Earth Science Laboratories to discuss reducing cyanobacteria and killing zebra mussels at WQTC

ESL education session will present chemistry that reduces cyanobacteria and kills zebra mussels simultaneously.

PORTLAND, Ore. – Earth Science Laboratories (ESL) will host an informal education session at the annual Water Quality Technology Conference (WQTC) in Portland this month. The session will address two topics of central concern for water quality experts: reducing cyanobacteria and killing zebra mussels. Cyanobacteria release dangerous toxins if not treated properly. Zebra mussels clog intake structures and pipelines at treatment plants and hydropower facilities.

Warming temperatures and runoff from agricultural fertilizers promote annual cyanobacteria blooms at several reservoirs in the Pacific Northwest. Such blooms may increase as the growing season lengthens. Earlier spring snowmelts contribute to lower water and more severe cyanobacteria blooms during the summer.

The looming invasion of zebra mussels threatens to worsen matters. The Columbia River basin is currently the only major watershed in the lower 48 states free of zebra mussels. This system supplies 40% of all U.S. hydropower, according to the Northwest Power and Conservation Council. Officials are already looking at ways to kill and control zebra mussels if they invade.

One approach involves a unique, ionic copper formula. “Ionic copper is deadly to zebra mussels and cyanobacteria,” said Fred Singleton, Senior Scientist at Earth Science Laboratories. “Low doses kill zebra mussels and reduce cyanotoxins with minimal impact on non-target species.” Singleton added that this formula does not increase the concentration of copper in sediment or cause the formation of harmful disinfection by-products.

ESL will send a team to the upcoming conference in Portland to discuss copper-based products such as EarthTec® and EarthTec® QZ. EarthTec kills cyanobacteria and reduces chemicals that produce undesirable taste and odor in drinking water. EarthTec QZ controls zebra mussels and quagga mussels. The ESL team will also be available to discuss the newly launched Cyanobacteria Rapid Response Program and Zebra Mussel Emergency Response Program.

More information on the WQTC Conference can be found at

Earth Science Laboratories Inc. manufactures advanced water treatment products. EarthTec and EarthTec QZ are EPA registered and NSF Certified to ANSI Standard 60 for use in drinking water. Both products are approved for use in open waters and pipelines. Information about EarthTec and the Cyanobacteria Response Program is available at Visit Information about EarthTec QZ and the Zebra Mussel Emergency Response Program is available at