Why invasive zebra mussels are costing taxpayers

CANYON LAKE, Texas – Small and sharp zebra mussels have taken over 17 Texas lakes, and the invasion is costing taxpayers.

Earlier this month, Canyon Lake residents had a water shortage after zebra mussels clogged up one of the main water supply intake pipes for Canyon Lake Water Service Company.

The plant was temporarily shut down for intake pipes and pumps to be cleaned.

Everything is back up and running now, and only residents living north of the lake are being asked to help conserve water by not watering lawns at this time.

Every time the little invaders have to get scraped off, it costs you, the taxpayer.  

“The costs for the cleaning up those structures, the screens and the intake pipes — that will get passed onto the consumer,” said Mukhtar Farooqi, a fisheries biologist with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. “We will see increased rates if the infestation is bad.”

Farooqi said zebra mussels reproduce quickly and thousands of them can quickly take over lakes.

He said zebra mussels cause the following problems:
Clog up water supply pipes
Take away food supply for local species
Cause water to become foul smelling or foul tasting

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