. The larval stage of this mussel is extremely small, equaling the diameter of a human hair and invisible to the naked eye. They can easily penetrate most filtration and screening that is commonly used on irrigation intake lines, making their way into the pump, piping, controls and eventually the sprinkler heads, where they may attach and begin to grow and colonize. This circumstance has the possibility of causing serious problems with the reliable operation of a lake or river-based irrigation system.

Currently, there is no effective, affordable filtration available to defend against the zebra mussel infestation. This article isn’t intended to cause alarm or sell anything. We just want to inform and help you prepare for potential irrigation system problems caused by this pest. As always, Irrigation by Design is at your service to assess options and deliver services.

Every field service professional at IBD has the new Lake Service Provider license required by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. We plan to stay on top of this issue as the infestation progresses and as solutions are developed.

Please feel free to contact our office if you have any questions.