Mussel Killer by EarthTec

Mussel Killer by EarthTec

Mussel infestation is becoming more of an issue for ships working in the Pacific North West and Alaska. The fishing fleets that home port in Seattle and make their way north could be carrying mussels north or they may become infested in the various ports in Alaska.  Either way, more and more customers are reporting issues with the mussels growing in the piping systems and heat exchangers.

How do the mussels get deep into the ships systems?  Looking at their life cycle will explain it. While the mussel are in the early stages of life and microscopic, they are in the water floating around looking for a home and will attach to a substrate. At that point it takes about 30 days for them to grow from 1/10th of a millimeter to 0.35 of a millimeter.  They are so small you generally won't see them with the naked eye.  They keep growing and left in place they can grow to be dozens of years old.  They will start reproduction at 1 to 2 years of age and the number of offspring to be an average of 7 million!


The Buying Network has deployed various chemical treatments to help with issue over the years, but they didn't seem to be 100% effective and the amount of chemical needed to work was expensive and seemed excessive in volume to work.  So the search was on to find a better solution.

We found what seems to be the holy grail of keeping these critters controlled.  The patented EPA-registered Earthtec QZ, an ionized copper in a liquid carrier with a positive charge. Why the positive charge? Quick complete dilution.  They can use it in lake and can simply pour in the liquid in one end and in a couples days it is found miles away at the other end, making the treatment of freshwater reservoirs is easy. 


EarthTec QZ is NSF-Certified to ANSI Standard 60 for drinking water.  It is used in lakes that contain fish in them at different municipality water sources, without harm to the fish. 

Due to its unique formula, the copper is kept in the cupric ion form, the only biologically active from of copper.  EarthTec QZ can be used at much lower dose rates than other copper based products. 

The reason that this product works so well against mussels; one, its poison to mussels in very low doses and number two, they can not detect that its in the water.

Why it is important that the mussels can't detect EarthTec QZ?  They are very sensitive to chemicals and will close and not feed if they sense contamination. Once a chemical is detected they stay closed for about 24 hours, then open and try to feed again. If they sense the chemical is still present, they close and later open in a couple of days. If they sense the poison is still in the water they stay closed for around a week and then finally have to start feeding. This is when you have to provide the poisonous dose or the cycle starts all over again. This is why other products needed to be dosed very frequently or continually to work. Its just a gamble if you are going to get a lethal dose to get the kill of the invasive mussel.  EarthTec QZ is taken in by the mussel in its first feeding. 

EarthTec QZ was designed to combat the invasive quagga and zebra mussel. This raised a question; will it work on the mussels we have in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska, the "common" or blue mussel. There was not much data on it, but enough it was worth exploring.

After testing aboard multiple ships, we found results of approximate 100% kill in a week, utilizing a very diluted continuous injection program. All at below drinking water limits for copper. Once the system is cleaned of the dead mussels, the routine treatment kills the larval-stage veligers (baby mussel) when they are microscopic and they will pass through the heat exchangers and other equipment, then back to the sea.  

A simple chemical injection pump dosing into the sea chest will protect all the salt water systems aboard.  Once the system is clean of adults, the maintenance dosing is only a handful of days each month.

Contact The Buying Network for a tailored program for your ship and stop fighting the never ending battle.

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